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5 Best Tattoo Documentaries To Watch Online

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

a widescreen tv with a programme screenshot of  a tattooed man and a youtube play button
TV binge at your own risk...

Documentaries and TV shows are more accessible now than ever and if you’re anything like me then you’ve come close to stopping episode 8 from playing automatically as you easily cruised through the first seven episodes consecutively.

I’ve watched Ink Master from Season 1 up to its current Season 12 and it’s as good as ever. Tattoo Fixers on Channel 4 is an alright filler but MTV’s Just Tattoo Of Us is something to avoid altogether. TV binging means that we eventually run out of things to watch and end up spending more time browsing than watching (I sometimes feel like I watched a whole movie just clicking on every single category).

If you have an interest in body modification, tattoos in particular, tattoo styles, their origins and learning about legendary tattoo artists from both past and present, you’ll enjoy the following documentaries for free!

1. The Last Kalinga Tattoo Artist: Whang-Od

Whang-Od is certainly no spring chicken at 102 years of age but she has the talent and a 20/20 vision to be desired. She uses a slightly more painful tattooing method as you’ll see in this documentary. There’s no way you would want an underboob tattoo done this way!

Warning: Some scenes might upset some people. Viewers discretion advised!

2. Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry

You’ve probably heard of 'Sailor Jerry' tattoos but how and when did it come about? This documentary explores the traditional American tattoo style tattoos and the life of ‘Sailor Jerry’.

3. Lyle Tuttle

Hailed as the 'father of modern tattooing', Lyle Tuttle tattooed the likes of Cher, Henry Fonda and Janis Joplin, to name but a few. Having passed away in 2019, has left quite a tattoo legacy. One heck of a storyteller, enjoy this interview!

4. Ed Hardy: The Godfather of Modern Tattooing