I normally don’t seek out bad films. I want to enjoy the company of great movies, I really do. But these films are like Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate, and I am Dustin Hoffman, seduced by the allure of bad cinema. It’s a curse, and sometimes this curse takes me to dark places. This curse, coupled with my morbid curiosity, has taken to me the darkest place imaginable, the 2001 film known as Freddy Got Fingered.
Written and directed by Tom Green (Road Trip, The Tom Green Show), Freddy Got Fingered is the story of a Gordon “Gordy” Brody, an apathetic 28 year old slacker stuck in a dead end job working at a cheese sandwich factory. Gordy, played by Tom Green, has passionate dreams of becoming a successful animator, making an animated series out of his doodles. Gordy’s father James, played by Rip Torn (Men in Black, 30 Rock), disapproves of Gordy’s doodles, wishing that Gordy would stopping being such a loser and be more like his younger brother Freddy, played by Eddie Kay Thomas (American Pie, A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas), a young man who seeks his father’s approval by being self-sufficient and hardworking.
Two words came to mind when writing about this film: sick and mean. This film is not for those with weak stomachs or who are easily offended. Gordy is the most frightening antagonist since Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange. I say antagonist, since despite being the main character, he basically torments the people he loves and everyone he comes across, doing disgusting and heinous acts like impersonating an officer and claiming he is there to inform someone of their wife’s death, performing sex acts on random horses, and swinging a newborn baby around by its umbilical cord, then biting said umbilical cord. And that’s only the first thirty minutes of the movie.
This film is mean. Pretty much every character is forced to endure some horrific accident or circumstance somehow caused by the always aloof Gordy. Freddy is forced to be put in a home for molested children. Gordy’s love interest, played by Marisa Coughlan (Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Super Troopers), is insulted for her physical handicap. Even Gordy’s best friend injures his leg, prompting a scene where Gordy touches the exposed bone in his friend’s leg. Rip Torn suffers the most in the film, losing his wife, his house, his credibility, and ends up being covered in the bodily fluids of an animal and held hostage by terrorists, all due to Gordy’s accusation that he has been molesting Freddy. Another recurring joke involves a small child being repeatedly injured by Gordy or someone in his family, with the child’s injuries getting more severe and messy as the film goes along, culminating with a scene at the end involving an airplane.
I will admit that I liked parts of Freddy Got Fingered. The scenes with Anthony Michael Hall as the studio executive at the animation studio that Gordy visits were pretty funny. And some scenes with Rip Torn, particularly a scene set at a fancy restaurant, made me laugh. Also, it has a great soundtrack, with songs from The Ramones, The Dead Kennedys, and Eminem setting the mood for the film. I also think that Marisa Coughlan and Drew Barrymore are two fine looking ladies who deserve to be in better comedies or at least have a nude scene or something to liven the movie up (you know a movie is bad when your first suggestion to improve the movie is to add gratuitous nudity, just saying). These positive things are far outweighed by the negative things in this movie. Not even gratuitous nudity could make this movie better.
What amazes me about Freddy Got Fingered is the fact that a major studio released it. Not only that, but this film cost 14 million dollars to make. Money that could have done wonders for disease research or money to help starving kids in Africa. But instead of curing AIDS or starvation, we decided to give the money to an unfunny comedian to hire a camera crew and film him performing sex acts on animals while Rip Torn yells at him.
Despite how horrible it is, Freddy Got Fingered is a film that stays with me. It has taught me how to revalue the quality of film. When I think terrible film, I think Freddy Got Fingered. It has redefined how I critique comedy films. I have heard people say that it does things that haven’t been done in modern mainstream cinema. I’ll give you that, random fan. But answer this friend; did those things need to be done? Time will answer this question.