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Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry

DIRECTED BY - Erich Weiss

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Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry is a feature length documentary exploring the roots of American tattooing through the life of its most iconoclastic figure, Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins. Considered by many the foremost tattoo artist of all time, Collins is the father of modern day tattooing, whose uncompromising lifestyle and larger than life persona made him an American legend. Through rare interviews, photographs and hours of archival footage, Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry: The Life and Times of Norman Keith Collins, explores the past, present and future of the global tattooing phenomenon.




Film Info

RUNTIME - 73 minutes

RATING - Not Rated

YEAR - 2007

FORMAT - DVD Region All

COUNTRY - United States

LANGUAGE - English

ATTRIBUTES - Widescreen, Color


Director's Commentary, Additional Scenes/Extras, Trailer


Erich Weiss


Doug Spagenberg

Associate Producer

Jason "JAG" Goldberg

Executive Producer

Steven Grasse


"An eye-popping spit 'n gristle documentary. Forever fascinating, outlaw cool, and way more than skin deep."

-Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

"Transcendently salty but always thoughtful...wildly entertaining!"

-Matt Prigge, Philadelphia Weekly



Customer Reviews


0 of 0 people found this review useful

starstarstarhalf a starHoly Smoke!

written by alessandro on Jun 7th, 2011read all my reviews

this review is from: Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry (ON DEMAND)

Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins comes from the true school of tattoo artists of the 50's, credited by most to modestly bring the art to the forefront of Americana. This doc could not have done a better job of retelling the beginning, the uprising, and the current state of tattoo artistry. This included great historical context as well, dating back to the Japanese's initial contribution to the art. The doc also included informative and entertaining interviews from some of Sailor Jerry's lifelong peers and admirers. (The only missing interviewed subject was Hori Smoku himself). I highly recommend this documentary of one of America's now prevalent subcultures. A fascinating, must-see film!

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0 of 0 people found this review useful

starstarstarhalf a starPortrait of a Tattoo Master

written by mattchin on Sep 29th, 2010read all my reviews

this review is from: Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry (DVD)

Sailor Jerry was a pioneer of the tattoo industry, beginning from his service in the Navy, until his death over forty years later. Infusing Japanese tattoo art into his American designs, he revolutionized how the world saw tattoos, and made a mark on the industry as indelible as his work. Hori Smoku presents a look at Jerry's legacy through his peers and colleagues that knew him best.

The film is a look at the obscure world of tattoos, chronicling Jerry's initiation into the industry, and his decades-long impact and innovations that put him at the top of the pyramid. Colleagues and friends, each highly respected tattooists themselves, recount Jerry's history and his no-apologies approach to a small, closed community of body artists. Hori Smoku is a look not at tattooing as an art craft, but on Jerry's work and how it changed the course of the art forever. The film plays well to those unfamiliar with Jerry and his colleagues' work; a knowledge of tattoo history and lore is not a prerequisite. It is the story of an utterly fascinating man that can be enjoyed by anyone willing to peer into the seedy underworld of tattoos.

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