Part of the joy of being a fan is finding odd and obscure gems that you end up falling in love with. For every Batman, there is a Darkman. For every Star Wars, there is The Black Hole. Here at Fandom, we like to go hunting for some offbeat and off-the-wall films and TV shows that might just become your own secret treasures. Strap yourself in and expect the unexpected, because this week’s Weird Watch is Freddy Got Fingered! (Last time: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
The year was 2001 and Tom Green had just hit the fourteenth minute of his fifteen minutes of fame. He was married to one of the hottest stars of the time, Drew Barrymore. Yeah, The Tom Green Show on MTV just entered a two year hiatus thanks to a diagnosis of testicular cancer. However this was but a brief stumble for Green compared to appearing in hit movies like Road Trip and Charlie’s Angels. MTV managed to make his unfunny single “Lonely Swedish (The Bum Bum Song)” into a minor teen comedy hit. He was a successful precursor to bizarre Adult Swim anti-comedy. The problem was that Tom Green’s antics were already growing stale.
Tom Green apparently saw the writing on the wall well before 20th Century Fox. They gave him fourteen million dollars and 87 minutes to produce whatever noxious comedy his mind could conjure up. So Tom Green took that money and played the ultimate practical joke on them all. He made a movie that rightfully ended up on most lists of the Worst Movies of the 2000s. With bawdy comedies being all the rage, Green figured, “I’ll make the most disgusting movie possible!” Freddy Got Fingered was the result.
The Kinda(?) Plot
Freddy Got Fingered looks like a typical misunderstood slacker comedy. A weirdo comes in to prove the squares and normal society wrong. Tom Green’s Gord is a loser living in his parents’ basement. His father (Rip Torn) wants him to move out and do something with his life, namely work at a cheese factory. But Gord wants to be an animator in Hollywood. He butts heads with his parents but by the end he lives his dream. He finds love, he finds massive success, and he even wins back his father’s heart.
However, this structure assumes your protagonist is in any way sympathetic. Gord is not.
I don’t know if Gord is simply nuts or if he’s just screwing with everybody around him. He runs around with bulging eyes, rushing to the nearest phallic symbol to molest. Green gives bizarre line deliveries, nothing he says sounds like it came out of the mouth of a normal person. Gord is the evil mixture of Adam Sandler characters and Pee Wee Herman. He’s childlike but not in an innocent or pure way.
This character is manipulative and cruel. The entire movie is a long sequence of Gord destroying his family and causing civil disorder. When his friend breaks his leg, Gord jumps onto the broken bone to gleefully lick the wound. After a little more than an hour, Gord inexplicably becomes an animator. Then he throws away a fortune to ruin his father’s life further. Everybody cheers him on as if he’s some kind of hero.
Tom Green on Film
The main joke of The Tom Green Show was very similar to the modern Eric Andre Show. Tom Green would wander around the streets with a camera and do weird crap to get reactions out of people. It wasn’t Tom Green we were laughing at, it was his victims who were the targets of the prank. So faced with a scripted film with actors, Tom Green seems a bit lost. He leaps on a factory line with a giant bologna sausage between his legs and shoves it in people’s faces. Faced with his schtick ruined by the medium, Tom Green just chose to get weirder and weirder.
Green created an entire world of insanity around the Gord character. Typically Gord would be the odd character in a world of straight men. But there are no straight men in Freddy Got Fingered. Only caricatures and lunatics. The world is insane. Gord is just the weirdest part of a broken universe.
His father is a psychopath. Played by a red-faced Rip Torn who might literally chew scenery at some points, this man is abusive and vile. Most scenes of Gord’s madness are followed by Rip Torn beating him. His girlfriend, Betty (Marisa Coughlan) is a paraplegic masochist. The only normal people are Gord’s mother (Julie Hagerty) and his grown little brother, the titular Freddy (Eddie Kaye Thomas). The authorities send Freddy to a child home after Gord lies about his father molesting him.
Then Gord throws a bust of Sigmund Freud out a window and howls like a wounded monkey.
Madness Upon More Madness
If there is any signature scene to Freddy Got Fingered, it is the deer scene. Gord has just been told by Anthony Michael Hall that his animal drawings will fail because he does not have characters. His story of X-ray cats and dripping bags of baboon eyeballs just do not make any sense. Hall says to “Get inside the animals.” So Gord finds a deer carcass on the road. Then he skins it. Then he runs around screaming, covered in gore. The animals on the side of the road look on in horror. Suddenly Gord is run over by a truck. Yet he gets up laughing, unharmed for no reason.
The movie goes on. This incident has no bearing on the plot and is never mentioned again.
So much of Freddy Got Fingered defies all explanation. Gord at one point delivers a baby (against the wishes of the mother). When the baby is not crying, he slings it around on its umbilical cord, spraying blood everywhere. Meanwhile, two Mexican women in the hospital sing Christian songs on a tambourine. From every direction moments like this are an assault on the senses.
Betty tells Gord he should not be so focused on his work. “Try music and food, just relax”. So Gord decides he’s going to eat, play music, and draw all at the same time. This leads to him setting up a pulley system with sausage on wires. He pounds on a piano in a room full of salted meats hanging from the ceiling. Rip Torn walks in angrily to be met with a sing-song “Daddy would you like some sausage? Daddy would you like some sau-sag-es?” Again, this has really nothing to do with anything.
I could describe the antics of this movie for hours. But the greatest joke is that somebody paid Tom Green handsomely for an anti-social attack on good taste. He’s gone so far into the land of the repulsive he might even be mocking his own audience. “You want filth?! I’ll give you filth! Watch me masturbate this elephant.” No surprise then after Freddy Got Fingered flopped, Tom Green’s career was over immediately. He divorced Drew Barrymore, his MTV show returned only to be canceled within a year, and he fell back into obscurity.
The craziest part of Freddy Got Fingered is the fact this thing was made at all. And made by a Hollywood studio! Producers who could not imagine Marvel movies today with an R-rating back in 2001 paid for this surreal dadaist nightmare. One can only imagine what kinds of ideas Tom Green pitched that might have been shot down.
The question becomes: is Freddy Got Fingered a work genius?
Well, let me confess something. Freddy Got Fingered was a huge movie for me when I was twelve. This and Kung Pow! Enter the Fist were perfect pieces of nonsense for me at that age. I can recite more lines from this movie then I probably should. Something was definitely working, because even now, this movie is still hilarious.
Freddy Got Fingered is crass beyond all words. This is an offensive movie that has no interest in telling a real story or having real characters. It’s a crudely-stitched together collection of horrifying moments from beginning to end. Freddy Got Fingered is abhorrent and wrong. It has no place in a sane society. Luckily we also live in an utterly insane world. Freddy Got Fingered is the movie we deserve.