Tattoos have become way past popular and getting onto hot. Once the territory of bikers and truckers, tats have now gone mainstream. Artists, celebrities, and stars have all taken the plunge. Angelina had to lose her Billy Bob tattoo, and reportedly A-Lister Daniel Day Lewis favors East Side Ink in New York. Rumor has it that Harry Styles (One Direction) has over 60 tattoos.
Movies have also inspired their fair share of tattoos. Horror movies, sci-fi, cartoons, and fantasy movies have led to tattoos of monsters, creatures, heroes, and heroines. Have Freddie Kruger on your arm, Chewbacca on your tummy, Super Woman on your back, Jack Nicolson’s The Joker on your neck, and Snow White on your whatever.
While simple tattoos can run $60 – $80, larger ones using more color can run into hundreds of dollars. But, be careful; if that Flying Superman you had tattooed on your shoulder becomes a bore, then expect to fork out thousands to get rid or alter it. Here are 13 tattoos inspired by movies, together with a bit about their sometimes famous and talented artists. Some have even had their 15 of fame on shows such as Ink Masters.
13. The Shining – RedRum is Murder by Kat Von D
Kat Von D (L.A. Ink, ex of Sandra Bullock‘s ex) is probably the most famous tattoo artist out there. According to Ink Magazine, her simple Shining tat is genius. According to the magazine, she has “chops” (not to mention her own make up line). She has done a number of versions of RedRum. Some in red look eerily like the clip in the movie. The tummy tat is big and bold and wonderful. Her High Voltage shop in West Hollywood attracts tourists, ordinary folk, and the odd celebrity. Thinking of booking with Kat herself? There’s a wait — months and months. And the shop minimum charge is $200. Walk-ins are taken on a first come, first serve basis.
12. Bad A** Chucky – Joey Hamilton
Revolt Tattoos in Las Vegas is home to some of the biggest high-end hitters in the tat business. The place is classy, full of picture windows and chrome. Joey Hamilton is one of their stars. His style is realistic, as you can see from his Bad A** Chucky Tattoo. Joey is a serious artist, winning Season 3 of Ink Masters. His portfolio includes quite a few movie inspired tats, such as Freddie Kruger and Day of the Dead tattoos. They are meant to be scary and edgy. The Revolt site has some super videos of Joey and other Revolt artists in action.
11. Yoda Star Wars Tattoo – Walter “Sausage” Frank
Another Revolt star, Walter “Sausage” Frank is a legend in the business. His Star Wars tattoos include Yoda, Hans Solo and Chewbacca. He’s also done Batman’s The Joker, Wonder Woman, and a creepy series of tats from The Corpse Bride. This guy knows his stuff, having made it to Season 4 of Ink Masters. In the end, he finished second. Like Joey Hamilton, his style is hard hitting and realistic. You can watch Sausage, Joey, and other Revolt artists on the website’s live stream.
10. X-Men Wolverine – David Corden
If Revolt Tats are realistic and edgy, David Corden’s style is, if not romantic, then softer. The X-Men: Wolverine tattoo is a good example. He is known for his portraits of movie characters like Jack Nicholson‘s Joker and Christopher Reeve‘s Superman. Located in Edinburgh, David Corden’s Semper Tattoos is a busy place. He books months in advance. By the way, he does a killer Sirius Black and works on a daily rate. His Facebook page flags his free days, so get in there quick. And he does guest gigs all over the place.
8. Friday the 13th/ Star Wars – Den Yakolev
Den Yakolev is so good that you might swear his tats are actual pictures. He’s done a creepy Friday the 13th series and a bunch of Star War images. When he posted an image of Johnny Depp as Tonto in the disaster that was the 2013 The Lone Ranger movie on his Facebook page, one fan uncharitably commented that he wished the movie had been as good as the tattoo. The artist lives and works in Moscow, Russia. The guy has a strong social media presence on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. His work is truly amazing.
7. Pirates of the Caribbean – Sarah Miller
Sarah Miller’s tattoos are realistic and portrait-like, as her tat of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow demonstrates. Miller was on the second series Spike TV’s Ink Masters (finishing as runner-up) and will be one of three tattoo artists on Spike TV’s Ink Shrinks. The general idea is that tattoo artists will help people heal through art. Whatever. In fact, when she was cast in the second series of Ink Masters, she hadn’t even applied. They came to her. She opened her own studio, Wylk Chyld in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is young and up and coming. Certainly one to watch out for.
6. Gran Torino – Bob Tyrrell
A product of Bob Tyrrell’s Night Gallery, this fantastic black and white portrait of Walt Kowalski, played by Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, captures his character’s fierceness and his weathered, craggy features. Considered a leading tattoo artist in the black and gray portrait, he also does a wonderful line of ghouls and monsters, like Frankenstein. A former musician, Tyrrell also does portraits of music legends like Willie Nelson. He works in both Detroit, Michigan and Los Angeles, California.
5. Snow White – Vicky Morgan
It’s not all monsters and intense characters in the world of movie tattoos. Disney animated cartoons such as Sleeping Beauty and Snow White have inspired many tattoos. Take the wonderful Snow White image from English tattoo artist Vicky Morgan. A self-trained artist, Morgan tends to emphasize fantasy and romance, with cartoon images, unicorns and the like in evidence. A young artist, Vicky can very much be classed as up and coming. She lives and works in Sheffield, UK.
4. Spock – Sadee Johnston
Sadee Johnston did a Spock tattoo that has fans raving. Sadee works in the Great Western Tattoo Club in Swindon, UK. She does guest appearances in Canada and the US as well. In addition to movie tats, she loves doing animals of all sorts. Her work contains more than a little fantasy and a touch of charming. She’s also done the cute, cute, little furry creatures that turned in marauding monsters in the 80s movie Gremlin, to a tee.
3. Breaking Bad – Walter White
We stray into the world of TV for this one. If there’s a top ten list of the anti-hero, Breaking Bad’s Walter White would be right up there. He is hot on the tattoo circuit these days. Some images are just plain scary, while some look more benign. Some show Walter with piles of money at his feet, and some hint at what his final fate would be. This one by Paul Orellano looks nice enough, but with just a touch of menace. Another favorite baddie tattoo subject is both Jack Nicholson’s and Heath Ledger‘s Joker for Batman.
2. Bill the Butcher Cutting from The Gangs of New York by Justin Burnout
Martin Scorcese‘s 2002 film The Gangs of New York, set in mid-19th century New York, is a classic. Leonardo DiCaprio‘s character Amsterdam Vallon, returns to New York to find his father’s killer, Bill the Butcher Cutter, played brilliantly by Daniel Day-Lewis. Justin Burnout’s tattoo captures the character, all business and cold intention. Bill the Butcher is a man who takes killing in his stride, and Justin is rightly viewed as one of the young talented tattoo artist stars that will go from strength to strength. He works in Derby, UK.
1. Day of the Dead – Johnny Opina
The 2008 film Day of the Dead was a loose remake of George Romero’s 80’s hit of the same name. It’s not tough to follow: It’s viruses and rampaging zombie-like creatures. Your basic nightmare come to life. Johnny Opina’s tats of the movie are outstanding. Considered, with the likes of Kat Von D, as a kind of celebrity tattoo artist, Opina’s work can be stark and just all out scary. He is based at Lowrider Studios in Fountain Valley, California. Clients call him meticulous, empathetic and, well, very talented. If you want a bit of dark and edgy, Johnny’s your guy.
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