Film reviews and more since 2009

The Tattooist review (2018)

Dir. Michael Wong

By: Steve Pulaski

Rating: ★★

The Tattooist is merely 80 seconds in length. Had it not been so visually refined and deceptively elaborate in a narrative sense, it would’ve suffered from its own brevity. As it stands, director/writer/production designer Michael Wong plunges us into a mysterious lair where a tattooist (Wang Yanhu) exercises his obsession through art. His clients become victims after seeing their artistic vision come to life on their body. They are then drugged and imprisoned in Saw-esque chains and cages. Dialog-free, The Tattooist carries itself through its immaculate art direction (also done by Wong). Initially pulsating purples and pinks turn into dungeon-dwelling browns and blacks as the victims are left bound and bloodied. The aesthetics alone remind you the kind of care and attention that go into every frame of a short or feature-length film. As it stands, however, The Tattooist is essentially a teaser trailer for a project one hopes will be expanded. If it retains this level of ominousness, it’s sure to haunt longer than 80 seconds can.

You can watch The Tattooist on Vimeo:

Starring: Wang Yanhu, Lu Li, Myra Mala, Chase Lichtenberg, Simon Shiyamba, Mayela Magrou, and Dan Litza. Directed by: Michael Wong.

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About Steve Pulaski

Steve Pulaski has been reviewing movies since 2009 for a barrage of different outlets. He graduated North Central College in 2018 and currently works as an on-air radio personality. He also hosts a weekly movie podcast called "Sleepless with Steve," dedicated to film and the film industry, on his YouTube channel. In addition to writing, he's a die-hard Chicago Bears fan and has two cats, appropriately named Siskel and Ebert!

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