If you're in the UK, and you like tattoos in movies, dash out to the theaters and take a look at the just-released crime drama SUGARHOUSE. It doesn't look like they've got a US distributor, so for those of you in the States, your only option is to keep reading!
Actor Andy Serkis, best-known for his voice and motion capture work as Gollum in the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, gets genuine screen time in this one. He portrays Hoodwink, a violent and psychotic drug dealer, in this film. His character is colorful in both personality and appearance, as Hoodwink is heavily tattooed.
The movie is based on the stage play "Collision" by Dominic Leyton. Tom is an otherwise-average boy, who's life has reached a moment of crisis. He gets caught up in a drug deal with "D," a crack addict. Both men then get caught up in a larger game of cat and mouse with the extremely dangerous local crime lord Hoodwink following the disappearance of a gun belonging to the thug.
Henna and Jagua body painter Aileen Marron was tapped to do the temporary tattooing on Serkis. To create the colorful skin designs tool over nine hours of hand-applied makeup. You can read Aileen's account of the experience on her blog. Be sure to also read up on just how her South American style of body painting works, it's fascinating.
The images shown here are courtesy of Slingshot Studios (thanks, Jane!) and let you take a first-hand look at Hoodwink's head, chest and back tattoos. Some of Hoodwink's body art has a sort of Hindu/Indian feel to them, while other bits of ink are more European/British.
To see more of the tattoos of SUGARHOUSE, you can visit the movie web site
To learn more about criminals and tattoos, you might like Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia Volume II by Alexei Pluster-Sarno and Danzig Baldaev or Prison Tattoos by Douglas K. Hall (Author), Richard Stratton (Introduction).