You know that monster that your parents used to tease you about as a kid? No, not the boogeyman, the tickle monster. Yeah, that one where they used to chase you through the house with their fingers wiggling sinisterly shouting; “The tickle monster’s going to get you.” So now there’s a movie about it.
Following in the footsteps of films like The Candyman and 2005’s shocking Boogeyman, a new childhood monster is brought to life by director David Silvio with his indie horror movie Fetish Dolls Die Laughing. A film about a police officer investigating a series of brutal murders, we follow Detective Greer English (Laura Romeo) as she throws herself headfirst into the depraved world of fetish videos in pursuit of the killer who has been butchering bridesmaids all over the city. Our good detective hones in on extreme fetish photographer Billy Tagg (Michael McGovern) who she believes to be responsible for these heinous crimes, but by the time she figures out what is really going on, it may already be too late. Similarly to a few other horror films, we discover that the Tickle Monster is actually some kind of malevolent spirit that possesses people and forces its host to go around tickling people to death.
The film opens with some heavily smoky credits (way too smoky to make out what was happening) and a spooky backing track of thumping that actually made me feel a little tense. Its opening scene then begins in typical slasher fashion with a random killing of a babysitter – except she is killed by a crazed man with long hair who tickles her until she starts bleeding from her mouth… The most terrifying parts here were actually the cut through scenes featuring a little boy and a strange man dressed as his grandmother. Chilling.
As the film progressed we learned that it wasn’t really a horror film, but more so a bizarre meshing together of a series of fetish videos, all of which have a link to each other. As you’d expect, tickling is the ‘weapon’ of choice, but we must confess that neither of us here at the Hothouse were entirely sure how this could actually kill someone, but it was totally bonkers to watch.
At roughly 1hr 40mins, the film did feel too long as essentially it is just a video doc of a man tickling women until they die and there were a few scenes that easily could have been chopped. It’s off-beat, it’s strange, it’s kind of “what the f*ck?!” and whilst some of the scenes/camera shots are questionable and the acting is a little lacklustre, it is funny. Watch drunk with friends, you never know, you may just die laughing.
Check out the trailer below.