Power is simply terrific as Stanton Carlisle, a sideshow hustler who makes it to the big time through underhanded methods that ultimately bring about his horrific ruination. Carlisle gets a menial job with a cheap carnival and becomes fascinated with a mind-reading act performed by Pete
and Zeena (Keith and Blondell). Becoming the show's barker, Carlisle entices carnival patrons to another attraction as well: an illegal geek show featuring a "half-man, half-beast" who works in a pit and bites the heads off live chickens. Here the geek is a fallen carney performer, a dipsomaniac
who conducts his ghastly routines so he can be paid off with a quart of booze each eveni...