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Tickled

Director:  David Farrier & Dylan Reeve
Year Released:  2016
Rating:  3.0

Farrier, a journalist from New Zealand who specializes in 'quirky' stories, does a little research on what's referred to as "competitive endurance tickling" - basically, young men (... very young) getting chained down and tickled by other young men (ahem) - and does a few stories about it ... only to be harassed and sued by the very suspicious "Jane O'Brien Media," which makes the fetish videos. What begins as mere curiosity actually becomes as dark and deep as any other documentary released this year, as Farrier (assisted by Reeve) ties these modern tickling vids with a strange lady named "Terri Tickle" back in the AOL days who used to recruit men to be tickled ... and how it all links in with a former school administrator (!) named David D'Amato. A bit more could have been done from a psychological angle - D'Amato is a walking case study of neurotic behavior - though it ends with one of the most depressing phone conversations (with D'Amato's step-mom) you'll ever hear in a movie: in fact, the whole thing is so sad, the feeling post-viewing is one of disturbed despondency. (Even stranger yet, D'Amato's been following around the filmmakers as they screen their movie and continues to threaten them with legal action.)

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