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Trantastic (2011)



Trantastic is the sixth ultra low-budget film released by Leia and Brandon Gadow at Scumbag Movies.  On the surface, this film is a mocumentary about the frustrations of being a non-gay transvestite in a world that assumes any man who wears women's clothing must be gay.  However, below the surface, the film is really a satirical, dark comedy that makes fun of pretty much everyone...including the filmmakers themselves...while leaving the viewer with the unanswered question, "Why are most people so judgmental about everything?"  I would imagine that if you showed this movie to a large group of people, you'd probably piss off most of them and only a few would get it, but they would think it was hilarious.  This film is definitely not for everyone and falls more into the category of 'art film' than mindless entertainment.

In terms of visual quality, the opening credits of Trantastic are extremely cool.  There is also some archival footage that looks like it's from the 50s or 60s used at the beginning and end of the film that looked great.  The majority of the mocumentary itself is amateur quality which works really well for the documentary style that the filmmakers were emulating.  Although there are a few spots where the actors seem to be having trouble keeping a straight face, the acting overall isn't bad.  Part of the plot is that the transvestites in the movie don't want to look like women.  They simply feel comfortable as men in women's clothes.  In keeping with that theme, none of the men make even remotely attractive women.  Most of them don't shave their facial hair and all of them put on their makeup poorly.  This makes the 'sexy' photo shoot sequences particularly uncomfortable to watch.  In fact, the filmmakers seemed to put a good bit of effort into making every scene as uncomfortable as possible and most of the time, they succeed.   Musically, there are a lot of songs that add to the discomfort of the movie with jarring audio.  There are a few great songs on the soundtrack which almost feel out of place considering the rest of the music seems to have been chosen to be intentionally dissonant.  Keep in mind, that the goal here was to create a movie that makes you question why 'normal' is normal.  The filmmakers did a very good job in that respect.  However, I think the movie runs a good bit longer than needed and if it had been edited down to 60 minutes rather than 80 minutes, it could have been a tighter film while still getting the same point across.

I review a lot of movies that aren't really made for the general public.  You really need to be able to look past the lack of big-budget quality to appreciate most Film Apocalypse movies.  With that in mind, I think the Trantastic is even less accessible than most of the movies that I review.  Not only do you need to be comfortable watching a film without a budget, but you also need to be comfortable with the fact that the world is a very hypocritical place.  If you're looking for a movie that's both darkly comical and will also make you think the world around you, Trantastic fits well into both of those categories.

Visit the Scumbag Movies website for more info.:


Gore-o-meter rating: 0 out of 5
(no gore)

Skin-o-meter: ? out of 5 (well, there's a painfully long 'panty shot' of a guy riding an exercise bike)