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Keanu Reeves Was Completely Unrecognizable In This Forgotten Sci-Fi Role

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1993’s ‘Freaked’ was actually a labor of love for Alex Winter (via IMDb), Reeves’ co-star in the ‘Bill & Ted’ movies. Winter co-directed, co-wrote and stars in the bizarre black comedy in which he plays former child star Ricky Coogin, who meets a sideshow by Elijah C. Skuggs (Randy Quaid). Coogin is mutated by Skuggs’ toxic manure and is forced to join the other freaks in the park. These include Sockhead (Bobcat Goldthwait), Arthropod Worm (Derek McGrath) and Ortiz the Dog Boy, played by an uncredited Reeves.

If you’re wondering why you’ve somehow never heard of a movie where Reeves, on one of his star peaks, plays a puppy while wearing heavy makeup, that’s because “Freaked” was buried by the studio. Fox boss Joe Roth had pushed for the film, but after he left the company, executives had no interest in giving the film a proper release (per Indiewire).

The film was well received at festival screenings, but Winter and co-director Tom Stern essentially had to distribute it themselves. Still, Winter isn’t so sure the divisive comedy would have been successful anyway: “It’s hard to say if it would have done better had it been released normally, or if its story really would have been different” (via Indiewire) . At least you can watch the film on YouTube.



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