The Salton Sea

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Tattoos feature prominently in this 2002 film starring Val Kilmer as a former jazz musician turned meth addict on a quest for revenge.

Kilmer's character, Danny Parker/Tom Van Allen, has flames tattooed around a bullet hole scar in his left upper chest and down his left arm, a black armband on his right arm, and a huge backpiece showing Death and the text "The Salton Sea."

Danny's friend Jimmy, played by Peter Sarsgaard, gets a portrait tattoo of Danny during the course of the film.

Unfortunately, it is possible to interpret the tattoos in this film as a "symptom" of the drug addled subculture Danny has infiltrated. When he steps out of that world to play trumpet in a jazz club, he "cleans up," removing his jewelry, washing out hair dye and hiding his tattoos. However, the example of Jimmy getting the portrait tattoo to honor his best friend is a positive portrayal of tattoos as a way to represent those things in our life we wish to hold close.

ISBN: B00005JKM2 (Find this at

External Links

The Salton Sea on IMDB

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