Saturday, January 03, 2009

I wanna eat chicken burgers.

How is one of the universally hated movies on of the most important movies of my life? Maybe because it's more than just a ridiculous movie. Maybe because it reminds me of my absurdist friends. I like to think because of a mix of those two things. Not many movies can bring my utter joy because they are utterly absurd. Freddy Got Fingered is just that movie that perfectly blends the absurdity I love out of life and the joy I get out of seeing something so outlandish. I have a friend who gets joy out of all things that are audacious and absurd, whether the masses hate them or love them. And in this love of Fingered, I can see why.

Growing up in the autumn of MTV's heydey, I remember enjoying Tom Green's take on Late Night Talk Show hosting. It was before the time of Jackass and he always did horrible things to his friends and family and I always enjoyed that for whatever sadistic reason. I remember seeing the trailers for the movie and thinking "What the hell?" I never got around to see it and most people I knew who did see it hated it so much that I never got around to it. When I started working at Wow Video in 2002 post High School, a co-worker basically badgered me into seeing it. A female coworker nonetheless so I had to take the chance and check it out. I had no idea I was in store for the most ridiculous thing I would ever see. And I am forever thankful.

First off, the audacity of Tom Green titling a film Freddy Got Fingered, implying that his brother in the film was fingered by his Dad, is utterly insane. I mean, a major production company backed money up on this film with this title. They even gave Tom Green directorial, writing and acting credit. Basically, Tom Green is the Orson Welles of absurdist comedy having total control over this project. The rest is a secret success and a fantastic piece of surrealistic comedy. The movie almost grossed worldwide what it cost to make and that in itself shows that Tom Green won. His vision of "how about I annoy the fuck out of the world" worked and although he made zero profit from it, he accomplished that goal. That's audacios in every sense.

This scene was filmed. This scene exsists. AMAZING! I could only dream of being allowed to do this shit as a job! And someday, I would like to do something so absurd. Look, I am in no way saying Freddy Got Fingered is a great film. It is but it isn't. I guess that makes no sense, but for some reason something entirely insane just really brings a smile to my face. It's like looking at a Salvador Dali painting. Does anyone real know how to interpret them? No but their insane visuals are totally worth looking at, especially in the flesh. I think Freddy Got Fingered has a similar element. Okay so it's not at all like that. But still, it's fun to think that there is some sort of substance beneath the ridiculous comedy.

The movie more than anything will remind me of my core group of La Salle friends. We watched many a terrible film (ie. Road House, Freaked) but this one is the coup de gras. Something about seeing a man-boy run around with sausages tied to his fingers or biting an umbilical cord or getting "inside" the animals was just all too awesome and hilarious for us not to watch. Maybe it is the demented man-boy in all of us that drew my group of friends to Freddy Got Fingered, but no one will really ever know the answer to that question. Regardless, I know my life would be different had I not seen this wonderfully ridiculous film.

1. Cinema Paradiso (1988) dr. Giuseppe Tornatore
2. Rushmore (1998) dr. Wes Anderson
3. Jurassic Park (1993) dr. Steven Speilberg
4. It's A Wonderful Life (1946) dr. Frank Capra
5. Trust (1990) dr. Hal Hartley
6. Donnie Darko (2001) dr. Richard Kelly
7. On The Waterfront (1954) dr. Elia Kazan
8. Monty Python & The Holy Grail (1975) dr. Terry Jones & Terry Gilliam
9. Do The Right Thing (1989) dr. Spike Lee
10. Stop Making Sense (1984) dr. Johnathan Demme
11. Trekkies (1997) dr. Roger Nygard
12. Fight Club (1999) dr. David Fincher
13. The Sting (1973) dr. George Roy Hill
14. Ghost Busters (1984) dr. Ivan Reitman
15. This Is Spinal Tap (1984) dr. Rob Reiner
16. Better Off Dead (1984) dr. "Savage" Steve Holland
17. Robin Hood (1973) dr. Wolfgang Reitherman
18. Mad Max (1979) dr. George Miller
19. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975) dr. Milos Forman
20. Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade (1989) Steven Speilberg
21. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) dr. Stanley Kubrick
22. Freddy Got Fingered (2001) dr. Tom Green

Up Next: Amelie (2001) Jean-Pierre Jeunet

1 comment:

John B. said...

Hi There Paul,

I too got a chance the other day, to relive one of the most simultaneously disastrous and amazing movies of my entire movie watching career, on HBO.

I was perusing the web at work today for the therapy scene where Gord yells out, "I wanna eat chicken burgers!"(my favorite line in the whole movie as well, btw), as he's being scorned by his father in front of the therapist, and stumbled upon your blog post. The title and first line of the body showed up on the google search screen, and when I read it I'm like, "I'm probably going to agree with every single thing that this guy has to say about this movie!" And low and behold, you did just that!

I too have an adoration for this movie, for the exact same reasons you do; it reminds me of my absurd, zany friends from high school and it speaks to the trapped man/boy inside of me. It takes a special kind of ridiculousness from a movie to illicit such respect and appreciation from me and my sophmoric friends, and this movie is the embodiment of that ridiculousness.

And you're absolutely right in comparing this movie to a Dali painting. True some of the scenes were totally arbitrary and for the purpose of shocking, but there were some real gems, primarily the scenes with his bat shit crazy father! Which I can also sort of identify with.

A Greek-American with a crazy sub-group of friends huh? I thought I was the only one, lol.