Ticked Off Trannies With Knives (2010)

Adopting the standard revenge movie format, Ticked Off Trannies With Knives features a group of transgender ladies getting violently attacked after leaving a club with some questionable looking chaps. Waking up in hospital after barely surviving, ‘Bubbles’ and her friends decide to enact some much needed vengeance on their attackers. There are some bizarre subplots involving geisha make up and one of the principal characters developing a speech impediment but as with most exploitation flicks, that’s about as much as there is regarding plot.

To review this movie, you have to start with the title. Sure, it’s attention grabbing, even headline grabbing of late, but there was really nothing else that Israel Luna could have named his transploitation opus. There are lots of trannies, they’re hella ticked off and, oh yeah, they have knives. Job done.

The whole film emulates a 70′s grindhouse shocker, from the (intentionally?) poor production values, the clunky but sometimes hilarious dialogue and the excessive, outlandish revenge-oriented violence. This certainly works in the films favour, it’s genuinely funny in places, horrifically wince-inducing in others and the shortcomings are easier to forgive given its grindhouse credentials.

The cast of transgender characters vary wildly in terms of ‘acting’ ability but luckily Ticked Off Trannies With Knives is mostly played for laughs and all they’re ever really required to do is display the required amount of attitude and deliver ridiculous one-liners with a comical, kooky charm; a task which they ably achieve.

Unfortunately, a recent GLAAD backlash means that most people will undoubtedly stumble upon this movie for the wrong reasons. An organised boycott by the group, citing Ticked Off Trannies With Knives as an irresponsible depiction of the transgender community, will ironically, almost certainly award it a much larger audience than it ever would have achieved otherwise. It’s easy to see why some people might be offended by this film as it features the usual gamut of exploitative violence, in this case enormous knives through skulls, a stiletto heel in an eye and switchblades up bums, but it’s more difficult to imagine why their complaints are structured as they are. Personally, having minimal knowledge of the transgender movement before watching this, I came away thinking that they must have a wicked sense of humour, a puerile but biting wit and fantastic tits. That’s assuming that Ticked Off Trannies With Knives is an accurate depiction, and of course, as with almost all exploitation movies, it’s probably not, so one has to wonder why the good folks at GLAAD don’t just remove the sticks from up their butts, do their homework and accept the flick for what it is.

While entertaining in parts, Ticked Off Trannies With Knives is also brain achingly dull in parts. Playing out in a series of ‘chapters’, the audience will almost definitely be waiting for the revenge part of the movie and will have little tolerance for some of the more boring sections that lead us to that point. Ticked Off Trannies With Knives is a hugely flawed film but as a stand alone exploitation movie, it succeeds on many levels. When it misses, it misses by a mile but when it hits, it goes for bullseye. Featuring some knowingly cliched but genuinely funny one-liners, some interesting and watchable characters and some leg-crossingly gross out moments, you’d be a fool to expect anything more from a film called Ticked Off Trannies With Knives. Those with a love of grindhouse and an open mind could do worse than to watch this, everyone else should probably avoid.

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

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