Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives Israel Luna

Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives Israel Luna
When Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives was set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this past spring, the stolid folks over at GLAAD flipped out, claiming that the film was transphobic. They created little Facebook groups and various online petitions to have the film banned from the festival and boycotted altogether. Now that I've seen the movie, I have to wonder if anyone at GLAAD has ever actually met a trannie, and if so, why would they think that a deliberately campy exploitation film would be perceived as offensive or defamatory to a piety that thrives on these very things? If anything, it was refreshing to see a crude, tongue-in-cheek representation of folks usually relegated to supporting roles on Nip/Tuck and Dirty Sexy Money, with transgendered "go to" actress Candis Cayne doing her best to humanize characters written as an altruistic, liberal platform, as not to offend anyone. Perhaps the throwback structure ― referencing '70s revenge films with damaged footage, missing frames and bad lighting ― is a little tired by now, being popular amongst the Quentin Tarantino boy posse, but director Israel Luna makes it work. Bubbles Cliquot (Krystal Summers) shows up to work at a drag club with a black eye, setting the stage for her subjugated, repressed personality and the film as arc for her empowerment. Rachel Slurr (William Belli) cracks politically incorrect jokes while Pinky La'Trimm (Kelexis Davenport) waxes maternal, offering support and reassurance. The revenge angle comes in when Rachel and Emma Grashun (Erica Andrews) drag Bubbles off to a sexcapade with a guy named Nacho (Kenny Ochoa) and his buddy Chuey (Gerardo Davila), only to find her homophobic one-night-stand Boner (Tom Zembrod) waiting there with a baseball bat. It's important to note that while clunky and awkwardly choreographed, at times, the violence against the titular trannies is never explicit. In fact, the only time gore appears is near the end when Boner and his gang get their inevitable comeuppance, which involves switchblades in the ass. Everything in between is surprisingly funny, with Bubbles developing a speech impediment after waking up from her coma and Rachel Slurr doling out one politically incorrect one-liner after another. There's even a random sequence that mocks the Eastern meditation philosophy that was often present in grindhouse films, wherein the girls wear geisha make-up and remark on the absurdity of going out into the middle of nowhere to find their calming centre. Rachel remarks, "This shit isn't on Google maps" and Pinky farts at inappropriate moments. While imperfect and occasionally sloppy, Luna's foray into queer thriller territory is actually quite entertaining from beginning to end, having the appropriate sense of humour and an on-the-nose character assessment of "other" as "less than." Unfortunately, no supplements are included with the DVD. (Breaking Glass)