5.1/10
635
16 user 10 critic

Tattoo (1981)

A troubled tattoo artist has designs on a model.

Director:

Bob Brooks

Writers:

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

Photos

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

His twisted passion for her and her desire to escape, mark their lives forever. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 October 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tatuaje al desnudo See more »

Filming Locations:

Hoboken, New Jersey, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Maddy: But then you mustn't hurt me. Because if I hurt my skin, then you hurt the mark and you don't want to do that.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Winners That Were Losers (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I don't do minors".
10 May 2016 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

Karl Kinsky is an army veteran who returns home, becoming a tattoo artist specializing in Eastern designs. He's a quiet and solemn individual, who had somewhat a bumpy upbringing with a father who looks down upon him and still does because of his profession. He is hired to create temporary tattoos for some models, but he slowly becomes obsessed with one of them Maddy. He begins a relationship with her, for it only to implode due his prudish believes and constant harassment. But he takes matters into his own hands when he kidnaps her and decides he wants to leave his mark on her.

"Tattoo" is a fascinating early eighties psychological slow-burner with an outstanding lead showing by Bruce Dern. It can be said, in his career Dern has been lumped in villainous / unlikable roles, but here it's a perfectly disturbed pitch of subtle and mannered shades. Across from him is the beautiful and headstrong Maud Adams, as the leering affection that Dern's character longs for. The script paints Kinksy as someone who knows what he wants, but wants it to be pure which leads to misconception and Dern's performance nails his character's insecure nature, as cracks start appearing showing an unsettling side. That being, the film progression is not unique, but quite routine and sombre. I think it works better in the opening stages setting up the characters, then so during the captive moments of the story. This is when it kind of stalls, but still visually it ends on an effective note. You'll know where it heads, but it's the acting, gritty urban locations (which also paint a desolate and lonely facade) and vivid tattoo artwork designs (and their meanings) on show that evaluate the formulaic plot. Bob Brooks' measured direction is efficient and busy, but its Dern's show. Also there's capable support by Rikke Borge, Leonard Frey and John Getz.


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