Nemesis of the Controversial Documentary “Tickled” Dies

David D’Amato speaking to Tickled co-director, Dylan Reeve at a film screening

by Legendary Lew

David D’Amato, the subject of last year’s controversial documentary Tickled has died, according to the film’s directors David Farrier and Dylan Reeve with confirmation via The New York Times’ Obituary section.

D’Amato was alleged to have been behind a fetish film company called “Jane O’Brien Media,” which paid lucrative sums of money to young men for tickling films. The documentary uncovered bullying tactics and blackmail perpetrated against some of the men appearing in and assisting with the tickling fetish shorts.

With legal and even thinly-veiled personal threats against them, Farrier and Reeve set out to discover who was behind “Jane O’Brien Media.” That trail led to D’Amato who, according to Tickled, was the sole source of funding for the fetish films. D’Amato’s past disturbing criminal history was also exposed in connection with the creation of tickle fetish films.

The news of D’Amato’s death was a bit of a shock, given that Tickled was only just given a very broad release on HBO. (Last year, it was granted a limited theatrical release and available on iTunes and Amazon on Demand).

With D’Amato’s passing and personal legal threats left behind, I have a feeling more accusations may pop up. A number of posts on TKLFrat and Tickling Media Forum (TMF), two outlets for the tickling fetish community, have expressed condolences.

Others expressed no sorrow. One case in point: the post by TMFJeff, a co-founder of TMF who was on the receiving end of one of D’Amato’s lawsuits. He explained how he was practically forced to censor any discussions about D’Amato on his website, in order to keep the forum from being shut down:

Years and years ago, after he got out of jail, he sued a bunch of Internet companies including Google and Yahoo, for five million dollars. Among those named were me personally and the company that was hosting the TMF at the time. Nobody wants to be sued for five million dollars, but I wasn’t that worried because it was an obviously ridiculous suit.

But our hosting company wanted no part of it. I got a call at about 8:30 AM one day from their lawyer who said I had four hours to take down the TMF. It wouldn’t have been a huge deal, just a few days of downtime while we found a new host, but who needs that headache? So I said “What if I just put his name and alias into my spam filter, and make it impossible to have discussions about him on my site? Would that satisfy you?”

They agreed, so that’s what I did, and that’s why he’s been on the blocked list for so long.

David D’Amato may be dead, but I have a feeling some of the stories of his damage may continue to emerge.

BTW, I interviewed Dylan Reeve last year regarding the movie Tickled. Be sure to give it a listen right here.

Legendary Lew is the co-founder of The Underground Multiplex, host of “Mediatrocities” and the upcoming “Vital Media Show.” An avid collector and expert of weird movies, music and TV, he also hosts monthly rare board game nights and invites you to join us in Chicago!

 

Muslim Ban Protest at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport

by Legendary Lew

I arrived at O’Hare Airport too late last night for any protests. However, I made it there tonight. Here’s a group of pictures of the crowd. There were easily hundreds there on a very cold Sunday night. I’m proud of Chicago! #NoBanNoWall

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Mike Pence on Trump’s Muslim Ban: “Offensive and Unconstitutional”

by Legendary Lew

Vice-President Mike Pence forgets that videotape is forever. As Governor of Indiana last year, he described what he felt about Donald Trump’s plan for banning Muslims from the United States. Can we begin impeachment now?

Latest Entertainment for Donald Trump’s Inauguration Announced

by Legendary Lew

I’m “proud” to announce the latest entertainers to join the Inauguration Day ceremonies. Here’s a video of one of their previous performances. It promises to make the day quite special.

Female Trouble The Musical?

by Legendary Lew

I’ve long been a fan of John Waters’ trashy classic Female TroubleĀ with its amazingly crazy dialogue and situations that still hold up today.

That’s why when I first heard the Mel Henke classic swinging lounge album “La Dolce Henke” (described as a Playboy Magazine on record), I knew his wild rendition of “All That Meat” somehow fit with the film.

It’s been a few years brewing in my head, but I finally decided to make my very first musical mix combining the two great pieces. This is my way of convincing John Waters’ and others that Female Trouble should indeed become his second musical.

Hope you enjoy it!

Here’s the First Look at the New Feature “Path of Egress”

pathofegressby Legendary Lew

Trance Productions presents a new locally-made Chicago crime thriller from director Vincent Baran. Path of Egress features a large cast and, having seen some working clips of the film, looks very sharp indeed. (Full disclosure: I appear in the film briefly and am friends with leads Tyler Pistorius and Paskal Pawlicki).

From the youtube site:
A story about three close friends; Ray, a mover for a mob boss named Bub, Udjenzo, one of Bub’s best hitmen, and Leigh, Ray’s childhood friend who attempts to prove himself by providing information about the perfect heist, so perfect, that it convinces Ray to bring it to his boss. Bub, a man who never gets his hands dirty, decides to oversee the job himself. Consequently, Ray is pulled in by the FBI who make him question his friendship with Leigh.

Keep on the lookout for its appearance in film festivals this year. We will keep you updated.

 

A 1950s TV Western Inadvertently Predicts Donald Trump and His Wall

trackdownby Legendary Lew

The 1950s TV series “Trackdown” is about to be pulled from the obscurity of an ocean of TV westerns airing in the 1950s and 60s to conspiracy theory heaven.

One episode of the show, “The End of the World,” airing in 1958 was discovered by Marcy Brafman to have some strange unintentional connections to today’s politics.

In the episode, a traveling huckster named Trump (played by Lawrence Dobkin) warns the villagers of a Texas town that the Earth’s end is near unless they follow his advice–building a wall around their homes!

Further deepening the creepy factor is that Dobkin’s character has a slight resemblance to the president-elect’s father, Fred Trump, about whom Woody Guthrie wrote a scathing tune. That song is “Old Man Trump” and has a reference to “Trump’s Tower.”

(l.to r.) Lawrence Dobkin playing "Trump" and the real Fred Trump

(l.to r.) Lawrence Dobkin playing “Trump” and the real Fred Trump

 

Watch the condensed version of the show below. The TV show Trump was stopped by Texas Ranger Toby Gilman (Robert Culp), but in the deepest of ironies, television boosted another one to the highest office in the land.