Long before Netflix, Hulu and 50,000 other streaming services dominated our lives there used to be these things called “video stores.” You would visit them any time you wanted to watch a movie at home. After browsing the aisles and a couple of heated arguments as you tried to come to a decision, you would head home with a couple of videotapes. You didn’t purchase them, you merely borrowed them. And in a couple of days time you would have to “return some videotapes.”
It was a thing everybody did. Mentioning it as an errand was as common as “going to do laundry” or “picking up some groceries.” The act was completely nonchalant. At least it was until Bret Easton Ellis turned the phrase into the catch-all alibi of one of literature’s most diabolical villains, Patrick Bateman.
Throughout Ellis’ scathing indictment of finance culture in the 1980s, Bateman uses the phrase as a way to cover up his whereabouts. “Returning some videotapes” is a much more palatable yarn to spin than the reality—Bateman was listening to Huey Lewis and the News as he hacked his coworker to bits with an axe.
These days “American Psycho” as Ellis’ novel but as a tremendous film starring Christian Bale and directed by Mary Harron. What makes both the novel and film so brilliant is the way it works on two distinct levels simultaneously. By appealing to our base desire for violent horror movies, the criticism of 1980s me-first culture is able to slip into your subconscious like medicine. One could definitely argue that the 2020s would be a perfect setting for a remake of “American Psycho,” but in place of the Wall Street yuppie killing people on the side you could slide in a TikTok famous wellness grifter. Editor’s Note: Stop giving away brilliant ideas in tattoo blogs, bozo.
Another reason “American Psycho” is so brilliant is the way it tricks the viewer into liking a bloodthirsty murder in the middle of a rampage… or maybe not since all the killing may very well be a hallucination. The point is that you can’t help but like Bateman. He’s smooth. He’s witty. He’s so brazen in getting the things he wants that one can’t help but be a little impressed. We all know we should never be siding with him, but we do anyway.
In the gallery below you’ll find some pretty amazing “Americna Psycho” tattoos. While I was really hoping that we’d find a tattoo of a Paul Allen’s business card or of an ATM demanding it be fed a kitten, it’s still a pretty impressive collection of tattoos.
This is where I’ll leave you. Enjoy the gallery, I just have to step out for a second to return some videotapes.