Freaks vs the Reich review: Fun alt-histo fantasy - SciFiNow

Freaks vs the Reich review: Fun alt-histo fantasy

A group of circus performers are hunted by a crazed six-fingered Nazi in Freaks Vs The Reich. Our review…

Amid the rubble of war-torn 1940s Italy, the misfit Mezza Piotta Circus attempts to keep spirits high and bring their show to those who are still left in alt-history fantasy Freaks vs the Reich. Led by the Fagin-esque head Israel (Georgio Tirabassi), the ragtag group head for Rome in the hope of becoming international superstars and ridding themselves of the struggles of war.

However, they’re hunted by Lieutenant Franz, a crazed Nazi ringmaster with six fingers and Nostradamus-like abilities who is adamant that the only way to win the war is through the capture of the Mezza Piotta Circus and the prevention of the suicide of Hitler.

In their attempt to avoid the occupying Nazi forces as they hide out in the back woods of Rome, three of the group: Cencio (Pietro Castellitto), Mario (Giancarlo Martini) and Fulvio (Claudio Santamaria) are captured by Franz and subjected to some rather gruesome treatment.

Meanwhile, supported by an insurgent army of injured, infirm and invalids, Matilde (Aurora Giovinazzo) begins a revolution to rescue her family and thwart the storming Nazi invasion.

The attempt to soften revisiting what was a horrendous era in history with a sprinkle of fantasy can at times get lost due to the sheer amount of bloodshed in Freaks vs the Reich and sure enough, the second half of the movie is riddled with gratuitous violence coming in thick and fast, though there is a certain air of organised chaos to it all.

Amid the scrappy, drawn-out action and poor CGI, the movie is brilliantly supported by some incredible scenery, well-thought-out lighting and a score to rival any Zimmer movie. Combined, it still manages to hammer home the true feelings of family and camaraderie in adversity.

Though it has its faults, Freaks vs the Reich is a refreshing superhero-style film without the sickly Hollywood saturation. Director Gabriele Mainetti has managed to channel his inner Del-Toro to create an unconventional histo-fantasy that, if a mix of X-Men and Inglorious Basterds is up your street, you may well thoroughly enjoy.

>Dazzler Media presents Freaks Vs The Reich on Blu-ray, DVD and Download-to-Own out now.