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The Tattooist

THE TATTOOIST starring Jason Behr, Mia Blake, Michael Hurst and Singapore's Caroline Cheong is a supernatural thriller, made by Singaporean and New Zealand co-production partners. The story centres on Samoan spiritual beliefs, in which the barrier between our world and the spirit world is very thin, leading events in one to have serious and chilling repercussions in the other.

The Tattooist – a Samoan perspective:

The underlying theme of this movie is very real in Samoan terms, as Samoan cultural adviser to the film, orator chief Pa’u Tafaogalupe Mulitalo (Tafa) explains: “There's a term in Samoan called lama avea. When a person steals something from a tattooist like an implement, a design or a title or when a tattooist performs without the proper traditional Samoan cultural franchise, the term lama avea applies. It means that his art has been cursed. So because Jake steals a tool from the Samoan tattooist Alipati at the Singapore tattoo convention, every new work that he does becomes lama avea. The evil spirit, the ghost of the art of tattooing, has gone through the tool to make the recipients of Jake’s tattoos the victims of the curse.”

He says “The perspective of the Lagimalofie Trust to which I belong, toward the film is quite positive because it reflects the power and the nature of tatau or pe’a in a traditional way being so powerful. The movie portrays a powerful image and the philosophy that underlines the art of body art from a Samoan perspective - the ghost, the taboos and the sacred practices surrounding the art of tattooing in the Samoan context and that’s why we thought that the movie portrays the powerful image of tatau.

“As a group of Samoan men and women with Samoan traditional tattoos. We are very happy with the movie because it portrays the powerful notion of traditional body arts called lagimalofie.”

The Tattooist is NOW showing in New Zealand & Singapore! TATTOOS ROCK!


  1. I watched the movie last Saturday. My girlfriend, who's a tattoo lover, enjoyed it! It could have easily been one of her all time favorites if it had been a bit more gory. Just right for me!

  2. Cool! Thanks for heads up. We're probably gonna watch it next week. Just checked out your blog. Nice work mate. Are you from the Philippines?

  3. just caught the show last night at vivocity. not too bad. =)

    caroline cheong's acting wasn't the best though. oh well.

  4. haha...what else can we expect right? there's this other local actor in the movie. he's the guy that wants his kid tattooed if i'm not mistaken.

    how's the cinema at vivocity jon?

  5. well, i managed to catch the show at vivo's Cinema Europa, where they're suppose to screen all the more "arty-farty" shows. seats are a wee bit wider, thus more comfy. but other than that, not much difference from vivo's other halls.

    and you're right noel. there is indeed another singapore actor, i think Gerald Chew is his name.

    anyway, the after show event was interesting, they got Alex Chua, the photographer that did Tattoo City exhibition, down for a quick chat with the audience. FYI: he's current project is this book abt the tattoo culture in S'pore, and he's short of abt 40 odd people. =)

    if you're interested i guess it could be worth while looking him up! imagine, being featured in a book! nice. =)

  6. Anyone know if this movie was released in the U.S.

  7. I doubt so. Visit the official website. They might have some news...


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