‘Tickled’ Introduces Viewers To The Bizarre World Of Competitive Endurance Tickling.
At first glance, the documentary about tickling almost seems like a joke and a little confusing. After viewing ‘Tickled‘, the confusion is still there but there is a bit more of an understanding on why this was even created. Under the ridiculous surface level is an dark tale of an underground world we had no idea was happening.
Journalist David Farrier begins ‘Tickled‘ for laughs but ends diving deep into a world that needs uncovering. Starting the documentary ‘Tickled‘ with a light tone is a smart. It allows viewers to fall into this false sense of security. Almost immediately though, David Farrier is met with major resistance. All that security is stripped.
“All Of This Over Some Tickling?”
To begin, David Farrier gets told that he wasn’t allowed to interview anyone from Jane O’Brien Media because they does not want to associate with a homosexual journalist. Yes, the super homoerotic “competitive endurance tickling” has no intention of working with anything gay. Farrier, an open homosexual, finds it as puzzling as I do. That’s when things get interesting for Farrier and this story.
After many threatening emails to shut this documentary down, the legal threats start rolling in. The people of Jane O’Brien Media bully Farrier and TV producer Dylan Reeve to stop. They send 3 representatives to New Zealand to further the bullying. The first interaction is one of the most tense scenes I’ve seen in 2016. It starts off nice but quickly takes a dark turn. The 3 men soon leave but Farrier and Reeve quickly follow them to America.
This is when ‘Tickled‘ takes the dark turn no one could expect. We first meet a former former tickling competitor who is also begin harassed by Jane O’Brien Media and someone named Debbie J. Kuhn. The competitor known as T.J. asked Youtube to take down a video of him he found from the tickling days. From that moment, his life was forever changed. His videos begin to then pop up everywhere with direct threats from Kuhn. They go as far as calling the school he works out and attempt to ruin his career. This drives David Farrier and Dylan Reeve to further this investigation, like following Kevin Clarke (one of the men sent to New Zealand to bully) to a production set. That move is ballsy but pays off with an awkward interaction.
“This Tickling Empire Is Way Bigger Than We Ever Imagine”
In an interesting turn of events, Farrier finds Richard Ivey. He’s an independent tickling producer and has no problem with interviews about the company he runs. The next stop in this bizarre documentary is the introduction of “Terri Tickle”. She’s the originator of this underground world. We meet a former casting director of Terri who talks bout the process. This combined with Ivey’s stories start to shed a little light on why this is so popular and who its made for. It’s also said that “Terri Tickle’ did similar scare tactics in the past that Jane O’Brien Media does now.
The creators of ‘Tickled‘ strike gold when they uncover documents about Jane O’Brien Media. It links the company to David D’Amato. D’Amato is a known for attempting to destroy evidence of a relationship he had with a minor. Is he what connects these two tickling companies and all the shady events? When they confront him on the streets, he threatens them with legal action like the emails.
Before heading back to New Zealand to wrap things up, Farrier and Reeve contact David D’Amato’s step-mother; where she reveals that D’Amato has a tickling “past” and may still be involved in the shady world. This almost confirms everything to come before it. The documentary suddenly wraps, leaving you with no answers!
If just reading the recap was strange, imagine viewing it. Hell, imagine living it.
I’ve never seen anything quite like ‘Tickled‘ before. It’s an exploitive look at a fetish but it’s also used as a way to defend the innocent people being harassed. This gave a voice to many who couldn’t fight against Jane O’Brien Media or David D’Amato. Sadly it seems like their influence is still strong. Many of the men shown in the film coming out against the tickling companies are now saying they were in the documentary without their permission.
Seems like more shady tricks from Jane O’Brien Media.
It is interesting to see director David Farrier get so invested into this strange world. I believe him being told “no” from the get-go is what fueled that passion. Never has he been met with such resistance and that drives his investigative side to new heights. Though he does cross a few lines, those are no lines the horrible people featured here haven’t crossed before.
Are you interested in seeing ‘Tickled‘?
Let me know in the comments below!