Tattooist, The (DVD)

The Tattooist DVD review (click for larger image)Reviewed by Andrew Kasch

Starring Bad CGI, Jason Behr, Mia Blake, David Fane

Directed by Peter Burger

Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Here is undeniable proof that New Zealand films can suck too. The Tattooist is yet another uninspired take on the Asian-ghost-haunts-people-through-object movie, only without the mood or atmosphere to back it up. Jason Behr (aka Cinema’s Kiss of Death) stars as a famous American tattooist in Singapore. He’s no Kat Von D – in fact his art kind of sucks – but for some reason the superstitious yokels love his work (ancient beliefs have it that tattoos carry healing powers). One early scene involves Behr answering a call to discover a concerned parent who wants one for his dying child, which leads to this exchange:

Jason Behr: “He needs a doctor.”
Concerned Dad: “He needs a tattoo.”

At a trade convention Behr swipes an ancient Samoan tattooing tool which just so happens to be cursed. Suddenly everyone he inks starts dying when the tattoos on their body come to life and kill them (you read right). A few CGI ghost attacks and shitty pop tunes follow. When Behr finds out he’s inked his girlfriend (oops!), it’s off to solve another groovy mystery – just like every other damned ghost movie ever made.

The Tattooist DVD review (click for larger image)There’s really nothing to say about The Tattooist. It’s a forgettable movie with a forgettable cast of forgettable characters from forgettable filmmakers. In fact, I can feel this one slipping away from all collective thought as I type this review. Even at ninety minutes, the already thin concept feels padded beyond all reason, and it has never been more obvious that horror has run out of objects to make threatening. I can’t imagine rednecks looking in fear at their Skynyrd tattoos after viewing this movie.

The DVD has a good amount of extras on it. There’s a commentary and three deleted scenes of extra padded material. Rounding out the disc are five behind-the-scenes featurettes, most notably “Real Life Samoan Tattoo”, in which we see a painful real-life tribal tattooing, and “The Colors of The Tattooist”, which treats this bland-looking movie as if it were Suspiria. Also included is a digital copy of the film for those who want to poison their Sony PSPs.

There’s also a trailer for a DTV video movie called Impact Point that may be the funniest thing in existence – a Brian Austin Green thriller about a Pro Beach Volleyball chick who is being stalked by a volleyball hating killer. Will she find the courage to go through with the beach game of her career when the killer says he will strike? Now that’s drama!

If you’re a person hellbent on knowing every weird cultural superstition in the world, The Tattooist might hold your interest for fifteen minutes or so. Then just skip to the end to hear the world’s funniest rap song, which actually has the lyrics:

“I’m hard to kill like the Chronicles of Riddick.”

Er… Yea.

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with Peter Burger and Jason Behr
  • The Tattooist: behind-the-Scenes featurette
  • Behind the Tattoo Designs featurette
  • The Colors of the Tattooist featurette
  • Real Life Samoan Tattoos featurette
  • Becoming a Chief featurette
  • Deleted scenes


    1 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    3 1/2 out of 5

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  • Steve Barton

    You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

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    • Morgan Elektra

      I’m with Deb on this. Dean brought this home, and I took one look at the box and went ‘Echhhhhh’. But it was fairly engaging. It would be in the 2 1/2-3 range for me as well. I’m not going to buy it (especially with that box art!), but I’d watch it again.

    • The Woman In Black

      We watched this last night, and yeah, it’s pretty forgettable, but I wouldn’t rate it quite as low as Andrew. Probably a 2 1/2 just because it’s a fairly original idea, and while the execution is nothing special, it does have its moments. It looks great — kudos to the lighting person especially. Behr gives probably the best performance of his career (I know, that’s hardly a ringing endorsement), and the gal who plays his love interest is a nice change from the typical plastic “beauties” we’re usually subjected to in American films.