Judge Daryl Loomis is just a judge in a robe with judge problems.
C'mon! This isn't "Bridge over Troubled Tranny!"
When you request a film based only on its hilarious title, all you can really hope for is that, on some level, the promise of that title will be fulfilled. Often, you get much less, but sometimes, you get a little more. Inspired by the sad increase in hate crimes against the transgender community, director Isreal Luna (The Deadbeat Club) makes his point clear, but still manages to have a lot of fun with Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives. If John Waters circa 1974 were to have made a rape/revenge horror film, it would look something like this.
Bubbles (noted Dallas dancer Krystal Summers) dances for Pinky La'Trimm (Kelexis Davenport) at the club with her friends Tipper Sommore (Jenna Skyy), Rachel Slurr (Willam Belli), and Emma Gration (Erica Andrews). Together, they make a quartet of some of the hottest tranny dancers Dallas has to offer. When Boner (Tom Zembrod), an overexcited customer discovers that Bubbles has a couple of extra parts, he assaults her and leaves her for dead. She recovers and is trying to find her way back to her old life when Boner reappears to finish the job. Instead of cowering in fear, however, Bubbles decides to get even. She's a tranny, she's ticked-off, she has a knife, and she's about to show Boner that this is a kind of fabulous you do not want to mess with.
It's cheap, the acting is pretty poor, and a lot of the situations are ridiculous, but imagine my surprise when I found myself laughing through much of Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives, the first example I've ever seen in the transploitation genre. Judging from this, there's more of this market to tap. It's not all laughs; the first half of the film has some pretty rough, grim stuff as Luna builds the story. It's not a pretty picture, and it never is in a story like this; it's brutal and surprisingly realistic for its budget. Luna doesn't get caught up in his statement, though. How could he be in a film with this title? Once he makes it, he moves on, leaving us with the pure giddy fun of the trannies and their revenge. For drag queens, the cast does better than expected and, given the budget, Luna gives the film some real style.
Unfortunately, that's also my only complaint about the film. It's stylish, but that's only partially successful. You can see he's going for something from the opening moments, with extended takes of Bubbles walking, the shot focusing on her pumps, across streets and into her club. Over the long haul I find this style annoying. Thanks to the Tarantino/Rodriguez double-feature, Grindhouse, Luna decided it was best to make his film seem like a '70s grindhouse production, complete with missing frames and intentional film damage. It adds nothing to the film and, if he was going for nostalgia, he should come up with another way. Contrary to the aesthetic, the reason frames and entire reels are missing from old cheap films is thieves and unscrupulous exhibitors. It's not charming; it's a sad reminder that there are a lot of similar films from years passed that are entirely lost today.
Breaking Glass sent a screener for the review of Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives, and the results come basically as expected. The image looks decent, but because of the decision to make the film appear to be a '70s grindhouse release, there is consistent grain and print damage inserted into the film. It's not flattering, but it's the director's intention. The sound is nothing special, a simple stereo mix, though the final release may be better. There are no extras.
A week ago, if somebody told me I'd watch a film called Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives and speak about it positively, I'd have called them an idiot. Yet here I am, in full support of Isreal Luna's film; these trannies are a hoot to watch.
Shockingly not guilty.
Editor's Note: With respect to members of the LGBT community who may
find the verbiage offensive, we are only using the words "tranny" and
"trannies" because they are part of the film.
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