Vampire Owl: The title here is something that caught my attention early.
Vampire Bat: It rarely happens related to short-films, right?
Vampire Owl: I stopped differentiating between short-films and long films some time ago.
Vampire Bat: This is actually a micro short-film, much shorter.
Vampire Owl: That saves a lot of time then.
Vampire Bat: So, you are going for the shortest of them now.
Vampire Owl: Why not? It is best to show the most, within the shortest period of time.
Vampire Bat: Everyone is too busy these days.
Vampire Owl: I don’t see why they won’t be. The challenges are too many. Shorter movies are thus helpful in saving time.
Vampire Bat: It is a competitive world. Let us take that option of saving time then.
[Gets some vegetable puffs and three cups of cardamom tea].
What is the movie about? :: The Tattooist (Wang Yanhu) is a very popular man in the town who gets many customers, as his skill as well as the resulting work is something which has been widely appreciated. Most of his clients are young men and women who are enamoured by what he does. His reputation in his field is so high that it is near impossible for anyone else to work and gain such popularity. But there is something sinister behind his much acclaimed work. There are people drugged, imprisoned and tortured in a secret lair under his tattoo studio. Can at least one of these people survive and escape to tell the tale of brutality to others? Or will the tattooist continue to have more victims, and enjoy his run as the best of them all in the field – the grand villain? Is there hope in between the chaos, or will it be all about evil and extreme violence?
Similar Dark Legends from the Past :: The first thing that came to my mind while watching this was regarding Sweeney Todd. This tale which we literature graduates have studied as part of Victorian age literature had a barber who makes his customer victims fall down through a trap door by pulling a lever on the side of the chair on which they sit. The people who land in the basement usually dies which broken necks or skulls, and the rest are finished off. He also has a partner in crime, Mrs. Lovett, who assists him in getting rid of the bodies by making meat pies from the corpses and selling them to the u customers at her pie shop. The two shops are also connected through an underground passage. We had also heard about the same as a movie, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter as the main characters. Such dark legends of villainy never ceases being amazing.
More about The Tattooist :: We are quickly taken through this vision of the director, which keeps us asking for more. We begin by seeing the tattooist at work, and it seems like some elegant work being done there – all of a sudden, the mood changes, and we are taken to the bloody, gory side. We also see how the music changes, and the sound effects are used to a fine effect. We see what the tattooist actually manages to do, and there is that transformation from a paradise-like atmosphere to inferno. There are people imprisoned inside cages and cells, people being dragged away, corpses, and a lot of blood and gore. Then we are back to what is happening in the world of beautiful tattoos – it has us expecting the terror which is to come for the customer who is having her tattoo done by the same person. This is exactly how our imaginations are made to run far, and how we are made to wish for a longer version.
The Beauty of The Tattooist :: The charm of the movie lies not in just one element, as this creates a perfect collection of things, something that would make a near perfect horror movie if the same tempo is maintained. There are movies like American Mary which talks about body modification and the horror that comes related to that. It had one of the queens of horror, Katharine Isabelle playing a medical student desperate for money ending up taking clients from the body modification community to solve her financial troubles. Well, tattoos can have the same effect as long as the right elements are added, and we can see that Michael Wong has succeeded in doing exactly the same. Well, as of now, tattoos have come to this part of the world very rarely in movies, like in some funny sequences like the fainting moments in the Malayalam movie Aanandam.
How it finishes :: Watching The Tattooist as a full-length movie will be a horror movie lover’s dream, as this one could serve as a fine trailer about what can come. Michael Wong’s directorial debut short film The Story of 90 Coins was a lovely flick which dealt with an entirely different topic, and extreme opposite if we look at it. It had picked up more than sixty accolades from different international film festivals including the Best Direction and Best Cinematography. The Tattooist hasn’t been far behind in creating some grand waves all around. As he has easily gone through two different genres, creating two interesting movies with ease, we can be sure that there is more to expect from him. Until then, enjoy watching this micro short-film, and the same can be found at the bottom of the review. Along with the same, enjoy the summer vacation going on at this part of the world!
[Returning after the movie and snacks].
Vampire Owl: You can see that my opinion about having a micro short-film remains the same.
Vampire Bat: I see that you have enjoyed watching this short-film, and at the same time, keeping your valuable time to make a good use of the same.
Vampire Owl: Yes, and still we have watched what we needed.
Vampire Bat: It is an idea which stays and expands further in our minds, after we finish watching the movie.
Vampire Owl: Yes, we can even contribute with our own version to add to the already existing idea through imagination.
Vampire Bat: It makes me wonder what the tale of each victim would be.
Vampire Owl: This is certainly worth a longer version too.
Vampire Bat: I would keep my hope high about that.
Vampire Owl: I am recommending this for the whole vampire community.
Vampire Bat: I would be doing the same thing too.
[Takes a long walk into the darkness].
Watch the film here:
Release date: 9th June 2018
Running time: 2 minutes
Directed by: Michael Wong
Starring: Yanhu Wang, Li Lu, Myra Mala, Mayela Magrou, Dan Litza, Simon Shiyamba, Chase Lichtenberg
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.