16 user 10 critic

Tattoo (1981)

Unbalanced tattoo artist Karl Kinsky grows obsessed with Maddy, a model he meets when he's hired for a photo shoot. As Karl's obsession grows, he determines that Maddy should bear his mark forever.


Bob Brooks


Bob Brooks (story), Joyce Buñuel (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Dern ... Karl Kinsky
Maud Adams ... Maddy
Leonard Frey ... Halsey
Frederikke Borge Frederikke Borge ... Sandra (as Rikke Borge)
John Getz ... Buddy
Peter Iacangelo ... Dubin
Alan Leach Alan Leach ... Customer
Cynthia Nixon ... Cindy
Trish Doolan ... Cheryl
Anthony Mannino Anthony Mannino ... George
Lex Monson Lex Monson ... Dudley
Patricia Roe Patricia Roe ... Doris
Jane Hoffman Jane Hoffman ... Teresa
Robert Burr Robert Burr ... Ralph
John Snyder ... Hawker


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 <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Every great love leaves its mark. See more »


Drama | Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


To Karl Kinski (Bruce Dern), tattoos were spiritual things. The term that he used to refer to a tattoo as being was "The Mark." See more »


Karl Kinsky: Usually they're women that are ready to identified, ready to belong. Women that need the mark in order to exist. It's nothing new. It's actually been going on for centuries.
See more »


Referenced in At the Movies: James Bond (1983) See more »

User Reviews

The best psychological thriller
4 October 1999 | by Filmbuff-55See all my reviews

This story makes has me thinking what makes a man so twisted that he becomes deeply obsessed with the woman he loves the most. (Academy Award Nominee Bruce Dern) portrays Karl Kinski a tattoo artist who develops a twisted obsession for a model that he desires the most. Maud Adams (also known as one of the bond girls who was in both The Man with Golden Gun and Octopussy) portrays Maddy, the model that Karl desires the most. This has received a little bit of controversy surrounding the issue of the poster the shows a woman to her ankles. There was also another rumor if whether the sex scene between Maud Adams and Bruce Dern was either real or just an illusion. I don't know how to rate this film, but the point of this film was that it that there are crazed obsessives who lurk among us. To be honest this was a good film.

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Release Date:

9 October 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tattoo See more »

Filming Locations:

Hoboken, New Jersey, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)
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