Starring: Christian Redl and Johan Leysen
Tartan Video
RRP: 19.99
TVD 3471
Certificate: 18
Available 24 May 2004

A young policeman straight out of training school is caught at a drugs rave party. With his prospective career on the line, he finds himself being blackmailed into joining the Homicide squad. His insider knowledge is needed, but he soon finds himself well out of his depth. Somebody is killing people and removing the skin with their tattoos. He soon learns that the detective who coerced him has been looking in earnest over two years for his runaway daughter, after his wife was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The trade for classic Japanese tattoos by a talented but deceased artist hots up; some will pay millions and others will kill, but the artist's best work is on a woman still alive...

This is a German film with the option of English subtitles. Whilst I'm not a connoisseur of the German language I did listen for different emotions in the voices of the cast... and heard none. Even the movements of the actors were pretty staid, giving the impression they were simply going through the motions. The Homicide detective portrays the strong, silent approach, and the young policeman, almost the same in terms of moodiness, slouches his way through the movie tripping over clues, witnesses and informants as if this were a game of Cluedo.

Although the idea of trade in live tattoos is essentially sound, no one in the film shows any enthusiasm for the proceedings. Granted, in many American films there's lots of shouting and running around for no discernible reason, but here no one raises their voice for the entire duration and you feel like shaking some life into them.

I'm sorry, but with this being the case, why should I show any interest?

Ty Power

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