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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Krystal Summers, Kelexis Davenport, William Belli, Jenna Skyy, Erica Andrews, Tom Zembrod
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Israel Luna
MPAA RATING
Rated NR
RUNNING TIME
90 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Breaking Glass Pictures
DVD EXTRAS
Bloopers; Nacho & Chuey Show; Chapter 4 "The Red Pen"; Behind the Scenes Featurette; Commentary w/Israel Luna, Krystal Summers and William Belli


 "Ticked Off Trannies With Knives" Review 
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Bubbles (Krystal Summers) is a good-hearted dancer who comes to work with an impossible to disguise black eye. Pinky (Kelexis Davenport, Rachel (William Belli), Tipper (Jenna Skyy) and Emma (Erica Davenport) decide to take matters into their own hands to protect Bubbles from her perp, Boner (Tom Zembrod), who attempts to finish his initial ass whuppin' of Bubbles and almost kills her.

In case you're wondering...yes, these trannies get ticked off and, yes, boy do they have knives.

A B-movie in virtually every sense of the word fashioned after the cinematic stylings of Tarantino, Ticked Off Trannies With Knives does everything right that this weekend's theatrical remake of I Spit On Your Grave did wrong with the theme of violent revenge upon one's perpetrator.

Whereas I Spit On Your Grave took an almost orgasmic joy in the suffering of both its initial victim and the subsequent victims of revenge, writer/director Israel Luna wisely focuses Ticked Off Trannies With Knives upon the surprisingly well developed characters, who are all remarkably sympathetic and, despite the irreverence of the film's title, treated with a tremendous amount of heartfelt respect.

Having premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival in June and gaining quite a bit of notoriety during its run at the Tribeca Film Festival, Ticked Off Trannies With Knives was initially panned by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) likely due to its irreverence and portrayal of the knife-totin' and vengeful trannies. The panning was misguided, as these ticked off trannies may very well be the best cinematic advertising yet for trannies everywhere with a genuine, if goofy, sisterhood having developed and their reclaiming of their empowerment played off with zest and energy and a good heart (even when they are being incredibly vengeful).

The film plays a lot like a 70's exploitation flick, aka Grindhouse, with its grainy cinematic footage and occasional missing reels. Luna does a rather amazing job of keeping the tone and energy consistent, nicely blending the middle third's vicious (yet largely unseen) assault with enough heart and humor that the film's cheekiness never goes away.

The ensemble cast is a joy here, with William Belli as the wise-cracking Rachel Slurr getting a good portion of the film's laughs, while Kelexis Davenport, as Pinky La'Trimm, serves up the film's heart and the illuminous Krystal Summers lights up the screen as Bubbles. As the film's resident baddie, Tom Zembrod is appropriately menacing.

Ticked Off Trannies With Knives is everything that a B-movie should be...irreverent, grotesque, violent, funny and fun, fun, fun. While the acting isn't brilliant here, it's surprisingly solid and more than good enough to keep you interested in what's going on. Virtually every aspect of the film's production design screams out exploitation flick, as it should, and the costuming is oh so chic.

Ticked Off Trannies With Knives will be available on DVD beginning November 9, 2010. For fans of B-movies and alternative cinematic fare, these ticked off trannies are a must see.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic 

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