Reviews

  • Nov 07, 2014

    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.

    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.

  • Mar 31, 2013

    Slow-moving, overacted and overwrought.

    Slow-moving, overacted and overwrought.

  • Mar 02, 2011

    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.

    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.

  • Nov 10, 2010

    A mentally ill tattoo artist kidnaps a model to create his masterpiece on her body.

    A mentally ill tattoo artist kidnaps a model to create his masterpiece on her body.

  • Jul 16, 2009

    Haha it's one of those films, isn't it ... you either love it or hate it. I saw it a couple of times when I was at school and I still remember it 'til today. Maud Adams was gorgeous in it ... and like Pamela De Graff said ... it was an 80s pre-cursor to Boxing Helena.

    Haha it's one of those films, isn't it ... you either love it or hate it. I saw it a couple of times when I was at school and I still remember it 'til today. Maud Adams was gorgeous in it ... and like Pamela De Graff said ... it was an 80s pre-cursor to Boxing Helena.

  • Steve S Super Reviewer
    Jun 12, 2009

    One of Dern's trademark unbalanced psyche roles.

    One of Dern's trademark unbalanced psyche roles.

  • Pamela D Super Reviewer
    May 28, 2009

    Bruce Dern is at his best as a disturbed suitor with a restless tattoo needle.

    Bruce Dern is at his best as a disturbed suitor with a restless tattoo needle.