There is the weird and then there is the totally fucked up. TICKLED is one of the later, and by no means do I mean that as a bad comment or review. TICKLED is not funny as the title implies, but more creepy and weird. TICKLED is a thoroughly engrossing film that starts out what seems like a seemingly innocent investigative report on these very homoerotic tickle fetish videos. It then slowly down spirals into an engrossing documentary on this company called Jane O’Brien Media and it’s founder and what they will do to stay in control of their actors and also the lengths they will go to keep their secrets quiet.
David Farrier, a New Zealand journalist who reports on weird and quirky news, comes across a tickle endurance competition video put out by Jane O’Brien Media and he thinks he has found his next story. He sends the company an email and it elicits and very hostile response, calling him a “faggot” and that they do not associate with homosexuals, from Jane O’Brien Media. That’s when the film starts to go away from the idea of tickle fetish videos and go towards an investigation of Jane O’Brien and this company that produces the films. And from there it just get’s crazier and more insane, the more David and his filmmaker partner investigate. They receive more threats from the company, people are hired to investigate them and lawsuits are threatened and that not’s even that craziest part. The ending is the real kicker, when more stuff is unraveled and revealed.
The documentary makes for intriguing viewing, and while it does have a few flaws in regards to it’s storytelling (there are still some questions left unanswered by the end of the film, and believe me, you will have many throughout the film), it is a jaw-dropping documentary that has to be seen to be believed. TICKLED is currently available on Hong Kong Netflix.
– Word by Russell Boaz