I recently had a chance to chat with Melbourne Horror Film Society member Ludo Mortuus, a tattooist who is not only passionate about horror movies but about inking horror onto peoples skin. We spoke about how she got into horror films, tattooing and the kind of work she is hoping to do.
Adam - How long have you been tattooing and what drew you to it?
Ludo - To be honest I am not sure what drew me to tattooing. Ever since I can remember I've been drawn to it and have always been interested in it. Some old friends I've been in touch with over the years have told me "congratulations, you're doing exactly what you wanted. I remember you were talking about wanting to tattoo back in high-school! " so it's been a very ongoing thing. It wasn't until I was in my last year of university that I decided it was really what I wanted to do for my entire life. There were other things I also wanted to do but Tattooing was the top. So after some bumps and adventures I managed to move here to Aussie land and tattoo. I've been tattooing about 3 years now.
Adam - How long have you been into horror films, how did you get into them and what are some of your earliest horror memories?
Ludo - This is kind of hard to answer because I don't really remember. All I can say for sure is that the first 'horror' movie I saw was The Picture of Dorian Gray and I was around 10 or 11 I think. The ending scared me to bits haha. Then The Ring, I think i was around 12 or 13 when I saw it and my mom took me to see in in the cinema. I was really scared and that night I couldn't sleep and I woke my mom up and everything, but that didn't stop me from seeing more or her from letting me so I guess that was the start of my fascination with these scary movies which then took me into more. I didn't really dive deep into them until I moved to London and my ex was showing me all of these more underground movies like Toxic Avenger even though that's not really horror i guess...I was around 19 when I started watching all of the less mainstream ones.
Adam - In what way do you draw on horror films and related media as inspiration for your work?
Ludo - So because of my music taste (predominately black and death metal) I prefer to create things which have something to do with those themes as well and they kind of go hand in hand in my opinion. Not the actual music and movies but the subject matter. Zombies, or demons and monsters from different dimensions, the supernatural; occultism etc. Having always been interested and attracted to the strange, the hidden and the different it was natural for me to take inspiration from horror movies. More gore, blood, guts severed heads, demons, evil etc. Just always been inspired by the dark aspects of life and fantasy.
Adam - What are a few of your favourite horror films?
Ludo - Oh there are so SO many favourites!! One of the most recent ones is The Void, very Lovecraftian (my favourite author of course). Alien along with Aliens and Prometheus, the latest one (Covenant) was pretty good but not among my favourites, still really enjoyed it though. Dawn of the Dead, I love The Autopsy of Jane Doe, The VVitch was also a beautiful movie, Carrie, The Conjuring, Evil Dead. Holidays was brilliant, and of course The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I have to say that the new IT is right up there too. Any good zombie movie as well. Love em! The Thing is definitely one of my favourite!
Adam - What are some of the most memorable horror tattoos you have done?
Ludo - Unfortunately because people who are into all of this horror and darkness are not really all that many, considering, I have not had much of a chance to do many. I got to tattoo one of my designs earlier this year at the tattoo convention in April. I had drawn a girl smoking with tentacles exploding from her head, one of my favourite pieces to date. I recently also got to tattoo another one of my favourite designs; a skull with a burning church underneath and i am very happy with the outcome. One more that I did a year or so ago was a Cthulhu, the customer was into all of the horror. Other ones I've done have been Lovecraft related - always with tentacles. It's a theme I follow through out a lot of my work. They are so fun to create.
Adam - Is there a horror tattoo you would love to do?
Ludo - In terms of what horror tattoos I'd like to do.. well.. I would actually love to tattoo something from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Ryuk the demon from Death Note, The Thing, and The Void. Those have got to be on top! In reality any tattoo that is related to horror I'm so down for. That is my goal. Anything horror related and you've got my attention, and my eternal love haha. Preferably something to do with my favourite movies you know. Zombies, aliens, blood dripping from hands or mouths. Witches and demons are among the subject matter that I would love to tattoo.
To finish off this interview Ludo has a special offer for Melbourne Horror Film Society members wanting to get some horror ink.
Ludo - If anyone who reads this is interested in getting a horror related tattoo they can first follow me on Instagram: @Ludo_Mortuus, and on FaceBook: @Ludo Mortuus Tattoos, share my page, and DM / email / message me with their idea, and they will get %20 off their tattoo.
The only rule is that their tattoo has to be a decent size (at least A5) with enough detail and be horror related.