Tickled Film Review

Film Review by Jon E Clist

The Premise
Journalist David Farrier stumbles upon a mysterious tickling competition online. As he delves deeper he comes up against fierce resistance, but that doesn’t stop him getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction.

The Review
I have been a fan of David Farrier for a long time. He champions the crazy and wonderful and has brought so many interesting topics to primetime news. For the most part it has seemed as though TV3 has been moving towards tabloid style news and yet even though Farrier’s topics were outlandish, they always seemed to fall outside of the purvey of the sleazy. To be clear, although in this documentary we see some people acting in a somewhat sleazy manner, this film is not sleazy in its approach.

It is amazing to think that this story came out of Farriers desire to make a short TV news story about competitive tickling. Farrier admits that if the response from his subject had of been calm and nice, this story would have disappeared faster than a Mongolian Death Worm. I guess it kind of adds weight to that proverb about catching more flies with honey than vinegar. Instead the response was homophobic and extremely aggressive, which in turn was like a red rag to a bull. Investigative journalists are always going to take up that challenge.

Armed with a stack of support from a Kickstarter campaign, Farrier and Reeve went about pulling together something rather amazing. This was a story so amazing that so needed to be told that even UK Comedy great Stephen Fry came on board to help fund it and as a result ended up as an associate producer.

As the film unfolds the story gets weirder and more beyond belief, you couldn’t make up this stuff. Layers are pealed back to find things that you wouldn’t have imagined happening behind the scenes. For me it is the discovery of these events and plot twists that make this documentary stand out. There are many of those jaw-dropping moments and audience grasping moments that are then followed up by extremely belly-laughing moments of incredible joy and entertainment.

Directors David Farrier and Dylan Reeve
While there are a few slightly uncomfortable to watch moments of extreme tickling and some rather colourful language, this is a film that is something that most people will thoroughly enjoy. I can’t rave about it enough and give it the mad thumbs up. However let me point out that because of the topic material, this is not for children. I know what you’re thinking… Surely tickling is something that relates to kids? Not this sort…

The Verdict
One of the best documentaries that I have had the pleasure of seeing. With loads of twists and turns and facts that you couldn’t make up. A brilliantly crazy ride into the world of weird.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: Text
Rating: M – Contains Offensive language & sexual themes
Duration: 92 minutes 
Genre:  Documentary
Starring: David Farrier, Dylan Reeve
Director: David Farrier, Dylan Reeve

The Extras


The executive producer, the producer, the two directors, and one of the actors... all five were sued in US Federal District Court in an effort to stop the film from being shown. Source: Courthouse News ("Tickled Film")