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rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 9/9--Bibliography

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Top Document: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 9/9--Bibliography
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See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
This is not a comprehensive list, and does not include videos that are
produced for tattoo conventions; but rather, easily accessible movies
and videos where tattoos are used in some significant form. This
wonderful movie bibliography was compiled by Carl Shapiro
(carl@lvsun.COM) unless otherwise noted:

Tattoos play minor, but sometimes interesting, roles in these movies:

"Blues Brothers". John Belushi, Dan Akroyd
 Reviewer: Ray Hamel (
 -The brothers have their names tattooed on their knuckles.

"Cape Fear" (1991). Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte.
 -A tattooed psychopath preys on a Southern lawyer and his family.

"Double Exposure" (1987). Mark Hennessy, Scott King.
 -2 photographers turn sleuth after taking a picture of a tattooed

"The Jigsaw Murders" (1989). Chad Everett, Michelle Johnson.
 -A police detective and a doctor solve a gruesome mystery with a puzzle
and tattoo as clues.

"Lethal Weapon" Mel Gibson
 Reviewer: A.D.C.Elly (
 -The cops recognise that one of the men they're after is a "Special
Forces" man because a little boy saw his tattoo (which matches the one
Riggs got when he was Special Forces).

"Man Against the Mob: The Chinatown Murders" (1989). George Peppard, 
 Ursula Andress.
 -Odd tattoos on corpses lead a detective to a Los Angeles nightclub.

"Night of the Hunter" (1991). Richard Chamberlain, Diana Scarwid.
 -A crook's family is prey to a preacher who has "LOVE" and "HATE"
knuckle tattoos.

"Night of the Hunter" (1955). Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters
 -Original (and much better) version of above. Mitchum is fantastic;
very scary.

"Once were warriors" (1994). Rena Owen, Temuera Morrison, Mamaengaroa
 - Hailed by critics everywhere, this independent New Zealand film
released by Communicado film distributed by Fine Line Features, tells a
bittersweet tale of a Maori family renched apart by alcoholism and
abuse. At the core is Beth Heke, whose desire to save her family serves
as the center of this tale. Authentic native Maori tattoos seen
throughout the film.

"The Phoenix" (1992). Jamie Summers, E.Z. Rider.
 -Tattoo master seeks perfect canvas.

"Poison Ivy" has a scene about it
 Reviewer: Abu (

"Raising Arizona". Nicholas Cage.
 Reviewer: Todd Liebenow (
 -Cage's character has a tattoo of a Woody Woodpecker head on his arm. At
the end of the movie when he's fighting the lone biker of the apoclypse
we find out that the biker has the same tattoo. However, we never find
out what all this means.

"Romper Stomper" (1993). Distributed by Seon Films, made by
 Film Victoria.
 Reviewer: Pierre Honeyman (
A love story among tattooed skinheads, there are some very good tattoos
in this movies, although the racist content may offend some viewers. The
movie is not about racism.

"Sonny Boy" * (1990). David Carradine, Paul L. Smith.
 -A demented brute and his hairy tattooed wife lose control of their
wild child, bred to kill.

 "Tales from the Crypt"
 Contributor: Abu (
 -There's an episode with Tia Carrera about a guy whose tattoo
gets...under his skin.

"Tattoo Chase" (1989). F. Richards Ford, Michael Gregory.
 -An heir has 60 days to find the treasure-map tattoo on one of his
father's global girlfriends.

"The Tattooed Stranger" (1950). John Miles, Patricia White.
 -A New York police detective tracks down a killer using a tattoo clue. 

They play major roles in these movies:

"Charles Gatewood's Tattoo San Francisco" (1988). San Francisco, CA :
Flash Video. 60 min.
Review: Short segments on tattoo enthusiasts and artists in the Bay
Area. Vyvyn Lazonga and Dick Tome are interviewed, as well as others. If
you liked the cover of _Modern Primitives_, its model is interviewed in
here as well. Production quality (lighting, editing, etc.) will not win
any Academy Awards, but the information contained is interesting.
Definitely worth renting, though probably not worth buying.

"The Illustrated Man" (1969). Rod Steiger, Claire Bloom.
 -Wonderful adaptation of Ray Bradbury's novel about a man whose body
tattoos depict actual events, all shown in flashback and flash-forward.

"Irezumi" (Spirit of Tattoo) (1985). Masayo Utsonomiya, Tomisaburo 
 Wakayama, Yuhsuke Takita, Masaki Kyomoto, Harue Kyo, Naomi 
 Shiraishi, Taiji, Tonoyama.
 -In this exquisitely beautiful Japanese film, a young woman consents to
her lover's wish to have her tattooed, and fulfills the cycle of the
tattoo master's life.
Notes from Lani: I got quite a bit more out of this movie because I
didn't need the subtitles. Some of the Japanese nuances and symbolism is
lost to a Western audience. Some of the more important points to note
while watching this film:
The seasons are one of the most common themes in Japanese literature,
much like the use of colors to represent themes in Western literature.
Examples in this film:
-Both the master's ex-wife and son had names that started with "Haru."
In Japanese, this means "Spring." The importance of this is obvious--he
had both of them earlier in life, when he was still in his spring.
-On the other hand, the continuous references to snow refer to the
closing of his life: the snow storm in the first scene in the movie; of
his telling the main character that "snowflakes would look good on your
back;" the symbol of the Japanese snow flake that leads to the
unraveling of his life; and the snowflake books.
Other symbols and themes liberally sprinkled through the film:
-Harutsune, the son, serves as a perfect amalgamation of the
parents--his backpiece is done by his mother, while his full front piece
is done by the father.
-The theme of empowerment and independence is once again present here,
as in Tanizaki Jun'ichiro's _Shisei_, the short story about the young
woman who gets a large spider on her back.
-The theme of the complete cycle is repeated throughout:
 --The change of the seasons representing the cycle of life and death
(reminiscent of _Charlotte's Web_)
 --The woman is urged to get a tattoo by the master's wife.
 --The cycle after death is complete upon the last prick.

"Signatures of the soul, tattooing" (1984). Peter Fonda. Producer Geoff
Steven. New York, NY : Filmakers Library
 -Peter Fonda explores the social history of tattooing, both 
 primitive and modern, discussing its use as ornament, badge, and
personal statement. Practitioners of the art from the Pacific Islands,
California, and Japan discuss the aesthetics of the art.

"Tattoo" Maude Adams
 -A tattoo artist obsessed with a professional model abducts her and
tattoos her entire body.

User Contributions:

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Aug 16, 2012 @ 12:00 am
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Jul 19, 2022 @ 12:00 am
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Report this comment as inappropriate
Aug 31, 2022 @ 7:19 pm
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