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Tattoo Nation (2013)

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How did tattoos go from something that was put on you to an expression that comes from within you? That transformation is the subject of a new groundbreaking documentary film, TATTOO NATION.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »





Credited cast:
Don Ed Hardy ... Himself
Freddy Negrete ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
... Himself
Joe Bauman ... Himself
Miguel Bohigues ... Himself
Chuco Caballero ... Himself
Catfish Carl ... Himself
... Himself
Charlie Cartwright ... Himself
Erin Chavez ... Herself
Tennessee Dave ... Himself
C.W. Eldridge ... Himself
Andy Engel ... Himself
Kore Flatmo ... Himself
Juan 'Pint' Gonzalez ... Himself


Tattoos used to be a sign of rebellion. A middle finger salute to the rest of the world. Outlaw bikers got tattoos. Sailors on leave in Singapore got tattoos. Lifers in the joint got tattoos. But now it seems everywhere you go, everywhere you look - somebody is wearing some ink. In fact one out of every three US adults under 40 has one or more tattoos. So what happened? How did tattoo go from something that was put on you to an expression that comes from within you? Tattoo Nation tells the story of a few people who helped transform the world of tattoo, and the way we think about tattoos, forever. That transformation is the subject of the new documentary film, TATTOO NATION. TATTOO NATION follows three tattoo pioneers, Charlie Cartwright, Jack Rudy and Freddy Negrete, and shows how a new, fine line technique using detail and shading to achieve a remarkable realism on skin revolutionized the world of ink. In 1975, Cartwright and Rudy boldly opened the first tattoo parlor in the heart of... Written by John Corry

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In LA Their Stories are told in Black and Grey



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Release Date:

4 April 2013 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


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Did You Know?


Swag Drip
Performed by Nazo Bravo
Courtesy of RBC Records
Under license from Mighty Hye Records
Written by Nazo Bravo (as N. Aslanian) and Corey Simon
Produced by Corey Simon
Recorded by Taron Eliazaryan @ CaliNovas Studios in North Hollywood, CA
Mixed by Ariel Chobaz
Mastered by Bernie Grundman
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User Reviews

Good Documentary but limited in Scope
6 February 2014 | by See all my reviews

Tattoo Nation is a good tattoo documentary however, this is an incredibly narrow view of tattoo culture. It focuses exclusively on the evolution of the LA Hispanic black and grey gang style tattoos into the mainstream hardly touching on other tattooing styles, origins or impacts.

This is a great documentary if you are part of the So-Cal tattoo culture. As someone from the North East I found the movie interesting but underwhelming. I was hoping for a more broadly based tattoo documentary.

Tattoo Nation is a fairly misleading title. It would have been more accurately named Cali-Tattoo Culture.

As a side note, I do have a mix of both color and black&grey tats in various styles.

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