A four-digit animal hand, functioning like a human's, offering a ticket to promised freakish wonders. The first teaser for the creep-tastic upcoming “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” entitled Admit One, surpasses expectation, managing in just 10 seconds to freak anyone out.
Freak Show parallels 1932’s iconic film “Freaks,” which featured real people with genetic anomalies rather than casting all actors. Jyoti Amge, the world's smallest woman at just over 2 feet tall, Erika Ervin, Guinness's world's tallest professional model at over 6'7", and Rose Siggins, who, due to a deformed spine, had her legs removed at age 2, have all landed roles.
Given creator Ryan Murphy’s history of championing rights of the marginalized, particularly gay rights in Asylum (2012) and civil rights in Coven (2013), the similarities will likely not end there. “Freaks,” Tod Browning’s follow-up film to “Dracula,” depicted “freaks” sympathetically while painting “regulars” as evil. Particularly cruel -- Cleopatra, the statuesque blonde played by Olga Baclanova. In Freak Show, perhaps the equally stunning Mariana Vicente, Puerto Rico’s 1010 Miss Universe candidate, will prove just as heinous?
Enstarz developed an intriguing theory about the evil Eddie, portrayed by newcomer Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games,” “American Beauty”). They suggest evidence points to him as Edward Mordrake, a real man from the 19th century with a 2nd face on the back of his head! Look out, Voldemort!
Young hunk Evan Peters, idolized since his portrayal of Tate in the show’s first season, met the challenge of a largely non-speaking role in last season’s Coven as “Franken-Kyle,” pieced together and resurrected by the witches. Evidence (see pic) suggests that this season will also prove challenging, with him as the Lobster Boy.
AHS writer Tim Minear dished that newcomer John Carroll Lynch (“The Drew Carey Show,” “Body of Proof”) will terrify fans as “one of the central core villains.” Perhaps the killer clown show creators promised? Also talk of Meryl Streep’s daughter Grace Gummer (“The Newsroom”) returning after a bit role in Coven, as well as the character Pepper (Naomi Grossman) from Asylum, and actor Ben Woolf, who nailed the incredibly freaky role of Infantata in Murder House.
All speculation aside, confirmed returning cast includes Peters, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Gabourey Sidibe, Denis O’Hare, Jamie Brewer, Emma Roberts and Sarah Paulson. Paulson plays, in essence, two characters – heads who share a body. Top star-power actress Jessica Lange, who’s appeared in all three seasons, returns for what she says is her swan song. As a German woman displaced to Florida in the 1950s, she’ll lead the Freak Show and render a Marlene Dietrich-esque accent.
Latest newcomer announcement – R&B superstar Patti LaBelle as mother to Sidibe’s character. Also added, Finn Wittrock (“All My Children”) in an unknown role and Michael Chiklis (“The Shield”) as the troupe’s strong man. Freak Show (season 4) premieres October 8 on FX at 10 p.m. Eastern, a day after the Coven (season 3) DVD and Blu-ray releases.