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David D'Amato, The Villain of The Must-Watch Documentary 'Tickled', Has Died

David D'Amato, The Villain of The Must-Watch Documentary 'Tickled', Has Died
From Slashfilm - March 20, 2017

David DAmato, the central villain of the popular 2016 documentary film Tickled, has passed away at age 55. The movie was one of David Chens best films of 2016and I recently caught up with it when it hit HBO. Im not sure Tickled is a great film, but its certainly compelling, weird, and a must-watch. HBO userscan now watch italongside a short film titled The Tickle King, which serves as a quasi-sequel and updates you on everything that has happened since the film originally screened.

As Tickled is structured as a mystery, complete withsome strange twists, I would warn you against reading anything about the film, watching a trailer, or even delvingfurther in this post if you have yet to see the movie.

Is David DAmato dead? The news of hispassing comes via the New York Times obituary section. According to the paper of record, DAmatodied suddenly on March 13, 2017, at the age of 55. He is survived by his dear Aunt Gloria (DAmato) Johnson and her husband Kenneth of Oradell, New Jersey.

The paper talks about Davids schooling, his career as a School Guidance and Residential Counselor, his pursuit of a law degree, his sports fandom (he was a lifelong New York Islanders and New York Mets fan and would frequently travel to Montreal to see the Canadiens play), and his charity work. Heestablished the George G. DAmato Family Foundation in memory and honor of his father. The obituary does not mention his involvement inJane OBrien Media, the company that produces the competitive tickling fetish videos at the heart of Tickled or the controversy thatthat documentaryspawned.

In Tickled, filmmakersDavid Farrier and Dylan Reeve chased the mystery of this strange company, which was producing tickling competitions around the world. The documentarians discoveredthat DAmato was the mastermind behind the group, which allegedly intimidated subjects of thevideos if they did not comply with specific demands. When confronted with the allegations in the film, DAmato denied that he was affiliated with the company even though documents were uncovered that seemed to tie him directly to the business.

As I said above, I think the film is riveting and compelling, but the ending was a bit of a disappointment. The sequel short, The Tickle King, available for streaming on HBO, offers more of a conclusion to the story, albeit not much. And withDAmatos death, it doesnt seem like well get any more closure to this story.

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