“Paul Booth’s Last Rites” Vol. 1 by Paul Booth Films

Artist: Paul Booth
Title: “Last Rites” – Volume 1
Label: Paul Booth Films
Release Date: 5/18/2007
Genre: Documentary
Rating: 3/5

Among the Metal elite there is one name that continually comes up with reverence when the talk is related to the sacred art of ink – and that name is Paul Booth. Booth has run the Last Rites Tattoo Theatre since 1991 and this film brings those who dare to view it into the dark world that he walks upon every single day. If you should already be a fan of his work or just someone who is among the curious then this documentary of sorts actually turns out to be a very interesting and unpredictable video to watch. It’s not recommended for the faint of heart based on some of the imagery presented but for those who can handle a little bit of everything then you need not worry at all. It begins with the destruction of Paul’s original shop in New York where he finds that the friends he asked to help with the demolition did a little too good a job and risked the artist being sued by the property owners. From there it jumps around a little bit and shows historic footage from his personal archives as he inks the worlds most famous bands and popular faces from the Metal scene of today. His shop sure looks interesting and is definitely one of those places where all the ornaments and décor seems to have a story to it. Skulls and demonic images are at every glance and we learn that a lot of the artist’s interest and background comes from his deep love of Horror movies. He doesn’t only like the good ones but also makes sure to absorb those really terrible ones as well. He lines out that he definitely has one of the most extensive Horror video collections in the world. The film follows Paul around to some of the concerts and events he has attended and one gets to see the reaction he causes among the music followers at these places. One dude begs to be inked by the master and is willing to fork over the last dollars he has left in his pockets. Paul agrees to do it which obviously made this individuals day and life for that matter. The interaction at the Slayer signing table is funny as well as Paul is besieged by the drunks after the show. One piece I found a little bit much was the guy who kept piercing himself and was just a bloody mess. I saw no purpose for its inclusion and perhaps that is why it is there in the first place.

There are a lot of famous faces in the film and we find ourselves sitting next to Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Damageplan) as he gets work done as well as Kerry King (Slayer), Chris Adler (Lamb Of God) and Mark Hunter (Chimaira). Fans of Metal Mistress Juliya will enjoy her getting her lower back ink done and so affected is she by the work done that she tells Paul that she will probably be enjoying herself to the image sometime in the future. Well, he does do good work folks so can you blame her for such a comment? Anselmo was pretty interesting to watch during the segments he appears in as he seems a little bit “preoccupied” during them. Slayer’s King also gets a chance to give Paul a tattoo as well during the film and even presents a guitar demonstration from another of his visits to the shop. There is a chance to see some of the other endeavors Paul has undertaken over the years with interview and radio programs that are all tattoo related in some fashion and there are a large amount of extras to check out. The film runs almost two hours and leaves you expecting that more is to come, so perhaps this is going to be a running series by Paul and his crew of artists and horror fans. It all comes care of Paul’s own film studio and based on this has come out pretty good with a professional “Reality TV” feel. If you enjoyed the A&E program “Inked” then you might also take to this film because it goes a lot deeper into the mind of one of the business’ most respected names. You don’t have to have to be inked to find this fascinating, frightening and fun. For mature audiences by the way.

Track Listing:
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Official Website: www.paulboothfilms.com

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