Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives
by Jason Coffman
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Revenge cinema seems to be making a comeback. As filmmakers great and small alike continue to work through the post-Grindhouse resurgence of trash cinema and exploitation genres (and sub-genres and sub-sub-genres, etc. etc.), it only makes sense that the style of film that Tarantino paid explicit tribute to in Kill Bill would get another shot at the spotlight. And while some filmmakers have already made seriously unsettling new revenge films— the recent I Spit on Your Grave remake and Simon Rumley’s devastating Red, White, and Blue both come to mind— others are busily reminding us why sometimes revenge can be fun.
Enter writer/director Israel Luna, whose latest film is the revenge epic Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives. Happily, the film delivers exactly what you’d expect from such a title. Much like Paul Etheredge’s 2004 gay slasher HellBent, tweaking the gender and sexuality of the main characters makes Ticked-Off Trannies feel like a completely fresh take on some familiar material.
After a hard night’s work, the dancers working for Pinky La’Trimm (Kelexis Davenport) decide to go out for a few drinks to cheer up their friend Bubbles Cliquot (Krystal Summers). At the bar, the girls are met by Emma Grashun’s (Erica Garcia) brand-new boyfriend, who suggests a triple date with Emma, Bubbles, and Rachel Slurr (William Belli). Unfortunately, the evening soon turns sour when Boner (Tom Zembrod) shows up. Boner had a date with Bubbles and was not happy with what he found in her panties, so to make sure that no one gets the wrong idea, he decides to take violent revenge. The resulting altercation puts Bubbles in a coma and two of the other dancers in the ground. When Bubbles wakes up, the remaining girls join her in training with Fergus (Richard D. Curtin) to learn how to kick ass. When Boner and his pals return, they’re not just dealing with defenseless dancers— you can totally figure out the rest from the title!
Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives is hilarious low-budget exploitation fun. It delivers plenty of blood, extended dance scenes, and absolutely killer dialogue. It seems like a lot of the dialogue may have been improvised, which works brilliantly. The girls are all fantastic and their sense of comic timing and the way they play off each other is tremendous fun to watch. If more low-budget genre films were this much nasty fun, the world would be a better place.
Breaking Glass Pictures releases Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives on DVD Tuesday, November 9th. Special features include bloopers, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette, commentary with writer/director Israel Luna and stars William Belli and Krystal Summers, and more. Visit the film’s official web site to see if it’s playing on the big screen near you on the Ticked-Off Tour!
Jason Coffman is a film writer living in Chicago. He writes reviews for Film Monthly and “The Crown International Files” for Criticplanet.org.
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