Complete A-Z list



Stars: Documentary

Director: David Farrier, Dylan Reeve

Anyone fancy some ““competitive endurance tickling”?

Despite this explanation, it’s genuine - and no laughing matter either.

While the description could simply be taken to be the synopsis for yet another book aimed at cashing in on the sex-driven (sex-drivel?) success of Fifty Shades of Gray, it is actually a US-based ‘sport’ where people are paid to be tied up on couches while being tickled into a frenzy.

When openly gay New Zealand journalist David Farrier, who specializes in examining offbeat stories, discovers a seriously strange online video about “competitive endurance tickling” he decides to investigate.

And he discovers the phenomenon is no Internet prank.

He is also threatened by the company behind the paid-for endurance game with being publicly outed as a homosexual and threatened with major legal action.

Is Farrier disheartened?

No! He and co-director Dylan Reeve decide to take on the exploiters and head for Los Angeles to continue their expose, thus exposing them to more mocking and increasing threats – legal and otherwise – as they move closer towards discovering the facilitators of a scam which becomes significantly more disgusting, rather than simply quirky and offbeat, as they continue to uncover its origins and its facilitators.

The result is a unique niche documentary driven by genuine characters in search of something bizarre, initially incredible and ultimately simply criminal, and which deserves wider distribution.

(In Britain, an advertisement for Tickled includes the credit "Stephen Fry presents").

Alan Frank

New Zealand 2016. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour.
92 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 2, Swearing 2.

Review date: 22 Aug 2016