A twisty, oddly involving documentary touching on legal gapes, blackmail, slander, paranoia, and bigotry, among consent and status will hardly leave you tickled.
That's the name of this alternately lighthearted and unnerving expose directed by New Zealand reporter David Farrier and Dylan Reeve which could be a more cautionary and pungent variant on the absorbingly cynical and manipulative Catfish.
Farrier is known for his interest in the bizarre to accommodate his TV3 viewership comes upon something on a Facebook page which leads to anger-inducing investigative journalism. A piece which on the surface is puffy, at first, involving 'competitive endurance tickling' uncovering vindictive greed and homophobia for a presumed homoerotic fetish or seemingly athletic event where participants are well-compensated by the mysteriously profiteering and menacing Jane O'Brien Media corporation.
Yet, there are consequences for going up the organizers as the spin doctoring is evident as cases involving football and MMA come into play as Farrier's sexuality is just one part of the rampant on-line bullying. For some a redundancy may be evident in how the examination unfolds despite the clarity in the physical production (editing, lensing and electronica sounds) to support what is often a tautly efficient thriller about a fairly unknown subculture (with similar motives and emotions to the sharp feature from Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher).
Wetbacks Farrier and family-orient Reeve have crafted something surprisingly entertaining while heading Stateside to meet with the head honchos that works off some jolting misdirection to formidable effect in a production that nearly was almost halted by its makers for good reason. That will also have many seeking it if not theatrically or on cable more likely in ancillary streams.