Friday, July 20, 2012

Creepy things from the past: pt 1

Now this absolutely horrified me. So naturally my first thought was to share it with you. I was watching the noir film Nightmare Alley yesterday, about a carnival. They make reference to a geek show and I had no idea what one was. So I looked it up and it turns out to be someone in a sideshow who bites the heads off live chickens or rats. And then eats them. Nice.

This is from the book Nightmare Alley: Early in there book the central character is hanging out by the geek's cage one night when he encounters his boss. He asks him just how one manages to find a geek, anyway; is he some half-wit a backwoods family keeps out in back of the barn or something? No, says his boss; you don't find a geek, you make one. First you approach a hopelessly degraded alcoholic and tell him you want him to pretend to be a geek for a few weeks until you find a real one. Apparently a common dodge is for a person to have a razor concealed in their hand with which they cut the animals they are "biting". The carnival operators keep him supplied with liquor until he is utterly dependent on them, and then one day they tell him that the rubes are getting suspicious, so he will have to start actually biting the heads off of the chickens, eating the rats, or whatever. By then he will already be far down the road of no return. Needless to say, at the end of the film the main character gets a job as a geek. Just until a real one turns up of course... You may wonder how this fits in with the Festival of Fun and I was wondering that too. Looks like noir is off the program too. - Toodle Pip!


Anonymous said...

Mmmm, dumplings.

Anonymous said...

I saw that movie about a decade ago and it disturbed me for a loooong time afterwards, you're not alone!