Produced by Carthew Neal
Directed by David Farrier & Dylan Reeve
Starring: David Farrier, Dylan Reeve,
David Starr, Hal Karp
David Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s bizarre and disturbing documentary Tickled starts off with Farrier (a New Zealand journalist who covers interesting slice-of-life stories for television) discovering the odd world of Competitive Endurance Tickling, where fit young men- emphasis on young- strap another man down to a mattress and proceed to tickle torture said man until…I don’t know, he pees himself? Has an orgasm? Possibly passes out?
Like most of us, Farrier was slightly consumed by the idea of such a thing and in his desire to know more, reached out to the organization that runs the Competitive Endurance Tickling competitions, Jane O’Brien Media, hoping to produce a short piece for broadcast.
Which, as any journalist can tell you is par-for-the-course…only that my friends, is where Farrier and Reeve end up falling down a rabbit hole into a world of corruption, homophobia, cyberbullying, ruination and good old-fashioned evil.
Yes, I said evil.
To say that Tickled produces some “Holy Shit!” moments is like saying the sun also rises and sets every day, meaning: this documentary has enough twists, turns and horror-filled whatthefuck? moments that even M. Night Shyamalan himself would be impressed.
I cannot emphasize this enough; Tickled is essentially Eyes Wide Shut-meets-The Manchurian Candidate-meets-All The President’s Men with just a sprinkle of To Catch a Predator mixed in for fun.
And yes, watching this documentary will haunt you for days so be prepared.
I want to give it up to both Farrier and Reeve for their crazy and brave desire to follow a trail of freakish journalistic breadcrumbs (starting with the oddity of Competitive Tickling), all leading to a sinister and grotesque microcosm which leaves virtually everyone it touches devastated. Their tenacity in seeking the truth is on par with Woodward and Bernstein and they deserve some serious slaps on the back and ‘Atta Boys for what they managed to uncover.
Tickled is a definite “Must See” for anyone who has ever ended up in a YouTube wormhole at 3am watching questionable videos and wondering “Who the Hell Made This?”…trust me, the answer may just surprise you.