The Zebra Man is a short film made by Channel Four in 1992 depicting the life of Horace Ridler transforming himself in to The Great Omi. George Burchett the iconic tattooer is portrayed and ‘asks for written permission from his solicitor’ before he begins to tattoo Ridler. A young Minnie Driver plays his prospective lover who as much as she tries she can never get too intimate with him in case she reveals his secretive growing body suit underneath his clothes. The acting verges on the hilarious but considering how the film could have been made far more scandalously there are a lot of historic accuracies down to the details of the tattoo machines and Burchett’s studio. The strangeness of Ridler’s decision to cover his entire body in stripes considering his aristocratic and military background at the time was something that could have been investigated in much more detail. However the accuracy of his own life has been debated to the point of becoming one large, fascinating ostentatious myth.
And thanks to Caleb for finding this!