Freddy Got Fingered

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Freddy Got Fingered
Freddy Got Fingered (movie poster).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tom Green
Produced by Larry Brezner
Howard Lapides
Lauren Lloyd
Written by Tom Green
Derek Harvie
Starring Tom Green
Rip Torn
Marisa Coughlan
Eddie Kaye Thomas
Harland Williams
Anthony Michael Hall
Julie Hagerty
Music by Mike Simpson
Cinematography Mark Irwin
Edited by Jacqueline Cambas
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • April 20, 2001 (2001-04-20)
Running time 87 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $14 million[2]
Box office $14,333,252[2]

Freddy Got Fingered is a 2001 American comedy film directed, co-written by, and starring Tom Green. The film follows Green as a 28-year-old slacker who wishes to become a professional cartoonist. The film's plot resembles Green's struggles as a young man trying to get his TV series picked up, which would later become the popular MTV show The Tom Green Show.

The film was critically panned at the time of its release, many considering it one of the worst films of all time. It won five Golden Raspberry Awards out of eight nominations, as well as a Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Worst Picture. The film received a cult following, and was also met with more positive praise over time, most notably from The New York Times, Metacritic, IFC.com and Splitsider. Despite a terrible box office run, the film became a financial success by selling millions of copies on DVD.

Plot[edit]

Throughout the film, unemployed 28-year-old cartoonist Gordon "Gord" Brody pursues his lifelong ambition to obtain a contract for an animated television series. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his parents. They give him a car, in which he heads off for Hollywood, and subsequently gets a job in a cheese sandwich factory in Los Angeles. Gord manages to speak to Dave Davidson, the CEO of a major animation studio, and shows him his drawings; despite noting that the drawings are "pretty good", Davidson disparages Gord's idea of an "X-Ray Cat", declaring it "fucking stupid".

A disheartened Gord quits his job and returns home to his parents, angering his father, Jim, who constantly insults and belittles Gord and also disparages Gord's girlfriend Betty, an attractive nurse in a wheelchair with an obsessive penchant for fellatio and an ambition to create a rocket-powered wheelchair. After Jim smashes Gord's hand-built half-pipe, Gord falsely accuses Jim of sexual molestation of Gord's younger brother, Freddy. The 25-year-old Freddy is sent to a home for sexually-molested children, while Gord's mother, Julie, leaves Jim, and ends up dating Shaq.

After seeing Betty's successful experiment with a rocket-powered wheelchair, Gord returns to Hollywood, with a concept based on his relationship with his father, for a series called "Zebras in America". After Jim bursts in on Gord's proposal and trashes Davidson's office, Davidson is amused enough by Jim's antics to greenlight the series and give Gord a million-dollar check. Gord kidnaps his father and takes him to Pakistan as a response to Jim's earlier insult: "If this were Pakistan, you would have been sewing soccer balls when you were four years old!". Father and son come to terms, but are soon kidnapped and held hostage. The kidnapping becomes a news item, as Gord's series is already highly popular. After eighteen months, Gord and Jim return to America, with a huge crowd welcoming them home.

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

The theatrical release is 87 minutes and received an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America following requested cuts to tone it down from an NC-17, a rating which Green described as "like porn with murder." As an extra on the DVD release, Green also included a version which he had edited to secure a PG rating. The PG-rated cut of Freddy Got Fingered is a mere three minutes long with a comedic voiceover. Some footage was leaked by the Newgrounds website before release.[3] Years later, Tom Fulp, owner of Newgrounds, confirmed that the leak was a publicity stunt.[4]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

On a budget of $14 million, Freddy Got Fingered grossed $14,254,993 domestically and $78,259 overseas for a worldwide total of $14,333,252.[2] The film earned $24,300,000 from DVD sales, and was among the top 50 weekly DVD rentals chart.[5] Green has stated in a few interviews in 2010 that DVD sales have been growing many years later and that there was a cult following.[6]

Critical response[edit]

Gord ties sausage to his fingers, plays the piano poorly, and chants: "Daddy, would you like some sausage?"

Upon its original release, the film received universally negative reviews, many critics considering it one of the worst films of all time. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 11% based on reviews from 93 professional critics, with an average rating of 2.7 out of 10. The site's consensus reads "Unfavorably comparing it with such infamously bad titles as Battlefield Earth, a significant number of critics are calling Tom Green's extreme gross-out comedy the worst movie they have ever seen." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from film critics, the film has an "Overwhelming dislike" rating score of 13% based on 25 reviews. CinemaScore polls revealed the average grades filmgoers gave Freddy Got Fingered were C and D, and F from older viewers, on an A+ to F scale.

The Toronto Star created a one-time new rating for Freddy Got Fingered, giving it "negative one star out of five stars." CNN's Paul Clinton called it "quite simply the worst movie ever released by a major studio in Hollywood history" and listed the running time as "86 awful minutes."[7]

Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film a rare zero-stars rating, listed it as one of his most hated films of all-time,[8] describing the film thus: "This movie doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels[...]. The day may come when Freddy Got Fingered is seen as a milestone of neo-surrealism. The day may never come when it is seen as funny."[9] The magazine Complex also ranked the film at #14 on its "25 Movies That Killed Careers".[10]

Richard Roeper, in the TV show At the Movies, hosted by Roeper and Ebert, called it "horrible" and expressed the view that Tom Green was a bad comedian, going so far as to say that he "should be flipping burgers somewhere". Along with Ebert, he was also offended by the numerous "gross-out" gags.

Film critic Leonard Maltin shared Ebert and Roeper's views of the film: "Instantly notorious word-of-mouth debacle became the poster child for all that's wrong with movie comedy. Gags include the maiming of an innocent child and a newborn spun around in the air by its umbilical cord—compounded by the almost unimaginable ineptitude with which they're executed."[11]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The film received eight Golden Raspberry Award nominations in 2002, winning five. In acknowledgment of the critical consensus regarding the film's merits, Green personally appeared at the ceremony to accept his awards, saying: "I'd just like to say to all the other nominees in the audience: I don't think that I deserve it any more than the rest of you. I'd like to say that; I don't think that it would be true, though."[12] In February 2010, it was announced that Freddy Got Fingered was nominated for "Worst Picture of the Decade" for the 30th Golden Raspberry Awards.[13] It lost to Battlefield Earth.

Year Award Category Subject Result
2001 Golden Raspberry Award Worst Screenplay Derek Harvie
Tom Green
Won
Worst Actor Tom Green Won
Worst Director Won
Worst Screen Couple Tom Green
Any animal he abuses
Won
Worst Picture Larry Brezner
Howard Lapides
Lauren Lloyd
Won
Worst Supporting Actor Rip Torn Nominated
Worst Supporting Actress Drew Barrymore Nominated
Julie Hagerty Nominated
2010 Worst Picture of the Decade Larry Brezner
Howard Lapides
Lauren Lloyd
Nominated

Legacy[edit]

Resurgence[edit]

Freddy Got Fingered began to see more positive praise over time. One of the few notable critics who gave it a generally positive review was A. O. Scott of The New York Times, who compared the film to conceptual performance art.[14] Critic Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club gave the film a rave review in his "My Year Of Flops" column where he partially fulfilled Ebert's prediction, comparing it to the work of Jean-Luc Godard and calling the film "less as a conventional comedy than as a borderline Dadaist provocation, a $15 million prank at the studio's expense" adding "it's utterly rare and wondrous to witness the emergence of a dazzlingly original comic voice. I experienced that glorious sensation watching Fingered...I can honestly say that I've never seen anything remotely like it" and rated it a "Secret Success"[15] In a later column, Rabin stated "I was a little worried that I'd catch flak for giving mad props to a film as divisive and widely reviled as Freddy Got Fingered. So I was relieved to discover that every single comment agreed with my assessment of it... It also didn't escape my attention that my Freddy post was the most commented-upon post in the history of My Year Of Flops by a huge margin."[16] Comedian Chris Rock listed Freddy Got Fingered as one of his favorite movies on his website.[17]

Later, in his review of the film Stealing Harvard, a film co-starring Green, Ebert wrote: "Seeing Tom Green reminded me, as how could it not, of his movie Freddy Got Fingered, which was so poorly received by the film critics that it received only one lonely, apologetic positive review on the Tomatometer. I gave it—let's see—zero stars. Bad movie, especially the scene where Green was whirling the newborn infant around his head by its umbilical cord.[18] But the thing is, I remember Freddy Got Fingered more than a year later. I refer to it sometimes. It is a milestone. And for all its sins, it was at least an ambitious movie, a go-for-broke attempt to accomplish something. It failed, but it has not left me convinced that Tom Green doesn't have good work in him. Anyone with his nerve and total lack of taste is sooner or later going to make a movie worth seeing."[18]

The film has received a large cult following. In Tom Green's interview on The Opie and Anthony Show, host Opie noted the film had begun to be regarded as 'one of the funniest movies ever made'.[19] Green noted the film had sold a million units,[19] and that he wished to make a director's cut due to a lot of footage not making the final cut.[19] Green notes that he was not trying to make The Jazz Singer and that many fans of the movie shout out scenes from the film regularly at his stand-up performance.[19]

Unreality Magazine featured the film in its list of "10 Hilarious Movies That Received Terrible Reviews", noting that critics' taste in comedies tend not to reflect the general public.[20] Vadim Rizov for IFC.com wrote an article titled "In defense of Freddy Got Fingered". He calls the film one of the great underrated comedies of the decade and says the film would go on to do better if it was released today, comparing it to the successful Adult Swim series Aqua Teen Hunger Force.[21]

Director's Cut[edit]

Green has stated that he would like to do a "director's cut" DVD release of the film in 2011 to celebrate the 10-year anniversary.[6][22]

On March 9, 2010, on Loveline, Green officially announced that a director's cut will be released.[23] In an answer to a question from a fan on his website tomgreen.com in December 2010, Green said that there was no progress yet in regards to the director's cut. In a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) Green did on the website Reddit on October 17, 2013, Green responded to a question regarding the release of the director's cut with: 'The studio didn't give me the footage to make the directors cut. I want to do it. If you contact New Regency or 20th Century Fox and tell them you want a directors cut maybe it will happen!' [24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FREDDY GOT FINGERED (18)". 20th Century Fox. British Board of Film Classification. June 29, 2001. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Freddy Got Fingered (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  3. ^ Freddie Got Fingered Gets Fingered- Website Won't Name Names, cinema.com.
  4. ^ "Newgrounds Wiki - MPAA Investigation". Newgrounds.com. 2001-04-06. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  5. ^ "Freddy Got Fingered US DVD rentals gross". The Internet Movie Database. 
  6. ^ a b "Tom Green on The Nick Digilio Show". WGN Radio. February 13, 2010. Retrieved February 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ Clinton, Paul (April 19, 2001). "'Freddy Got Fingered' is a bad, bad film: Gross, stupid, sick. And that's being kind". CNN.
  8. ^ "Ebert's Most Hated". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  9. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 20, 2001). "Review of Freddy Got Fingered". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  10. ^ Barone, Matt (September 12, 2012). "25 Movies that Killed Careers - Freddy Got Fingered". Complex.
  11. ^ Martin, Leonard (2006). Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide. Signet Books. p. 460. ISBN 0-451-21265-7. 
  12. ^ Waters, Darren (March 23, 2002). "Green gets fingered for Razzies". BBC News. 
  13. ^ Brew, Simon (February 2, 2010). "Worst Picture of the Decade (Three Special 30th Razzie-Versary Awardz)". razzies.com. Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  14. ^ Scott, A. O. (April 20, 2001). "'Freddy Got Fingered': Shocking? Sure, if You Keep Your Eyes Open". The New York Times. 
  15. ^ Rabin, Nathan (August 23, 2007). "My Year of Flops Case File #61: Freddy Got Fingered". 
  16. ^ http://www.avclub.com/articles/my-year-of-flops-case-file-62-sour-grapes,10817/
  17. ^ 4 days 8 min ago (2012-08-14). "Favorite Movie - Freddy Got Fingered | The Official Chris Rock Site". Chrisrock.com. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  18. ^ a b Ebert, Roger (September 13, 2002). "Review of Stealing Harvard". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  19. ^ a b c d Opie and Anthony, Tom Green interview, February 16, 2010
  20. ^ "Madison" (May 7, 2009). "10 Hilarious Movies That Received Terrible Reviews". Unreality Magazine. 
  21. ^ Rizov, Vadim (February 17, 2010). "In defense of 'Freddy Got Fingered". IFC.com. 
  22. ^ "Tom Green returns to stand-up after 20 years". Libertyville Review. February 25, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2010. [dead link] (available at highbeam research at [1] for someone with access to change this reference to point to)
  23. ^ "Tom Green interview on Loveline on March 9, 2010". http://lovelineshow.com.
  24. ^ "I am Tom Green and my AMA starts now!".  (Archive)

External links[edit]