Why Freddy Got Fingered Is Pure Cinematic Punk Rock

On paper, Gord Brody – the fictional protagonist of Freddy got fingered, an extreme avant-garde comedy masterpiece directed, written and performed by Tom Green – is a simple and familiar archetype. Like so many studio comedy male heroes released in the 1990s and 2000s (you know, the kind of crowd-pleasing star vehicles that showcased the talents of guys like Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell), Gord is a classic study of arrested development. Clearly, if things were up to him, Gord would rather spend his days skating and staying young forever, than having to be bothered with pesky adult responsibilities like finding gainful employment. Gord’s idea of ​​the perfect life is quite simple: he wants to be able to eat chicken sandwiches whenever he wants, he wants to be left alone to draw his cartoons (one of his most memories is X-Ray Cat, a feline superhero crime-fighting film that can only see through wooden doors), and he wants his surly misanthropic father, played by a cruel passionate Torn tearto leave him alone.

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Of course, this is all on paper. In the distorted universe that Freddy got fingered presents us with as reality, there’s nothing endearing or even particularly relatable about Gord – at least not at first, anyway. Gord is a defiant, almost incredibly delusional individual. When presenting his artwork to a smarmy Hollywood costume (Anthony Michel Salle), Gord’s approach is to approach the man in the middle of a business lunch while he’s literally dressed as an English bobby. When Hall’s visibly disgusted character tries to get rid of Gord by dispensing half-ass creative wisdom—he encourages Green’s hero to “get into” the animals he doodles—Gord takes the advice at the foot of the letter, choosing to slice a deer carcass on the side of the road before prancing around in the animal’s skin covered in blood and viscera, growling and roaring like a depraved king of the forest. Moments later, Gord is hit by an oncoming truck.


Freddy got fingered, to this day, remains one of the weirdest, most alienating, and shrewdest comedies ever to hit American theaters. It’s toxic spit from a movie, teeming with rancid perversity and rotten eggs and totally incongruous imagery (at one point, Gord makes a pit stop to fondle the genitals of a farm animal for no apparent reason), bursts of jarring gore, and an ending that has to be seen to be believed. There really is no such thing, although one can underline the theatrical shock of John Waters and the transgressive surreality of Louis Bunuel as potential inspiration points.

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Tom Green’s comedic personality is genuinely disturbing

Green was, among other things, a comedian who was light years ahead of his time. At a time when The Eric André show and Awesome show from Tim and Eric, great job! can be considered OG documents of what we now call the contemporary anti-comic wave, something like Green’s seminal MTV-produced a program of street jokes The Tom Green Show could register as borderline-past. Alas, there was something genuinely unsettling about Green’s personality that set him apart from the like-minded fellows of the time, many of whom were overly concerned with appearing likeable. It’s telling that Green’s first big role as a co-star, in Todd Phillips’ college sex comedy road tripmostly involves him staying out of the film’s plot and engaging in bizarre, inexplicable acts where he manhandles snakes and puts live mice in his mouth.


Green’s character is that of the class clown who is willing to do anything for laughs, no matter how humiliating, degrading or dangerous. MTV’s cultural imprint, at least at the time, meant that Green’s confrontational man-on-the-street antics reached disenchanted American youth, many of whom would gravitate towards Green’s suburban nihilism influenced by Donkey In the following years. Freddy got fingered saw Green take his untreated comic book identity straight to America’s unsuspecting multiplexes.

Freddy Got Fingered was created in a market saturated with crude comedies

Alas, Freddy got fingered had the misfortune to be released in 2001, when the crude comedy was both hugely popular and also hit a post-American pie supersaturation point. The more vapid the comedy, the better it seemed to be the audience’s line of thinking: how else to explain a resounding success like Joe Dirtwhere David Piquediscovers what can only be described as a faecal asteroid? Or how about the harmful tom cats, a wildly sexist comedy for boys that climaxes when the filmmakers literally force a character to swallow a testicle? Even the seemingly innocent children’s films of that year, like David Arquette– featuring See Spot Runincluded obligatory rude gags where the characters literally rolled around in dog feces for laughs that never came.


freddy, based on its bad reputation and Green’s penchant for provocation, was always intended to be lumped in with these below-the-belt pranks. Not only did critics hate freddy – they despised him, resented him and seemed enraged by his very existence. Stephen Hunter’s brutal slam for the Washington Post begins with these words: “Did it come to this? Yes it is. Roger Ebertin his starless review, memorably quipped, “This movie isn’t rock bottom. This movie isn’t bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t below the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t ‘t deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels (later, in a review for the Green co-starring Steal Harvardthe late critic confesses that despite his aversion to Freddy got fingeredthat he struggled to shake the film from his mind, ultimately calling it “a milestone”).”


Tom Green’s Comedy Goes There

What separates Green’s anti-establishment debut from the more fundamentally reluctant mainstream comedies I’ve mentioned in previous paragraphs is that, when it comes to putting people off, Green actually has the guts to his convictions. It’s not enough to childishly sneer at various bodily functions: Green actually wants his audience to be repulsed. If they don’t, if they’re having too much fun, then he’s done something wrong.

Certainly, there is integrity in such an uncompromising approach. There is also something indisputable punk, at least ideologically, about Green going so far beyond what has long been considered acceptable. The fact that Green somehow convinced a powerful studio like 20th Century Fox to take a chance on a movie where a mentally ill slacker convinces his mother, played by the big Julia Hagertystarting to have sex with several professional basketball players, is nothing short of a dazzling triumph in bad taste.

How are we supposed to feel about Gord?

Near the peak of Freddy got fingered, we find ourselves once again dancing around the question of how we are supposed to feel about Gord. If we have to interpret freddy is a punk rock major at the very notion of civility, so Gord is almost certainly the demented idea of ​​the film’s hero. And yes, there is something undeniably noble about Gord’s dogged pursuit of his dreams, and his almost vulgar devotion to gratifying the whims of his inner child. Life is short, Green seems to be saying, so might as well build a halfpipe in your front yard…before your dad drags it down the street and runs it over with his car, that is. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck working in a cheese sandwich factory for the rest of your life.


The idea of ​​punk as an ethos is not being polite, sophisticated or even traditionally considered “good”. Punk as creative dogma spits in the face of meaningless vanities like artistic hierarchy: it is pure expression, unencumbered by bureaucratic interference., focus groups or moral outrage. After all these years, Freddy got fingered isn’t just the most memorable studio comedy of the 2000s: in its own way, it’s as punk as The man from the depot.

Diana J. Carleton