Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
as Karl Kinsky
as Porno Girl
as Bing Make-Up
as Taxi Driver
as House Buyer
as Pregnant Wife
as Boat Captain
as Japanese Tattoo Artist
as Texan's Friend #1
as Texan's Friend #2
Critic Reviews for Tattoo
As sleazy a viewing experience as one might expect from a movie in which Bruce Dern kidnaps Maud Adams and scribbles all over her.
Overheated psychological horror schlock.
An effectively creepy psychological thriller with Bruce Dern at his unhinged best.
Audience Reviews for Tattoo
Here's a fairly lame attempt at an 'erotic thriller' which wastes an exceptional turn by Bruce Dern as tattoo artist Karl Kinsky, who sees his occupation less as a career than as a spiritual calling. Maud Adams is Maddy, the air-headed supermodel who inexplicably becomes the object of his hopeless, sexually-stunted desire; Adams has precisely 1/100th the talent and conviction of Dern, and consequently watching her suffer at his hands is painful for all the wrong reasons. Essentially Karl wants to cover her body with his 'mark' (elaborate tattoo work) so that she'll stay with him forever. You see, Karl has some strange ideas about women which straddle the line between oafish servitude and sexual sadism. The way the film unfolds the mystery of his character is a betrayal of Dern's fine and nuanced performance, since the script doesn't have much intelligence built into its design. The screenplay by Joyce Buñuel, daughter-in-law (!) of the great Luis Buñuel takes none of the master's delight in human perversity, instead settling for leering sensationalism and by-the-numbers suspense film clichés. Director Bob Brooks knows how to use his camera to create striking images, but there's only so much a well-placed set of female breasts can convey before the script needs to kick in with some valuable subtext. And as I mentioned before (and feel obliged to mention again), Adams's failure to register even a single believable emotion doesn't help the film's cause. One wonders what might have been if Brooks and Buñuel had taken a more challenging route with their story rather than serving up De Palma-Lite. Unfortunately, this is a deeply stupid movie that doesn't even succeed as camp.
Despite Bruce Dern's fine performance, the plot has quite a few holes, and ends up being a hollow genre exercise rather than a fully realized story.
One of Dern's trademark unbalanced psyche roles.
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