The Tattooist – DVD Review

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Being a fond lover of tattoos and looking forward to getting more in my lifetime, I’ve come to know a lot about their history. Many people get tattoos so that they may wear symbols of their accomplishments, loves, or memories of certain people and times. Others get tattoos so that they may be welcomed into certain groups or institutions without being discriminated against. Then there are those who get tattoos for no other reason but thinking they “look cool.” The small amount that people know though is that tattoos have long been seen as symbols of courage, icons of honor, and sometimes for much deeper meanings.

Jake Sawyer is a tattoo artist. Straight and simple, Jake is a man that tattoos whatever people want on them; but he has a deeper secret. He lets on that his tattoos have the special ability of healing those that get them applied with special tattoo needles, which are available here to buy- tattoo needles for sale. Like any red-blooded American, Jake is merely running a scam that will escalate his business and fill up his pockets. Looking to advance his con…err, business in any way that befits him, Jake stumbles across an old Samoan tattoo needle and steals it for his own. He never stopped to think what the consequences may be.

Continuing his scam that his tattoos heal people, things begin to take a weird turn in Jake’s life. Soon people he’s marked begin feeling strange feelings of euphoria and transformations that eventually lead to their deaths. Not quite realizing what is going on at first, Jake continues his practice but it all finally begins to come around. Noticing that his clients are dying these horrible deaths, he must find out what the cause of it is before not only his career comes to an end, but also his own life.

The Tattooist is one of those films that you really can’t expect too much from or else you’re not going to enjoy it at all. It has a somewhat interesting storyline that is rather predictable, but somehow keeps things entertaining. Never was I left guessing as to how things would turn out or really what would happen next; yet my attention never diverted and I was able to keep on watching without getting fed up. That has to be considered a success for a direct-to-DVD-never-heard-of-the-film-before right? Considering some of the crap I’ve seen in the past two years alone, this was a masterpiece of small screen cinema.

Throughout the film you’ll get a little bit of action tossed in with some gore and nicely done death scenes. Don’t expect too much though because besides the deaths of Jake’s clients, there’s a good deal more going on. You have the problems with him stealing the needle. Then there are the little stories of people’s tattoos and what they symbolize. Added on top of all that is a love story that Jake has by getting involved with a church-going girl named Sina, so you can imagine the complications their differences make. It’s rather convoluted at times but never really boring. So by all means this isn’t one of those you should just pass up because you’ve never heard of it before.

The film is shown in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and it looks surprisingly good in both color and darker scenes. Colors are bright without any problems and the darker scenes can be seen without having to squint or wonder what is going on.

The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and the surrounding speakers were never really put to good use which seems like a waste. Dialogue can be heard clearly and loudly except for a few moments here and there, but nothing too bad.

Bonus Digital Copy – Feel free to get another version of the film for your computer or laptop by inserting the disc into your DVD-ROM drive.

Deleted Scenes – There are three deleted scenes and none of them have any real relevance to the film, and nothing is taken away by them being left out.

The Tattooist: Behind The Scenes – This is your basic “making of” featurette with some backstage footage while the cast and crew discuss the shoot.

Behind The Tattoo Designs – Two and a half minutes of a real tattoo artist discussing the designs and images in the tattoos included in the film.

The Colors Of The Tattooist – An explanation as to how and why certain colors were used in the film. This feature lasts two minutes and nineteen seconds.

Real Life Samoan Tattoo – Follow along with a Samoan guy that gets a tattoo representing the ocean. The technique is really awesome and looks so very painful. This feature runs three minutes and seventeen seconds.

Becoming A Chief – This one minute and forty-nine second feature goes into detail about how one becomes a chief in the Samoan world. All four of these featurettes can be seen more so as one ten to twelve minute feature since they intertwine so to speak. Very enjoyable, but way too short.

Audio Commentary – Director Peter Burger is joined by actor Jason Behr for the commentary track. There is nothing much revealed here other then a few tidbits about shooting and what they were trying to accomplish in certain scenes. A whole lot of talking about the on screen action is all you really get.

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While not something I’d watch multiple times, The Tattooist is one of those that would keep me locked on a channel if I ran across it while surfing. Too bad that it’ll probably never even end up on TNT or TBS. None the less, it’s well worth a rental for anyone looking to kill some time or because they couldn’t find the DVD they were looking for on a particular night. The special features are somewhat disappointing as there could have been so much done with anything dealing with tattoos. The shorter featurettes are really good but then end and leave you wanting for more. The commentary on the other hand is dull and just entirely too generic to merit watching the film a second time right away. Still, it’s always nice to see more films that are centered on tattoos since all there usually is to watch are some reality shows. And those suck. But The Tattooist makes you really think about one of the main rules of going to get inked: check the place out before hand and make sure it isn’t shady and that it’s clean.


Sony presents The Tattooist. Directed by: Peter Burger. Starring: Jason Behr, Mia Blake, David Fane, Robbie Magasiva. Written by: Matthew Grainger & Jonathan King. Running time: 89 minutes. Rating: R. Released on DVD: June 24, 2008. Available at

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