IMDb > The Tattooist (2007)
The Tattooist
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The Tattooist (2007) More at IMDbPro »

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The Tattooist -- A young artist (Behr) unknowingly plays a role in releasing a deadly spirit as he attempts to learn tatau, the Samoan tradition of tattooing.

Overview

User Rating:
5.2/10   2,525 votes »
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Up 22% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Contact:
View company contact information for The Tattooist on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 November 2007 (Singapore) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Evil in ink.
Plot:
A young artist unknowingly plays a role in releasing a deadly spirit as he attempts to learn tatau, the Samoan tradition of tattooing. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Nutshell Review: The Tattooist See more (23 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Jason Behr ... Jake Sawyer
Mia Blake ... Sina
David Fane ... Mr. Va'a

Robbie Magasiva ... Alipati
Ian Vincent ... The Tattooist / Lemi
Caroline Cheong ... Victoria
Nathaniel Lees ... Mr. Perenese

Michael Hurst ... Crash

John Bach ... Lazlo McFadden
Matailiili Denzel Tuimauga ... Osone
Glen Jackson ... Cousin #1
Edmund Paongo ... Cousin #2
Fasitua Amosa ... Dr. Lima
Lauren A Jackson ... Triage Nurse (as Lauren Jackson)
Alison Bruce ... Charge Nurse
Allison Strickett ... Second Nurse
Pip Hall ... Third Nurse
Dean Sacred ... Canine
Chen Bangzhi ... Luke (as Bang Zhi Chen)
Seiloga Sita ... Perenese Daughter
Misa Tupou ... Perenese son-in-law
Gerald Chew ... Mr. Lim
Aleni Tufuga ... Peni (as Aleni Tufunga)
Stuart Devenie ... Senior Doctor
Justine Semei-Barton ... Mrs. Perenese
Isabella Galluzzo ... Chanel
Matthew Ridge ... Graham
Timothy Balme ... Jake's Father (as Tim Balme)

Jarred Blakiston ... Young Jake Sawyer
Helene Wong ... Aunt Suzy
Trevor Sai Louie ... Uncle Ken (as Trevor Sai-Louie)
Pete Smith ... Taxi Driver 1
Vela Manusaute ... Taxi Driver 2
Tovey Lemusa ... Semo
Peni Tuala ... Opeta
Sijie Chan ... Mr. Lim's Son

Yu Beng Lim ... Mr. Lim's Lawyer

Andy Wong ... Expo Customer
Roy Levy ... Church Minister (as Reverend Roy Levy)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mema Maeli ... Herself (uncredited)

Samuel Wheeler ... Extra (uncredited)

Directed by
Peter Burger 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Matthew Grainger 
Jonathan King 

Produced by
Pui Yin Chan .... co-producer
Julie Christie .... producer
Paul Davis .... executive producer
James Dean .... producer
Ng San San .... co-producer
Robin Scholes .... producer
Daniel Yun .... producer
 
Original Music by
Peter Scholes 
 
Cinematography by
Leon Narbey 
 
Film Editing by
Paul Maxwell 
 
Casting by
Christina Asher 
 
Production Design by
Gary Mackay 
 
Costume Design by
Gavin McLean 
 
Makeup Department
Mike Mekash .... special makeup effects artist
Claire Rutledge .... key makeup artist
Deb Watson .... makeup designer
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fiona MacMillan .... second assistant director
Liz Tan .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Chris Halligan .... construction manager
Troy Hannett .... head scenic
Wade Hannett .... scenic artist
Clara Lill .... property master
Donna Pearman .... art department coordinator
 
Sound Department
Stefan Brough .... sound effects editor
Chris Burt .... sound designer
Gethin Creagh .... sound re-recording mixer
Francis Linehan .... sound effects editor
 
Special Effects by
Brett Beacham .... prosthetic makeup artist
Dan Perry .... prosthetics makeup
 
Visual Effects by
Maile Daugherty .... visual effects producer
Ray Jay .... visual effects
Andrew McCully .... digital effects artist
Peter McCully .... visual effects supervisor
 
Stunts
Glen Levy .... stunt double
Steve McQuillan .... stunt coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Cunningham .... first assistant camera
Kevin Donovan .... key grip
Stephen Joyce .... generator operator
Dale McCready .... camera operator
Dale McCready .... director of photography: second unit
Grant McKinnon .... gaffer
Todd Nevill .... grip
Jim Rowe .... best boy grip
Philip A.T. Smith .... clapper loader
Manning Tillman .... camera operator: underwater unit (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Saascha Wiki Kessell .... casting assistant
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Deb Brown .... costume supervisor
Adele Hing .... costume assistant
 
Editorial Department
Clare Burlinson .... digital intermediate colorist
David Hollingsworth .... telecine operator
Damian McDonnell .... assistant editor
Shanon Moratti .... digital intermediate artist
Adam Scott .... digital intermediate supervisor
Matthew Wear .... telecine operator
 
Other crew
Alex Cole-Baker .... production accountant
Veronique Lawrence .... script supervisor
Sue May .... unit publicist
Damian Molloy .... safety supervisor/medic
David Pollison .... acquisition consultant for Ghost House Underground
Andy Wickens .... lab liaison
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for violence, disturbing images, language and brief sexuality
Runtime:
92 min
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
References Friday the 13th (1980)See more »

FAQ

Is there an official website for "The Tattooist?"
Is this movie based on a book?
Any recommendations for other movies in which tattoos play a prominent role?
See more »
42 out of 70 people found the following review useful.
A Nutshell Review: The Tattooist, 24 November 2007
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore

"He needs a doctor." "No, he needs a tattoo!"

And with that comes the chuckles when the latter line is uttered by Singaporean actor Gerald Chew. The Tattooist is the second New Zealand horror movie to hit our screens here this year (the other being The Ferryman), and this one marks the first Singapore-New Zealand joint venture, with others like Kelvin Tong's Maid sequel being rumoured to be some collaborative effort of this nature as well.

Starring Jason Behr, who resembled Lorenzo Lamas in his previous big screen movie outing with the SkinWalkers, he ditches the long hair and beard for a closer crop, and takes on the titular role as a tattooist who is in Singapore for a Tattoo Exposition, held at the Capitol area. Locals will know that no such area exists (Capitol is just waiting to be refurbished/demolished), and the first 20 minutes of this movie actually had a very sexy vibe to how night time Singapore is portrayed, with its beautiful skyline, and many shots that would have made the Singapore Tourism Board give it its stamp of approval.

Some believe that tattoos give its wearer some mystical properties, as explained in movies like Spider Lilies, and perhaps that's why more than often the creatures drawn on people include fierce ones like tigers and mythical ones like phoenixes and dragons. Rarely, or never at all, do you see a pussy cat, or a rat (if you do, let me know!). Behr's Jake Sawyer earns a living giving tattoos that he hawks as tattoos that can "heal", although being a disbeliever of such prowess, and at the Expo, gets his interest piqued by the Samoan tradition of the art.

OK, so actually he's more interested in Sina (Mia Blake), whom he saw at the Expo, and prior to his journey to New Zealand to learn more of Tatau, he had "borrowed" an old tattoo tool, which to the audience, spells trouble - such stuff can only contain curses, spirits and what- have-yous. And when blessed accidentally with fresh blood from Sawyer's palm, it seems that Sawyer's customers thereafter become victims of strange deaths, spewing tattoo ink and experiencing death by tattoo art. Nonetheless it's up to Sawyer to find out the root cause in a race against time, especially when his lady love is also put at risk.

To add some depth and contribute to the reasons necessary for things that go bump, the theme of shame is examined in the rituals of the Samoan people, which is similar to the value of "face" to the Chinese. Things that bring dishonor to the family is widely frowned upon, and this discrimination brings about unhealthy relationships, especially amongst blood relations. Ultimately, it boils down to interpretation, and the selfishness of man to preserve what is deemed socially acceptable, and the measures taken to preserve mindsets and individual honor.

Director Peter Burger doesn't deliver an outright horror movie, but it seemed more along the lines of a mystery thriller. You don't get the usual tricks like shadowy figures, creaky doors, sudden slamming of furniture, bellowing winds or musical crescendos. In fact, you don't get much of that at all, only the occasional figure seen in a reflective surface, and even then done so low key, it surprisingly doesn't even raise a goose-bump. The way the narrative played out was in the vein of horror movies like Shutter, but without the unexpectedly frightening bits. It was as if the movie was in self-censorship mode, reeling back from full gory details, choosing to let the mind imagine what horrible fates have befallen the unfortunate victims.

And speaking of censorship, I booed at the badly butchered removal of a sex scene. Instead of bowing to box office pressure of an NC16 release, I thought the distributors could have submitted it for a higher rating, thus keeping the movie intact for its inaugural Sin-NZ production, but sorry. The movie boasted excellent production values, so it was a pity to have the experience marred by a bad cut. There were some off-moments in the movie, like the kid-medium and his homies, but taken as a whole, The Tattooist is a surprisingly entertaining mystery thriller that will probably pave the way for more quality (hopefully) collaborations to come.

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