Perfect Skin Movie Review
Written by Simret Cheema-Innis
Released by Kew Media
Directed by Kevin Chicken
Written by Kevin Chicken & Dusan Tolmac
2018, 110 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Frightfest World Premiere on 25th August 2018
Richard Brake as Bob Reid
Natalia Kostrzewa as Katia Matuszczak
Jo Woodcock as Lucy Dalton
If you’re from another country and a man seems to have a lot of interest in where you’re from, whether you have any connections or ties to your current status, there’s probably a really good reason why. He might just want to kill you.
In the case of Katia (Natalia Kostrzewa) a Polish girl whose inhabitancy screams many levels of instability, she attracts the attention of a renowned tattoo artist named Bob (Richard Drake) who develops a particular interest in her, especially when he notices that she hasn’t got any tattoos.
Taking shelter at her new friend Lucy's (Jo Woodcock) house, as she’s exercised all other options, her immediate problems are pushed aside as they venture into the grungy London underworld, partying hard and having fun. But in the shadowy corners, respected tattooist Bob observes Katia, secretly plotting his next work of art.
Perfect Skin sits as a silent killer of a movie in the UK independent film world with an uncomfortably lecherous performance by Richard Drake. On the outside, Bob is a fairly normal family man, separated from his wife with kids he clearly loves. But beyond this domestic façade, lives a deeply unhappy man fighting against time, justifying his each and every move to his victim Katia while seeking accolades for his work.
Exploiting her body, Bob goes about creating his final piece of art using Katia’s flesh as the canvas for both his ink and body modification works. He sympathises and can empathise somewhat with her pain through his own mortality issues, but yet cannot separate himself from his overall goal. And so the torture continues for Katia.
Director Kevin Chicken provides a glimpse of the alternative London punk-goth scene, but is missing a deeper look into this world, exploiting the sub-cultures and how Katia fits in and explores this world aside from the drunken coke-fuelled illusion. Although club-scenes are accompanied by pumping 90s tracks by The Prodigy, which help piece together the tone of the environment, there isn’t enough of a punch and the world portrayed isn’t so convincing.
Katia’s demise isn’t cruel enough either. Bob's tattoo work is not a masterpiece, and if I were Chicken, I would’ve completely destroyed Katia’s face, skin, flesh so that she was actually unrecognisable. Bob is wicked, ethically he takes everything away from Katia, violates her body and tries to make her feel good about it. But, the payoff of in his destruction is underplayed. The level of work lessens the impact of her torture as she isn’t completely covered and the artwork itself doesn’t appear as complex as it could’ve been considering Bob is supposed to be a top tattoo artist.
This is not to say that Perfect Skin isn’t scary. It’s terrifying and it could really happen, which is why the merit of this film lays within the realism of the story.