Tattoo (1981)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  9 October 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 529 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 7 critic

A troubled tattoo artist has designs on a model.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Frederikke Borge ...
Sandra (as Rikke Borge)
Alan Leach ...
Anthony Mannino ...
Lex Monson ...
Patricia Roe ...
Jane Hoffman ...
Robert Burr ...


Karl Kinsky, an unbalanced tattoo artist, becomes dangerously obsessed with Maddy, a model he meets when he's hired to paint temporary tattoos on a group of women for a photo shoot. As his obsession grows, Kinsky becomes increasingly determined that Maddy should bear his "mark" ... forever. Written by Eugene Kim <>

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Every great love leaves its mark. See more »


Drama | Horror | Thriller


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Release Date:

9 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Intohimon merkki  »

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Did You Know?


The furor in the media about whether the two leads' love scenes were real was parodied by Jim Stafford on Johnny Carson's "Tonight" show. Stafford hypothesized that there were only four possibilities: They were: (1) They did have sex and she was lying. (2) They didn't have sex and he was lying. (3) He did but she didn't. And (4) He did but she didn't even notice. See more »


Karl Kinsky: A tattoo isn't something you put on or take off just like sunglasses. It's a very important decision.
See more »

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User Reviews

Strange, symbolic and stupid, but if you like films about masturbating loonies...
18 June 2003 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I had high hopes "Tattoo" would be a minor gem. The ingredients were there - Bruce Dern doing what he does best: playing a psycho, the superb Leonard Frey has a minor role, a script is by a Bunuel and the plot concerns the rarely explored world of tattoos. Yet what we get is soft porn, bad acting and a ridiculously pretentious ending. Okay, so Dern is great as the masturbating, obsessive tattoo artist but the casting of Maud Adams as the object of his obsession is incredibly off. Looking like someone who just crawled out of an airbrush-laden mid-seventies Playboy issue, Adams is about as attractive as drying paint, but not quite as talented.

The script is heavily misjudged also, constructed so we come to sympathize with Dern, yet halfway switches to having Adams the protagonist, which fails as attributed to her shallow and bitchy portrayal. And there is the film's major flaw, with no-one to sympathize with the film lacks the power and suspense it so desires. On the plus side it looks great, with wonderful cinematography which somehow even manages to evoke atmosphere from the proceedings on occasion. Also we get a cameo from a teenage Cynthia Nixon, Miranda from "Sex in the City", who impresses with what little screen time she has. "Tattoo" ends on a symbolic note which some may find profound, but most will see it for what it really is - turgid and pointless.

Rent "Magic" or "The Collector" instead.

One and a half out of four.

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