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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Freddy Got Fingered
Freddy Got Fingered
Fox // R // October 23, 2001
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Adam Tyner | posted October 6, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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I would've thought the dismal failure of Jesse Camp's solo music career would've been enough for large media companies to shy away from MTV personalities vigorously squeezing a few remaining milliseconds from their fifteen minutes of fame. Unfortunately for the world at large, Tom Green's cult status and his meager success in movies like Charlie's Angels and Road Trip were apparently enough to instill sufficient confidence in Fox to bankroll Freddy Got Fingered. Panned by critics and dismissed by audiences, Green's directorial debut, which he also wrote and starred in, has limped onto DVD, carrying with it a considerable number of supplements. Generally this would be welcomed, but I would've preferred to have spent as little time with this disc as humanly possible.

Normally this is the point in the review where I'd rattle off a summary of the plot, but there's not really much to yak about here. Tom Green stars as Gord Brody, a 28 year old daydreamer who alternates between leeching off of his parents and fantasizing of spinning his mindless doodling into a lucrative animation career. Rip Torn plays Gord's sadistic father, whose life seems to be about as unfocused as his son's, with seemingly every firing synapse dedicated towards furthering Gord's misery. The cast of characters also includes a kinky wheelchair-bound love interest, the requisite best buddy, Gord's neurotic mother, and, of course, his younger brother, Freddy. There's not really any substantial thread connecting the series of extreme imagery, which includes such highlights as Gord masturbating two entirely different species of animal, one culminating in covering his father with elephant ejaculate, licking his friend's bloodied knee after a bone-shattering scrape, and peppering a hospital room with more of the red stuff and assorted fluids by violently swinging a newborn around by its umbilical cord. If any of this sounds like it might be funny, I assure you that it's not.

One of my online friends is a staunch supporter of Freddy Got Fingered, and in a moment of weakness, his praise actually led me to volunteer to review this DVD. This movie ultimately fails because a comedy without humor is like a kabuki without makeup. Tom Green left cleverness and wit at the door, opting for gruesome imagery instead. At least Scary Movie, in between shots of prosthetic penises, managed to fit some slapstick in intermittently. I don't want to sound as if I'm some crotchety middle-aged putz railing against those who push the envelope, preferring for my entertainment as well as everyone else's to be watered down to appease the lowest common denominator. No, I just don't find gross-out comedy, which tries to make the audience cringe instead of laugh, funny in the slightest. The problem isn't that I find it offensive -- I just have no reaction whatsoever. I was raised by horror fanatics, and I was exposed to the joy of gory slasher flicks at an exceedingly early age. I've been desensitized, and no, seeing a clearly mentally unbalanced man running around in a bloodied deerskin doesn't invoke much in me at all. It's not funny, and it's not offensive...it's boring. That's all Freddy Got Fingered is -- failed attempts at shocking the audience, lobbed one after another for ninety-three minutes. Fox even included a "laugh track", recording the reactions at the attendees of the world premiere. Notice how sparse the laughter is after the first few minutes, despite Tom Green's best efforts. There's no plot, no variety, no intelligence, no particularly witty lines of dialogue to quote afterwards...just a barren wasteland. For the entire length of the film, I chuckled all of twice, which is admittedly two times more than I was anticipating. Freddy Got Fingered is the culmination of everything wrong with comedies of the past decade, and now that the gross-out genre has (hopefully) bottomed out, maybe it'll fade away into the ether as it should've five long years ago.

Video: Freddy Got Fingered is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is enhanced for widescreen televisions. A pretty hefty portion of comedies nowadays sport oversaturated colors and a razor sharp appearance, but just as Tom Green eschewed everything associated with humor for Freddy Got Fingered, he also opted for a very different appearance. Grain is occasionally noticeable but never particularly heavy or distracting, and quite a few shots were just a hair on the soft side. Colors seem, for the most part, to be accurately reproduced, though they're not quite as lively or vibrant as in most contemporary comedies, perhaps by design. The most notable exception is in a cameo by Drew Barrymore as a secretary. During her first appearance, as Green is trying to scam her into providing information about the head of an animation studio, Barrymore's face goes back and forth from a healthy, pink hue to a cold, almost blue tint. These inconsistencies are probably a factor of the film's comparatively low budget and its inexperienced director. As one would expect from such a recent release, specks and spots on the print are minimal. Fox' presentation is likely as good as Freddy Got Fingered is ever going to look.

Audio: Along with such motion picture mainstays as Moby's ubiquitous "Natural Blues" and trendy hip-hop like "I Just Wanna Love You" are a fair number of recognizable punk songs, including contributions from Agent Orange, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the New York Dolls, and the Dead Kennedys. Those are the highlight of the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, which, aside from the main titles, skwaks almost entirely from the center speaker. Ambiance is decent, and as is the case with most comedies, surround use is limited primarily to music and just a handful of other effects. Dialogue is crisp and clear throughout, never overwhelmed by the soundtrack, though Tom's stunning description of X-Ray Cat in the opening moments of the film seemed lightly distorted. This is a rank and file comedy mix -- not demo material by any means, but perfectly serviceable. Fox has also provided stereo surround tracks in both English and French, as well as subtitles in both languages.

Supplements: I'm genuinely terrified by the number of extras on this disc.

There are two full-length alternate audio tracks, one of which I mentioned earlier in this review. The recording of the audience's reaction at the world premiere is mildly amusing just because they seem about as bored by Freddy Got Fingered as I was. The novelty wears off quickly, as I'm one of apparently precious few people who despise laugh tracks of any sort. Tom Green also contributes his own commentary track, which is mindless and manages to provide next to nothing in way of entertainment or information for 90 minutes. If there were ever proof that Tom Green is in dire need of a Ritalin prescription, this is it. Green's extremely limited attention renders him seemingly unable to speak on one subject for more than fifteen seconds at a time, flitting from topic to inane topic, rarely providing any information on particular shots or what it's like to go from a basic cable celebrity to writing, directing, and starring in a film that premiered on nearly 2,300 screens nationwide. Though Rip Torn, Marisa Coughlan, and Harland Williams don't participate in a feature length commentary, brief comments of their are placed over scenes in the movie. Their comments really aren't any more informative or interesting than Green's ramblings, and they'd seem more in place in one of those vapid, self-serving HBO First Look promotional featurettes.

For those who just couldn't get enough of Tom Green's commentary hijinks, he turns up again for five deleted scenes, which, with one exception, can be played with their original audio or with Green spouting off one short sentence and making nonsensical noises for the duration. The deleted scenes aren't really worth watching, but then again, they're not really any more dull than anything that was left in the final cut.

I've barely scratched the surface of the supplemental material, though. Along with the usual promotional material -- four TV spots, a featurette, a soundtrack promo, and the theatrical trailer -- is an MTV special that offers the standard mix of behind-the-scenes footage, fluffy interviews, and clips from the film. I'm a bit disappointed that Fox didn't release the 3-minute PG version presented here as a separate disc, as reviewing that would've been far less excruciating. The idea of a three minute PG film is funnier than the actual execution.

I don't know why anyone would plop down thirty bucks for this DVD, but for those that do, at least you get your money's worth.

Conclusion: Freddy Got Fingered is a celluloid black hole, devoid of wit, humor, and any quality that might possibly be construed as remotely positive. I'm not in the habit of flat-out telling people to steer clear of a particular movie; after all, nearly every single title in my collection of several hundred discs has attracted at least a couple of intensely negative reviews. Still, I cannot fathom anyone so interested in Freddy Got Fingered as to subject themselves to it more than once. Against my better judgment, I'll refrain from saying Skip It, but if you absolutely can't resist your compulsion, at least stick with a rental.
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