If you don’t like tattoos, don’t like seeing someone be tattooed or hate the sound of a tattoo needle, then this film will turn you off almost immediately. Then again, “ink” is in the title, so you should’ve known better.
Degenerates Ink. focuses on a small crew of tattoo artists working out of an old van in the middle of nowhere: George (George Archer Jr.) is the purist, believing in a tattoo industry known less for sanitation and reality shows and more for dirty needles and rough customers. Wes is the tattooist-in-training and Nikki (Amber Bell) is the spitfire that launches a new money-making campaign: when people come to get tattooed, kill ’em and rob ’em. Thus begins the tattoos, gore and mayhem.
The hook for George is that most of the people they’re killing aren’t worthy of a tattoo anyway (one guy asks if he does “tribal” art and then practically cries during the ordeal). This lends more of a dark comedy aspect to the grit, because most of the tattoos folks are asking for are pretty ridiculous, and George’s reluctance to kill, if any, is easily replaced with disdain for the customers.
As the film’s website states, this is a movie about “tattooing and killing and tattooing,” and that’s exactly what happens. If you’re looking for something deeper, then look elsewhere because very little else happens. The violence is over-the-top in its FX, but matter-of-fact in its delivery. Most die with the “thud” of a flashlight to the back of the head, though some meet a more bloody and gruesome fate as the film rolls along (got to mix it up and raise the stakes somehow).
To its credit, the film is barely over an hour long, so if it starts to seem tedious, it doesn’t last long enough to really wear out its welcome too much. And, again, this film is exactly what it says it is so you’re either into some tattoo-murder insanity or you’re not.
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