Day #84

A strange dream last night.

I was looking at myself through some sort of screen. Some sort of monitor. Then I noticed other screens...

Hundreds of other screens looking at different igloos. Different people.

I saw a clown watching a comedy film...

A young couple watching a romantic comedy...

Then it all went black and I heard a voice saying, "Shut down sector 7, psycho-kinetic breach! He's got panoramic vision!"

But anyway, that's not the dream I meant. I had this one right afterwards where I turned up for my first day at a new job, looked down and I was just in my underwear! How embarassing - what can it all mean??


Watching The Tattooist was about as pleasurable as getting red hot needles stuck under my skin for an hour and a half. If this is what the director intended – some sort of hard hitting allegory to the tattooing process itself - then he’s very clever. If that wasn't his intention, then he’s just made a really shit film.

My suspicions were aroused when I first laid eyes on the unsmiling, brooding hero played by someone called Jason Behr.

An unsmiling, brooding hero invariably means one of two things:
1)That the hero is deeply in turmoil and has faced hardship and tragedy in his life that has forced him to focus on things other than his personal happiness and well-being.
2)The guy playing the hero can’t act. And has gone for the brooding look to save him having to show any emotion.

Guess which one my money’s on? Oh, and he's also wearing eye-liner. The last horror film I saw where the hero appeared to be wearing eye-liner for no apparent reason was John Cusack in '1408'. And the less said about that the better.

The director has given this film a sickly glossy sheen that is horribly reminiscint of one of those ‘classic’ Whitesnake videos of a bygone age... or perhaps even an episode of the wonderful but-now-strangely-dated erotic TV series that was Red Shoe Diaries - in fact, a David Duchovny voice-over telling us how he couldn't wait to get his leg over the mysterious Maori girl would not have felt out of place.

What I thought sounded like a promising, original premise turned out be nothing more than the old 'guy steals something/gets involved with a girl from an ancient tribe/bad things happen to him' routine. It’s a classic horror formula that can usually be done and dusted within the confines of a half hour 'Outer Limits' episode. Or 'Buffy', who used to do stuff like this for fun - usually to Xander Harris's misfortune (his penis got diseases from a Schumach tribe).

From the opening salvo of: “He needs a doctor”, “No, he needs a tattoo”, The Tattooist's stilted dialogue is delivered by an array of mediocre actors. Thank God then, that the monotony is finally broken by a laugh-out-loud moment where a chubby psychic kid communicates with the spirits by going into a trance.

How does he go into this trance? Dancing round a camp-fire? Drinking peyote?

No. He sits in the back of a speeding sports car and asks for his favourite Hip Hop track to be played as loud as possible. I haven’t checked yet, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t a standard ancient Maori ritual.

The Tattooist isn't all bad though – actually it is – but I did quite like the look of the black inky demon at the end. However, that might just have been because I was still feeling generous after crying with laughter at the chubby psychic hip-hop kid.

Here's a trailer that makes The Tattooist look better than it is:


  1. hahahaha - great review IK - I'll be sure to stay away from this one - thanks for the heads up!

  2. Why must feature film technology languish so far behind film trailer technology?

  3. Great write-up on an atrocious movie. Friday the 13th: The Series did an episode in its first season about cursed tattooing needles that was way more entertaining then this.

  4. the 'hero' Jason Behr displayed similar brooding acting chops in Dragon Wars. Dragon Wars, The Tattooist seems like this Behr fellow is the go to guy if you have a movie with a crappy title.

  5. I'm surprised no one metioned that Mr. Behr was one of the leads on the WB's sci-fi show Roswell, exec. produced by Jonathan Frakes (of ST:TNG fame). Yeah, his acting is limited but you get to see more of it showcased over 3 seasons of Roswell. Katherine Heigl was also on that show.

  6. I didn't think it was a bad movie, but Jason Behr is far from being a good actor. I liked the movie because Jason Behr is hot (and I'm a straight woman) and I like tattoos. It's a very interesting film if you like tattoing and tattoos. If not, forget it. And it is not scary at all