Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives

Last updated

Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives
Ticked-off-trannies.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Israel Luna
Written byIsrael Luna
Produced byWhitney Blake
Toni Miller
Starring Erica Andrews
Willam Belli
Kelexis Davenport
Jenna Skyy
Krystal Summers
CinematographyJamie Moreno
Edited byIsrael Luna
Production
company
La Luna Entertainment
Distributed byBreaking Glass Pictures
Release dates
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$50,000

Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives is a 2010 American rape and revenge exploitation film written and directed by Israel Luna. The film follows a trio of trans women who exact revenge on the men who brutally assault them and murder two of their friends. The film is split into five chapters, one of which is a missing reel.

Contents

The film engendered controversy when it was programmed at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) condemned the film for what it called a negative portrayal of transgender people.

Plot

After performing at a local club, trans women Rachel Slurr and Emma Grashun plan to party with Nacho and Chuey. When the guys tell them that they have a third friend, the girls convince their reluctant friend Bubbles Cliquot to join them. The girls drive to a warehouse where they are joined by Nacho and Chuey, along with their partner Boner. Bubbles tells her friends that Boner had recently drugged and raped her during a hook-up when he discovered she was a pre-op woman. Vowing to "finish the job", Boner, Nacho and Chuey attack the girls. Emma and Rachel are severely wounded but Bubbles is able to call her "mother" Pinky La'Trimm and Tipper Sommore and escape. Pinky and Tipper find Bubbles outside the warehouse and head inside to rescue Rachel and Emma. Instead, they are overpowered by the men and Boner attacks Bubbles again outside.

Some time later, Bubbles awakens from a coma. She learns from Pinky and Rachel that Emma and Tipper are dead. After Bubbles is discharged from the hospital, her friend Fergus trains the three surviving women in martial arts.

Back at Bubbles' apartment, Boner, Nacho and Chuey break in and overpower her again, tying her to a chair. Boner offers Bubbles a choice of ways to die but he momentarily turns his back on her. When he turns back Nacho and Chuey are unconscious and Bubbles, freed, knocks him out. A flashback reveals that Bubbles, Pinky, and Rachel set a trap for the men.

Boner regains consciousness to learn that the women have placed switchblade knives in the rectal cavities of Nacho and Chuey and a gun in his own rectum, weapons that will be triggered if any of them make any sudden moves. In a series of convoluted action sequences, Nacho and Chuey each recovers his knife and battles one of the women. Pinky kills Chuey and Rachel battles Nacho until Boner recovers his gun and holds it on Bubbles. Bubbles wrestles him for the weapon and, as Rachel finishes off Nacho, Bubbles shoots Boner in the chest. Pinky and Rachel each impale Boner with their thrown knives and Bubbles wrenches a large knife out of Nacho's skull and splits Boner's head with it, finally killing him.

Cast

Production

Inspiration

Luna was inspired by the exploitation film genre, in particular the 1978 film I Spit on Your Grave and the Linda Blair vehicle Savage Streets . [2] The idea for his self-described "transploitation" film came while he and a group of friends were watching Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse . "After, we were just playing around and someone said I should do this with drag queens. That would be so much fun. I thought, 'Well, let me try to think of how we could do this with absolutely no budget whatsoever.' I thought a simple, old-fashioned revenge movie would be easy to write for me. And that’s what I did." [3]

Luna did not want to tell the story of a male gay bashing victim because he believed that such stories have been told often already. "I wanted to do something more modern and I thought 'Whose story do you never see on the news these days?' It's not gay men—it's transgenders." [4]

Filming

The film was shot in Dallas, Texas, in the summer of 2009, on an 18-day shooting schedule. [3] The finished film is artificially worn with scratches and other indicators of age and at some points a jump in the action is covered with an intertitle indicating that a reel of the film is missing.

Release

Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23, 2010. [1] The film had a limited theatrical release in October and Region 1 DVD-release on November 2, 2010.

Reception

Writing for Variety , John Anderson compared Ticked-Off Trannies to the works of Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino, and Robert Rodriguez. Finding that the film has a "transgressive edginess", Anderson noted the "catch-22" that Luna created for himself in balancing its championing of transgender people with its exploitation of their "inherently funny" nature. He called the film's production values "deliberately and appropriately horrible", which he said Luna uses as a way to escape any plot difficulties within the film by jumping ahead in the story with the claim of a "missing reel" of the film. Anderson concludes that Luna is for the most part successful in creating solid characters but that the film descends into the realm of cartoon violence. [5]

Neil Genzingler for The New York Times expressed embarrassment at the idea of even having to review a film called Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives before finding the film to be inept. "The only amusement comes in the catty remarks occasionally exchanged by the girls." [6]

Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times dismissed the film as "a joyless grind". [7] Conversely, Frank Scheck for Reuters found the film "more than lives up to its title", although it would "probably [be] best appreciated at a midnight showing". [8]

Demonstrators protest the film at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival Ticked Off Trannies protesters Shankbone 2010.jpg
Demonstrators protest the film at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival scheduled Ticked-Off Trannies to debut at its 2010 festival. This drew a complaint from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which stated that the film "misrepresent[s] the lives of transgender women and use[s] grotesque, exploitative depictions of violence against transgender women in ways that make light of the horrific brutality they all too often face". GLAAD claimed that the film conflated transgenderism with drag, which would create the impression in viewers unfamiliar with trans issues that "transgender women are ridiculous caricatures of 'real women'". GLAAD also criticized the filmmakers for referencing the real-life murders of trans woman Angie Zapata and gay teenager Jorge Mercado in the original trailer, which GLAAD believed reduced their murders to the level of the "outlandish violence" of the film. [9]

Tribeca issued a response to GLAAD's concerns, noting that GLAAD had been provided with a copy of the film well in advance of the festival and that the organization had offered media advice to the producers, director Luna and members of the cast. [10]

Writer/director Luna was puzzled by the negative reaction. He noted that the film's theme was one of empowerment, not victimhood. Luna said that he checked with many members of the Dallas transgender community, including those who worked on the film, regarding the use of the word "trannies" in the title and they had no issue with it, although he acknowledged that others within the community did object to it. [3] He did, however, decide to re-cut the trailer to remove references to murder victims Zapata and Mercado. [11]

Lead actress Krystal Summers responded to the controversy, saying in part "Our film does not promote hate or violence against transgender women. It is not a documentary, but a work of fiction and a revenge fantasy." She asked the viewing public to judge the film on its own merits and not on the basis of GLAAD's opinion. [12]

Related Research Articles

Shemale is a term most commonly used in the pornography industry to describe trans women or other people with male genitalia and female secondary sex characteristics acquired via hormones or surgery. Many people in the transgender community consider the term offensive and degrading. Using the term shemale for a trans woman may imply that she is working in the sex trade.

GLAAD US-based LGBT media monitoring group

GLAAD is an American non-governmental media monitoring organization, founded as a protest against defamatory coverage of gay and lesbian people. Its agenda has since extended to LGBT and the entertainment industry and its portrayal of these groups. The movement is now known by its initials only, as its former full name could be taken as excluding bisexual and transgender issues.

Sexual attraction to transgender people has been the subject of scientific study and social commentary. Psychologists have researched sexual attraction toward trans women, cross dressers, non-binary people, and a combination of these. Cisgender men attracted to transgender women primarily identify as heterosexual and sometimes as bisexual, but rarely as homosexual. Sexual arousal research has confirmed that their response patterns are unlike those of gay men and resemble those of heterosexual men, except that they are highly aroused by transgender women in addition to cisgender women. They show little arousal to men. There has been some discussion of attraction to trans men, but it has not yet been the topic of scientific study.

<i>Transamerica</i> (film) 2005 independent comedy-drama film directed by Duncan Tucker

Transamerica is a 2005 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Duncan Tucker, and starring Felicity Huffman and Kevin Zegers. Released by IFC Films and The Weinstein Company, the film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 14, 2005, and to theaters in the United States on December 2, 2005.

<i>TransGeneration</i> US documentary-style reality television series

TransGeneration is a US documentary-style reality television series that affords a view into the lives of four transgender college students during the 2004–2005 academic year. Two of the students are trans women, and two are trans men. Each of them attends a different school in the United States, and they are each at a different stage of their degree programs. The filmmakers document events in the students' academic careers, their social and family lives, and their transitions.

Scott Turner Schofield American actor, writer and producer

Scott Turner Schofield is an American actor, writer, producer, and speaker. He is a transgender activist, and uses he/him and they/them pronouns. He was the first out transgender actor in Daytime television, and the first out trans man to earn an Emmy nomination for acting.

LGBT representation in childrens television Aspect of childrens television

LGBT representation in children's television programming is representation of LGBT topics, themes, and people in television programming meant for children. LGBT representation in children's programming was often uncommon to non-existent for much of television's history up to the 2010s, but has significantly increased since then.

Christian Siriano American fashion designer

Christian Vincent Siriano is an American fashion designer and member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Siriano first gained attention after winning the fourth season of American design competition show Project Runway in 2007, becoming the series' youngest winner. He launched his namesake "Christian Siriano" collection in 2008, which brought in revenue of over $1.2 million by 2010 and was estimated to have reached $5 million by 2012.

Isis King American model, actress, and fashion designer

Isis King is an American model, actress, and fashion designer. Most widely known for her role on both the eleventh cycle and the seventeenth cycle of the reality television show America's Next Top Model, she was the first trans woman to compete on the show, and became one of the most visible transgender people on television.

19th GLAAD Media Awards

The GLAAD Media Awards were created in 1990 by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to "recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the issues that affect their lives."

<i>Cruel and Unusual</i> (2006 film) 2006 American film

Cruel and Unusual is a 2006 American documentary film directed and produced by Janet Baus, Dan Hunt and Reid Williams about the experiences of transgender women in the United States prison system. It was screened on television as Cruel and Unusual: Transgender Women in Prison.

Tranny or trannie is a derogatory term/slur for a transgender individual, and is a vulgar slang in mainstream contexts. During the early 2000s, there was confusion and debate over whether the term was a pejorative, or was still considered acceptable, or a reappropriated term of unity and pride. By 2017, the word had been banned by several major media stylebooks and was considered hate speech by Facebook.

Transgender pornography is a genre of pornography featuring transsexual or transgender actors. The majority of the genre features trans women, but trans men are sometimes featured. Trans women are most often featured with male partners, but they are also featured with other women, both transgender and cisgender.

Israel Luna is an American filmmaker, best known for his movies Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives, Kicking Zombie Ass for Jesus, and Fright Flick. He currently resides in San Francisco, California.

Cecilio "Cece" Asuncion is a Filipino-American director, producer, filmmaker and executive. He is the founder, owner and director of Slay Model Management in Los Angeles.

Parker Marie Molloy is an American writer, blogger, and transgender activist. Molloy was an editorial and news contributor to Advocate.com, focusing on transgender issues. She has also written for other publications, such as Media Matters for America.

Christopher Lee (activist) American LGBT activist

Christopher "Christoph" Lee was a Chinese and Polish-American transgender activist, and award-winning filmmaker in the San Francisco Bay Area community. He was also the co-founder of Tranny Fest, now called the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF). In 2002 he was the first openly trans man Grand Marshal of San Francisco Pride. Lee's death and the designation of his assigned gender at birth on his death certificate rather than his self-identified gender was the impetus behind the "Respect After Death Act", AB 1577, which was passed in California on September 26, 2014.

Brian Michael Smith American actor (born 1983)

Brian Michael Smith is an American actor known for ground-breaking performances on television and advocacy for trans representation in media. His role as Toine Wilkins, a transgender police officer, in Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar, (OWN), launched him into a series of high-profile roles including political strategist Pierce Williams in Showtime's The L Word: Generation Q (2019) cast. Smith became the first out black trans man in a series regular role on network television when he was cast as firefighter Paul Strickland in FOX's 9-1-1: Lone Star (2020). Other appearances include NBC's Chicago P.D., HBO's Girls, and Showtime's thriller Homeland.

<i>Circus of Books</i> (film) 2019 documentary film

Circus of Books is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Rachel Mason, written by Rachel Mason and Kathryn Robson and starring Karen Mason, Barry Mason and Rachel Mason. The premise revolves around Circus of Books, a bookstore and gay pornography shop in West Hollywood, California, and in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

References

  1. 1 2 Eric Vosika (March 26, 2010). "Protest at Tribeca Film Festival". TheCelebrityCafe.com. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  2. Michael Musto (May 4, 2010). ""Ticked-off Trannies" Should Get a GLAAD Award!". The Village Voice . Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 Lindsey, Steven (March 26, 2010). "Dallas filmmaker Israel Luna premiering new film in New York to much controversy". Pegasus News . Archived from the original on April 25, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  4. "Gay Director Israel Luna Is Sick of Bashing Victims Sucking It Up. So He Made a Movie Where They Stab Their Attackers To Death". Queerty . 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  5. Anderson, John (April 26, 2010). "Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives – Film Reviews – Tribeca". Variety. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  6. Genzlinger, Neil (October 14, 2010). "Seeking Vengeance in High Heels". The New York Times . Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  7. Goldstein, Gary (October 21, 2010). "Trannies | Movie review: 'Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives'". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  8. Scheck, Frank (October 19, 2010). "Ticked-Off Trannies a gender-bender gem". Reuters . Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  9. "Call to Action: Demand That Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives Be Pulled from Tribeca Film Festival Line-up". GLAAD. March 26, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  10. "GLAAD Ticked Off About 'Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives'". PopEater . Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  11. Compiled by DAVE ITZKOFF (March 30, 2010). "Arts, Briefly – Trailer to Change for Transgender Film". The New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  12. Itzkoff, Dave (March 26, 2010). "'Ticked-Off Trannies' Actor Responds to Controversy". The New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2011.