Director: David Silvio (2011)
Starring: Laura Romeo, Michael McGovern, Aaron Bernard
Find it: Official site
When they ask me, "old man, what did you do with your life?" I shall reply, "well children, I stayed up until 2:00 in the morning, waiting for Windows Media Player to buffer so I could watch a movie about a serial killer who murders women by tickling their feet until they die." "Do you regret it all?" they'll ask me. To which I shall respond: "no, not a fucking thing." Fetish Dolls Die Laughing is a supreme waste of time. But, like the act of tickling itself, that pointlessness has an odd, innocent charm. In the days of Human Centipedes and Donkey Punching, it's only fair that the humble tickle fetish should have its moment to shine.
Of all the things I have accidentally (shut up) become an aficionado of after discovering the Internet all-those-years-ago, tickle videos must rank amongst the strangest. If you had told ten-year-old Joel H that there would one day be a place where he could see a woman strapped to a table as a man tickles her feet to no real purpose, his mind would have been blown. Even more so if you'd told him about that one video I saw where the tickler does it whilst dressed as Batman. Truly, you can find anything online.
Spoiler: she gets tickled
Detective Greer English (Romeo) is a maverick cop investigating a series of brutal murders. We're shown how she has a penchant for always putting herself in danger in order to solve crimes. This reasoning will put her on a path to the 'Tickle Monster's' table. The Tickle Monster. Really. No longer is the Boogeyman the stupidest-sounding horror movie monster. Like Jason in Jason Goes To Hell, the Tickle Monster is a malevolent force that possesses bodies and forces its victim to go around tickling women to death. The current embodiment of the Tickle Monster is Billy, a chubby foot fetishist who makes crappy bondage videos with his wife. After he tickles his wife to death, Billy/the Tickle Monster embark on a killing spree that brings them to Detective English's attention. Although she could have found him by just looking in the phonebook. Weird horror movie crimes are always committed by people called Billy.
He was not to be interrupted whilst watching Jackie Brown.
Really, the film is just a series of connected fetish videos. There is a lot of tickling in Fetish Dolls Die Laughing - and I'm not even sure how it works. Mostly, Billy just tickles someone for awhile until blood starts spurting out of their mouth and they die. There's suspension of disbelief, and then there's being asked to believe that tickling can rupture your organs and kill you to death. Ditto, a brilliant bit of logic straight out of a fetish video: that having your feet continuously tickled whilst tied up will cause incurable insanity. That's actually quite similar to The Joker's plan in The Killing Joke.
I hope you like this. Because there's 100 minutes worth of it here.
One's tolerance for Fetish Dolls Die Laughing will depend entirely on how much you enjoy watching people being tickled. It's unabashedly a fetish movie, albeit one with a more intricate plot than most. In its gratuitous pandering to a foot-loving audience, it's a shame that it couldn't offer a little more for non-fans. And at 100 minutes, it's a little too long for what it is. At least two tickle scenes could have been lost, as could a lengthy sub-plot with a second serial killer. But it's amusing, (not to the extent where you'll die laughing though, yo ho ho) imaginative, grotesque and tongue-in-cheek enough that its flaws become forgiveable. Ultimately, it's a film about a man tickling womens' feet until it kills them. You're either on board for that sort of thing or you're not. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. And vanilla is my least favourite spice.