Review: ‘Tattoo’

In this 20th-Century release, Bruce Dern appears as a congenital cuckoo, who loves to paint permanent pictures on people's bodies. Becoming enamored of fashion model Maud Adams, Dern decides she could be life's perfect companion, given a new paint job.

In this 20th-Century release, Bruce Dern appears as a congenital cuckoo, who loves to paint permanent pictures on people’s bodies. Becoming enamored of fashion model Maud Adams, Dern decides she could be life’s perfect companion, given a new paint job.

So he kidnaps her. Such is Bob Brooks’ direction and Joyce Bunuel’s script [from Brooks’ screen story] that the problem of getting the unconscious Adams from her NY highrise apartment to an abandoned house on the New Jersey seashore isn’t difficult at all. In one scene, they are in NY. In the next, cut to NJ. Filmmaking is simple.

Anyway, once Dern has her in his drawing room, he begins to doodle on her bare body. Finally, the work is finished and Dern takes his own clothes off to reveal that he, too, is a work of art. This seems to turn Adams on and they make love until she stabs him to death with the tattoo machine. Yes, she does.

Tattoo

Production

Levine. Director Bob Brooks; Producer Joseph E. Levine, Richard P. Levine; Screenplay Joyce Bunuel; Camera Arthur Ornitz; Editor Thom Noble; Music Barry DeVorzon; Art Director Stuart Wurtzel

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Bruce Dern Maud Adams Leonard Frey Rikke Borge John Getz Cynthia Nixon
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