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The case for euthanising Tom Green

DVD

I will watch and review Norbit, a film I hoped never to see, if you watch and review Freddy Got Fingered, one of the only two films in the world that I actively hate. ‘Tedious, mean-spirited, nasty, unfunny, noxious, loathsome, fucking tragic waste of celluloid’? Oh, Michael, you have no idea…

- Baron Scarpia, December 8th, 2007

It took me long enough, but I eventually got there. I have now watched Freddy Got Fingered. Given the 83 minutes of sheer agony that I have just suffered through, fulfilling the second half of the bargain should, in comparison, be a doddle.

As we sat down to watch the film, my brother said to me: “You know, I bet you anything you like that there will be one joke that absolutely kills us buried somewhere in all this.” He was right. Just under twelve minutes into the film, we see an animation executive talking on his cellphone. Here is his dialogue:

Listen, you tell Hanna-Barbera to go fuck themselves, okay? I got twelve Korean teenagers in a tiger cage that can draw a fucking dog wearing a cape.

It’s one of those little “it’s funny because it’s true” moments that should put a smile on the face of anyone who knows the mentality of the average animation executive. Unfortunately, this means that there are still more than 72 minutes of pain to follow. Freddy Got Fingered has three things working in its favour:

1. It’s only 83 minutes long.
2. Of which 4½ are the closing credits.
3. I watched a PAL release, which is 4% faster than the NTSC versions. Had I found myself landed with an NTSC copy, it would have lasted 87 minutes. On balance, I consider myself to be extremely lucky.

Isn't this funny?

Isn’t this funny?

Unfortunately, from here on in, the positives will have to be restricted to the fact that the experience of sitting through this film did not actually prove to be fatal. Freddy Got Fingered stars Tom Green, not as Freddy (more about him later), but as Gord Brody, an aspiring cartoonist. Stop and think about this for a second. Tom Green. As a cartoonist. Broadly speaking, good cartoons require two things: they have to be funny, and they have to be drawn well. Tom Green is not, by any stretch of the imagination, funny. He isn’t funny when he’s performing someone else’s material. When he’s performing his own (he not only stars in, but also directed and co-wrote this film), he’s fucking tragic. His cartoons, which I suspect Green himself didn’t actually draw, are not particularly well drawn, but on balance are probably as good as or slightly better than 95% of the animated fare you’ll see when you turn on your television.

And here’s the problem: I’m not sure whether or not we’re supposed to take Gord’s aspirations seriously. Is he supposed to be a great cartoonist, or is the joke that he’s a hopeless one? The quality of his output certainly doesn’t give us any clues, since it’s not god-awful, but it’s not any good either. I’m not even sure whether or not we, the audience, are expected to like Gord, let alone his cartoons. On paper, he is as vile and loathsome an excuse for a human being as you could hope to find, but then again, given that he seems to be a stand-in for Green himself, one can only assume that either Green suffers from a serious case of self-hatred, or, more likely, he thinks he’s a comic genius and that masturbating a horse, slitting open a dead deer and wearing its skin Ed Gein-style, and spinning a baby round and round by its umbilical cord are the height of entertainment.

You're supposed to laugh because she's disabled.

You’re supposed to laugh because she’s disabled.

This film also stars Rip Torn as Gord’s vulgar father. When I first saw him, I thought for one awful minute that it was Jack Nicholson, but thankfully, not even he, who has recently starred in such classics as Anger Management, has delved that low yet. Eddie Kaye Thomas, who appeared in the American Pie comedies, plays Gord’s younger brother, Freddy. In an absolutely “hilarious” scene, Gord accuses his father of molesting Freddy, hence the film’s title. Freddy ends up in a home for abused children. Isn’t that funny? Better yet, Green’s wife at the time, Drew Barrymore, also shows up to embarrass herself in the minor role of a secretary at the animation studio. The fact that she divorced him less than a year after the film was released does a lot to redeem her in my eyes. Oh, and Marisa Coughlan, the only element of the film that even approaches pleasantness, plays Gord’s girlfriend-to-be, a wheelchair-bound lady who enjoys sucking his cock and having her legs whacked with a bamboo stick. That we are spared seeing her actually putting Tom Green’s penis in her mouth and performing fellatio on him can, I suspect, give us one reason to be thankful for the rating criteria of the Motion Picture Association of America and the fact that the mainstream studios generally won’t put out anything with an NC-17 certificate.

I’m not even going to attempt to critique the film’s plot (or lack thereof), cinematic technique (or lack thereof), performances (or lack thereof), or any of the other elements that one might expect to find in a movie. (I do, however, want to point out that, when I first head about this film, I assumed it was something that had been shot on a consumer grade camcorder or, at most, DV. Never in my life did I expect it to be shot on 35mm, which isn’t cheap and actually requires some degree of technical know-how to shoot on.) I simply want to conclude by saying that, until now, I have never given anything a rating of “0/10”. Previously, no matter how awful a film appeared to be, I always held off slapping it with a score that low because I was sure that there must be something in the world that was worse than it, and that I couldn’t make use of this score until I could be sure I had seen something approximating the worst film ever made. That long search is now over. While I can conceive of there being other films that are as bad as Freddy Got Fingered, the notion of there being anything more awful is beyond my reasoning. I have gazed into the abyss, and it gazed back at me. And it wanked an elephant off.

 
Posted: Friday, January 18, 2008 at 4:12 PM | Comments: 21
Categories: Cinema | DVD | Reviews

 
Comments

1.

I wanred you, but on reflection no warning could possibly be sufficient, short of whacking you continually in the face with a hammer and then telling you that you'd find watching this film more painful. In all honesty, I have never had a worse cinematic experience in my life. I went through just as much pain as you did, believe me - my review testifies to that, and I'd recommend you read it to see what I was going through (https://baron-scarpia.livejournal.com/168770.html).

On the other hand, you allowed your brother to watch this? How could you? What sort of brother are you - do you have no heart, sir? No doubt he rightly hates you now.

Posted by: Baron Scarpia, January 18, 2008 6:42 PM

2.

Pain is funny. You endured great pain, and this review is very funny. Probably a hundred times more so than the film you wrote about, which I vow never to sit through as long as I live.

You are a brave man, perhaps a foolish one.

Posted by: Bleddyn Williams, January 18, 2008 7:02 PM

3.

I saw this one years ago. I hardly remember it, I guess fortunately. Except for the Elephant wank, and the baby swinging. It didn't make much sense, and just seemed like Tom Green making a movie to be as shocking and "offensive" as humanly possible. It's like Chuck Palahniuk's novel Haunted which had a kid wanking in a pool with his ass over a suction pump which pulled his intestines out. I don't get the point of going to such extremes with no actual payoff.

I can't say I hated the movie as much as you did. In all honesty, I have no feelings for it at all. I guess because there was a period of time that I was subjected to shitty movie after shitty movie. I did find Norbit much worse though. Traumatic, actually. If you're feeling brave or suicidal, check out How High next.

Posted by: Todd S. Gallows, January 18, 2008 7:39 PM

4.

Scratch that. Make it Soul Plane!

Posted by: Todd S. Gallows, January 18, 2008 9:14 PM

5.

On the other hand, you allowed your brother to watch this? How could you? What sort of brother are you - do you have no heart, sir? No doubt he rightly hates you now.

In my defence, we followed it up with our first ever viewing of Kubrick’s The Shining in HD. To say that it washed away the horrible memories of Tom Green and his madcap antics would be putting it lightly.

Posted by: Whiggles, January 18, 2008 10:24 PM

6.

>> On the other hand, you allowed your brother to watch this? How could you? What sort of brother are you - do you have no heart, sir? No doubt he rightly hates you now.

It's my video equipment and this used up 90 minutes of its finite life, so actually I should REALLY hate him.

But I was kind of curious.

Posted by: David Mackenzie, January 19, 2008 12:28 AM

7.

I liked FGF, but you know I like my rubbishy nonsense movies.

Posted by: Graham M, January 19, 2008 12:38 AM

8.

I thought the "Daddy, would you like some sausage?" bit was quite funny, but most people say that, if they HAVE to come up with a bit they liked.

Why Rip Torn is in this, I don't know. But then he slummed it in Dodgeball too.

Posted by: anephric, January 19, 2008 9:52 AM

9.

"You know, I bet you anything you like that there will be one joke that absolutely kills us buried somewhere in all this."

For me, it was when Green leaps out of his car and wanks off a horse, whooping "I wanna be a farmer!" To my eternal shame, that was enough to keep me laughing throughout the rest of the movie. In my defense, I was severely inebriated at the time.

Posted by: Echidna, January 19, 2008 12:11 PM

10.

I have not seen Freddy Got Fingered besides the short trailer on imdb.com, the sausage bit had me laughing but that skit is just five seconds. Is this a case for the, it's so bad it's good category?

Posted by: Avanze, January 19, 2008 3:41 PM

11.

Have you two ever seen "The Shining" before or was it the first time watching it in HD-DVD?

Posted by: Marcus, January 20, 2008 2:11 AM

12.

Is this a case for the, it's so bad it's good category?

NO. nonononononononononononononononononononononononononono
nononononononononononononononononononononoohgodno.

Posted by: Baron Scarpia, January 20, 2008 12:23 PM

13.

Have you two ever seen “The Shining” before or was it the first time watching it in HD-DVD?

It was the first viewing for both of us. I’d go so far as to say that it’s probably now my favourite Kubrick film.

Posted by: Whiggles, January 20, 2008 12:46 PM

14.

I like FGF!
Its hlariously bad!
Saw it so many times when it came out!!!!
Now where the hell is Green???

Posted by: ARCVILE, January 20, 2008 8:57 PM

15.

I can't say it's my favorite Kubrick (Clockwork Orange and the criminally underrated Lolita would be at my top) but its certainly one of his very best.

Now watch the 1997 mini-series that Stephen King fans say is superior for a great laugh. I can guarantee more laughs than "Freddy Got Fingered".

Posted by: Marcus, January 20, 2008 10:18 PM

16.

The movie is fucking hilarious, but I can see why one would be tortured by it.

Posted by: Tyler, January 21, 2008 2:51 AM

17.

The Family Guy skit on Green is quite funny, where we see him doing his infamous "sucking on a cow's teat" thing, and then looking up with a pained expression on his face and whining, "Do people like me now?"

Posted by: anephric, January 22, 2008 8:06 AM

18.

I've wanted to have Tom Green euthanised for a few years now. Glad to see my cause is growing...

Posted by: rebel_scum, January 23, 2008 11:32 AM

19.

Is he actually still alive?

Posted by: David Mackenzie, January 24, 2008 12:08 AM

20.

He's alive, starring in such greats as Bob the Butler. I saw about 10 minutes of it. Call it the family friendly version of Freddie Got Fingered. I could feel the embarrassment for him. The feeling reminded me of Peep Show (though not in a good way).

Speaking of which, any news of when the next "series" begins? And since we're here talking about Peep Show and embarrassment. I haven't heard much news about the yank version. I can bet the execs will feel clever and cast the Mac and PC guys.

Posted by: Todd S. Gallows, January 25, 2008 5:24 AM

21.

The next series of Peep Show should begin at some point this year. I know they commissioned both Series 4 and 5 at the same time, so it’s definitely happening. It’s just a question of when.

Posted by: Whiggles, January 25, 2008 9:34 AM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

https://www.landofwhimsy.com

 

 
 
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