Tom Green is on the loose…and out of control.
Out of nowhere (well, actually a public access TV station in the middle of nowhere) Tom Green burst upon MTV with his brand of off-the-wall humor and oddball pranks. Within a short time Green was popular with college kids, freaks of nature, and anyone looking to watch the equivalent of a bloody highway accident. After a successful run on TV (which included a special on Green having a testicle removed due to cancer), executives at Fox decided that it was time to give Green his own movie. In a bizarre twist, Green was not just given free reign IN the movie, but also behind the camera, taking over both co-screenwriting and directing duties. What was produced is one of the weirdest movies every put on celluloid. Fox Home Entertainment burps up Freddy Got Fingered on DVD.
Facts of the Case
Gord Brody (Green) wants nothing more in life than to A.) become a famous cartoon animator and B.) annoy the crap out of everyone around him. This includes his flighty mother (Julie Hagerty, Airplane), his strange brother Freddy (Eddie Kaye Thomas, American Pie 2), and his grizzled, grumpy father (Rip Torn, Men In Black). When things go south after attempting to make it in the animal known as Hollywood, Gord moves back home, to his father's angry dismay. While staying with his folks, Gord finds time to do such character building activities as manually masturbate an elephant, bite the umbilical cord off a newborn infant, and receive oral sex from a paraplegic rocket scientist (Marisa Coughlan, Teaching Mrs. Tingle).
I'd like to point out that I SWEAR to the good Lord above that I am NOT making any of this up.
Gord's father wants nothing more than for his son to get a job and move out. Gord wants nothing more than to win the heart of his girlfriend and work as an animator. I, as the audience, wanted nothing more than for the end credits to roll as soon as possible.
There are some movies that I assume I will like no matter what the box office tally is or what the critics think. I honestly thought this would be the fact with Freddy Got Fingered. I've watched "The Tom Green Show" on MTV many times and chuckled heartily at Green's obnoxious overkill of jokes and pranks on the elderly, the unsuspecting, and the just plain clueless. Part of the fun of "The Tom Green Show" was seeing what victim's responses would be to Tom's insistent behavior. In fact, one could argue that the show was not funny because of Green, but because of the people put on screen with Green and their real life reactions to his idiocy. Keep that in mind if you decide to see Freddy Got Fingered, for it is the key point in why this movie fails so miserably.
Freddy Got Fingered is, in my opinion, technically not a "movie." Instead it is a series of gross and annoying scenes that make no sense in context to the story (if you can even call the screenplay that)—they are just there for the sake of being stupid. On television Green's antics could be funny because they were real and unpredictable. In Freddy Got Fingered they are just plain dumb, the work of an adolescent mind coming up with the most outrageous things he can think of. Watching Green hump a dead moose on national television was surreal and somewhat amusing because it was spontaneous and real. In Freddy Got Fingered, he guts a deer and drapes its bloody skin on his head while prancing around on a highway. Is this real or just Hollywood make-up masters at work? Because we don't know, the humor rings hollow. Maybe in the context of a well written story it's funny to see a man playing with the erect penis of a horse. If this is true, then Freddy Got Fingered fails on every level when it comes to the manipulation of mammal genitalia.
Another problem I had with Freddy Got Fingered was the character of Gord. His antics and behavior supposedly endear him to the audience. I found his actions neither endearing nor entertaining. His continued torture of his father played by Rip Torn was almost sad to watch. I realized as I sat through this display that we are actually supposed to feel SORRY for Gord when his father yells at him to get a job and make something of himself. Personally, I felt more pathos for the father than I did for the son. If my kid acted like Gord I'd probably wipe my butt with his drawings as well (uh…see the movie if you want to know what I am talking about).
The supporting characters around Tom Green all have only one real purpose, which is to rebound off of Green's disturbing personality. Poor Rip Torn, so funny in movies like Defending Your Life or on "The Larry Sanders Show," looks lost at sea as Green's disgruntled father. Comic Harland Williams as Gord's buddy is also suppressed and uneasy as he tries like the dickens to work of off Green's improvisational energy. In fact, half of the movie seems focused on watching Green stutter his dialogue as if he's making it up as he goes along (which wouldn't be all that surprising). A few other characters come and go, including a wasted Julie Hagerty and a pointless cameo by Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Shaquille O'Neal.
I wish that I would have ended up liking Freddy Got Fingered. I honestly do. There is something about a car wreck that fascinates us all, and Freddy Got Fingered is surely that—one huge, mangled car wreck of a film. Unfortunately, it's just too horrible to bear.
Freddy Got Fingered is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Seeing as this was filmed only a few short months ago, Freddy Got Fingered looks very good. Colors were all consistent and even with black levels looking solid. There was a small amount of edge enhancement spotted, but nothing that was intrusive to the viewing. Overall a nice looking transfer from Fox.
Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and tends to be very subdued. While there were instances where the mix was very aggressive (usually with music or planes flying overhead), overall this is a very moderate track. While all elements (dialogue, effects, music) were mixed well, this track certainly won't blow away your sound system. Also included on this disc is a Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround track, a French Dolby Surround track, plus English and Spanish subtitles.
While I'm obviously not a huge fan of this movie, Freddy Got Fingered will make Tom Green fans happy with its overstock of extra features. First up is a feature-length commentary track by Tom Green plus screen specific commentaries by actors Rip Torn, Harland Williams and Marisa Coughlan. Compiled together these tracks include a lot of insight into the making of the film with Tom Green sounding somewhat subdued on his track. I especially enjoyed listening to Rip Torn's comments on some of his scenes (he really, truly, honestly sounds depressed when he comments about having to show his backside to the camera). I think I can honestly say that these tracks were ten times better than the movie they accompany. Also included on this disc is a "world premiere audience participation track." Essentially this is an audio track that lets home viewers hear the audience's reactions when they first saw the film. This track is ultimately pointless, as if the makers are trying to say to us, "See! Someone found a few of these things funny!"
Next up is an MTV "Making Of" featurette which includes a behind-the-scenes look at Tom Green talking about how to make a horse ejaculate, how stupid elderly people are, and how he got film executives to let a house be dropped on him. If you enjoyed the film you're going to love this feature. If, however, you found the film to be irritatingly grating, well…you figure it out. A separate, smaller full frame feature is basically one long trailer for the film with Tom Green talking to the camera and acting like Tom Green.
Some deleted scenes are included featuring optional commentary by Green. Once again the enjoyment of these scenes will hinder on if you liked the feature. It was fun to see character actor Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day) making out with a fully dressed American Indian in one scene, but overall these scenes looked as if they wouldn't have added much to the end product. Finally there are some TV spots, a theatrical trailer, some biographies on the principle cast and crew, and a very weird "PG Rated" version of the film that runs about three minutes long. I personally recommend this version over the 87-minute version.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
What are you, a glutton for punishment? See the movie if you want to endure more painful glimpses into this butt-crack of a movie. As for me, I'm going to go lie down and suck on a bottle of Advil with a Wild Turkey chaser.
To each his own, as my father used to say. I wasn't amused by Freddy Got Fingered, but I can't say that others won't find humor in Green's manic, fanatical behavior. If you enjoy seeing a man fall of a skateboard, break his leg and then having another man play with the wound, than you've found your calling with Freddy Got Fingered. Fox has done a very good job on this disc, featuring well produced audio, video and supplemental material to keep even the biggest Tom Green fans amused for hours.
Freddy Got Fingered is found guilty and sentenced to watch all the Farrelly Brothers' movies in a row. Fox is sent free for good work on a dirty diaper of a movie.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
• Commentary Track by Co-Writer/Actor/Director Tom Green
Review content copyright © 2001 Patrick Naugle; Site design and review layout copyright © 2015 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.