Freddy Got FingeredApril 20, 2001
An unemployed cartoonist moves back in with his parents and younger brother Freddy. When his parents demand he leave, he begins to spread rumors that his father is sexually abusing Freddy.
Release Year: 2001
Rating: 4.1/10 (29,065 voted)
Critic's Score: 13/100
Stars: Tom Green, Rip Torn, Marisa Coughlan
Gordon, 28, an aspiring animator, leaves his home in Oregon to sell his ideas to Hollywood. After being told, correctly, that they are quite possibly the most stupid ideas ever and that he needs to spend time rethinking them, he moves back home. But his father, never a kind man, escalates his mean treatment of his rather unconventional son. Meanwhile, Gord has fallen for Betty, an attractive doctor at the hospital where his friend is staying; she happens to use a wheelchair, and to delight in having her paralyzed legs beaten with a bamboo cane; her sexual aggression intimidates him. Gord's family goes to a psychiatrist, and he lies to her that his father molests Gord's brother, Freddy; Gord neglects to mention that Freddy is 25. Soon, Gordon has the house to himself, and comes up with a winning animated series, "Zebras in America" based on his own family. All this is really a framework on which
Writers: Tom Green, Derek Harvie
Eddie Kaye Thomas
Anthony Michael Hall
John R. Taylor
Security Guard – Studio
(as Ronald Selmour)
This time you can't change the channel.
Release Date: 20 April 2001
Filming Locations: Africa
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $7,098,459
(22 April 2001)
(17 June 2001)
Did You Know?
When Betty gives Gordy her phone number, she writes down 867-5309 (from the Tommy Tutone song.)
The wreckage of the skateboard ramp in the street changes.
You BETTER run. You LIIIIIAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRR.
Not nearly as horrible as you've been led to believe
Comedy is perhaps the most subjective of all forms of entertainment. Judy
Carter, in her wonderfully insightful "Stand-Up Comedy: The Book", summed
it up best: "Some people will laugh at a guy slipping on a banana peel.
Some people will only laugh at Hitler slipping on a banana peel." What
kills with one crowd will die with the next, and no two people will laugh at
the same thing for the same reason. Comedy, in many ways, says more about
the laughers than the comedians themselves, and it is no wonder that comedy
shop talk is filled with violent images ("If I don't bomb, I'm gonna murder
that audience"). Comedy, to put it mildly, is DANGEROUS.
"Freddy Got Fingered", Tom Green's scabrous black comedy, illustrates this
principle to a T. Since his earliest days on Canadian cable-access
television, Green has based his career on pushing the envelope. Like Andy
Kaufman, his bizarre stunts (many involving animal carcasses and the sexual
humiliation of his parents) are primarily about the reaction of both their
hapless victims and US, the audience; if you don't step back and consider
how you're taking this humor, and why, you're not really getting the whole
Green experience. "Freddy" carries this sensibility into a fictional
format, giving us the strange tale of a man who lives his life as an
experiment in riling people up.
Gord Brody (Green) is a young aspiring cartoonist who fails miserably in his
attempt to break into the Hollywood big time. He is forced to move back
home with his parents, setting off a titanic battle of wills with his
stentorian oaf of a father (Rip Torn), an escalating conflict that involves
accusations of child molestation, sausages on strings, elephant penises,
horse penises, Green's penis, and really badly made cheese sandwiches.
Of course, all of this story nonsense is just that: nonsense. It serves no
function but to provide Green and co-writer Derek Harvie with a framework
for grotesque, deliberately shocking set pieces, many of which work
surprisingly well. There's a brief sojourn at a stud farm, where Gord lives
out an apparently lifelong fantasy, wagging a horse's genitals while yelling
"I'm a farmer!" like a drunken barbarian. In another scene, Gord delivers a
baby, ripping the bloody umbilical cord with his teeth. He picks up a
wheelchair-bound girlfriend (Marisa Coughlin) who gets her jollies by being
caned in the legs with a bamboo stick. And there's the wonderful little boy
who spends the whole movie getting accidentally brutalized, hit by cars and
running into airplane propellers, always with much blood and flying viscera.
Now I know this may not sound that funny, and indeed, "Freddy" has gotten
the most dastardly reviews that I think I have ever seen for a major
release. Critics don't just hate "Freddy"; they seem personally hurt by the
film, as if Green had made the picture just to upset them and get their
goat. What they don't seem willing to acknowledge is that Green made the
film for EXACTLY that reason, and is getting exactly the reaction he wants.
Therefore, his film can be regarded as something of a great success.
Personally, I agree with many of the critics who have described "Freddy" as
surrealist. There is no attempt to integrate this action into anything
resembling the real world. Gord is not a human being, but rather a
collection of characteristics. Green plays him as a bizarrely aggressive
man-child, a mishmash of helplessly repeated words and phrases, slack-jawed
willful stupidity, and screaming, utterly pointless hysterics. Frankly, I
admire this approach to the characterization. After seeing so many recent
comedies ruined by the filmmakers' need to make their characters both
laughable and likeable (most recently with the stultifying "Joe Dirt"), it
is refreshing to see Green so willing to come off as annoying, hateful,
cruel, UNLIKEABLE. This lack of relatability allows us to laugh at him
without feeling like we're also laughing at ourselves.
I am not making the claim, as some on this page have, that "Freddy Got
Fingered" is any kind of masterpiece. Green's direction is not the equal of
his acting bravery. The film suffers from too many muddy visuals, and many
moments just lie there on the screen, wriggling when they should fly.
Still, the film does what it is supposed to. Half the time you're laughing,
the other half just staring at the screen in goggle-eyed shock. You may
hate "Freddy", you may love it, but either way, you have to admit that
you've never seen anything like it before.