The 101 Films x American Genre Film Archive collection continues to grow with a new 4K transfer of The Zodiac Killer (1971) – the only movie in history made explicitly to catch a serial killer – and Something Weird’s dazzling 4K restoration of the essential weirdo classic, She Freak (1967).
Directed by Tom Hanson, who had previously owned a chain of Pizza Man restaurants, The Zodiac Killer was made to capture the real-life Zodiac Killer. That plan didn’t work. Instead, we got the most outrageous and compelling “tabloid horror” vortex in the history of planet Earth. And beyond. During theatrical screenings, Hanson constructed in-theater “traps” to lure the killer from hiding. These included the use of an ice cream freezer filled with rent-a-cops and a raffle with a motorcycle as a prize. You won’t get insight like this by watching a David Fincher movie. But you will get it while watching The Zodiac Killer.
Fed up with waitressing, Jade Cochran (Claire Brennen) embarks on a new life with a travelling carnival. But she discovers that what lurks behind the curtain doesn’t take too kindly to her backstabbing plans.
“In the corridors of every woman’s soul there lurks a… She Freak!”
A gutter-noir reworking of Tod Browning’s Freaks and a valentine to the carnival lifestyle that defined the career of producer David F. Friedman (Blood Feast), She Freak is a snapshot of life, love, and revenge on the grounds of a seedy carnival in Smalltown, USA; complete with crackpot monster make-up effects from Harry Thomas (Plan 9 from Outer Space). Like Devo’s music and Ed Wood’s novels, She Freak creates a synthetic reality that is often preferable to our own.