Thursday, August 2, 2012
Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives (2010)
When Ticked-OffTrannies with Knives was scheduled to be show at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010 people who never even saw it before wanted called out for boycott. That the movie was made in co-operation with transgenders and directed by a gay man didn't seem to affect all these idiots (yes, idiots - like everyone who have no clue what they're talking about). This is as far from a transphobic film as it can be, but it's a modern grindhouse movie - so of course it's filled with crude jokes, violence and sexual themes. The public, the small minority that engaged in the protests, got some idea that this was a movie where the characters was victims, but nothing could be further from the truth...
A group of transgender show artists with names like Rachel Slurr, Tipper Sommore, Bubbles Cliquot and Pinky La'Trimm is living la dolce vita in
. One night a couple of them are
attacked by a couple of transphobic rednecks and only one of them comes out
alive. Instead of giving the information to the police she and her friends
plans to take revenge on the men who did this! They contacts a martial arts
master and learns the ancient craft of kicking-ass, gets themselves some cool
outfits and hits back - hard! Dallas
Here you have it, a movie with a strong transgender theme where the characters are strong, funny and smart: Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives. I understand that the word "trannie" is a sensitive word in the
, but remember that this is one
way of kidnapping a bad word and make it something good. There's nothing
transphobic about this film, nothing - believe me. Instead there's fun and
well-written characters who do what they do to get revenge on the
heteronormative society who can't accept them, in a spirit of fun and tongue-in-cheek.
The production values is cheap and simple, but director Israel Luna keep up the quality with good directing and mostly a good and fun script. The dialogues is as witty as the actors are uneven, but it works and I like the characters. Tom Zembrod, who plays the lead redneck Boner is especially nasty in that manipulative ugly way that you can see among people who claim they are good Christians or not homophobes even if they think LGBT-people shouldn't have any rights at all, because it's against the will of god... or any other fairy tale entity.
What surprised me, in a good way, was how serious this film is. The title, trailer and the start of the movie - and the martial arts training - has a very cheesy style, made with a lot of humor - but in the end it's a serious, kinda, revenge-flick with some excellent low-key acting and fine drama. I've always enjoyed this mix of genres and it works well here.
I wonder if the controversy around this film belongs to the similar kind of scandal as William Friedkin's Cruising, that the environment is too extreme for some? Here we have show artists, dancers with outrageous names and looks instead of a "normal" person with a "normal" job. What the wackos out there don't understand is that the clothes or work has nothing to do with normal or not, and criticize that is just a form of self-loathing in my opinion. Live and let live, accept others and they accept you.
The film ends with a fake set-up for a moral lesson, but ends in the opposite - which is both radical and very fitting in a movie that fights for being controversial in that nice way that we all like. It's revenge the right way, the way we all think it should be - but never dares to say because we're afraid of hearing some stinkin' Folkpartister say we're encourage violence. What they don't understand it's all in the imagination, it's just film, it's a dream of taking control over our destiny - whether we are trans, gay, bi or just good old straights.
I liked it. Maybe you will like it to?