Movie: Anarchy Parlor
My Rating: 3 stars
Wowza! The acting is this movie is spectacularly bad. But, I guess that’s kinda what you’d want from a trashy, Halloween-time, horror flick in which a bunch of American tourists get hacked to death by a sadist in an Eastern European country. Viewers will want their beautiful, oversexed teen protagonists to be as dumb and obnoxious as possible so that when they get flayed alive, and tattooed against their will, we kinda feel they deserve it. If a heavily tattooed (and clearly insane) Lithuanian woman tries to lure you into her medieval-torture-museum basement for a few “drinks,” and it doesn’t raise any red flags in your mind, then you only have yourself to blame when you find yourself restrained in her subterranean workshop.
But, I didn’t only rent this movie for a fun, seasonal scare. I was also intrigued by the cast and premise. Actor Robert LaSardo is well known for his extensive full-body tattoos. He’s always been a supporting character, thrown into tough gangster or prison movies to add a little authenticity and color. But, the filmmakers in this project thought he deserved to star in his own film. And, they naturally wanted to write the story around his body art. I definitely saw the potential. So, even though I don’t typically go in for watching torture porn, and wanted to check this one out. LaSardo is great as the menacing, Eastern European tattoo artist. He builds tension by saying little, and making lingering, direct eye contact. The calmer he acts, the more sinister his character seems. And, LaSardo really is the best thing about this movie. The plot is a bit simple. The gore is relatively tame for the genre. And, as I mentioned before, everyone else’s acting is just atrocious. But, when he gazes into our poor protagonists’ eyes and calmly explains to them why they should be honored to be receiving his “gifts,” it really puts a knot of dread in your stomach.
This movie isn’t going to compare to your Hostels or your Saws. Sure, it’s a gross-out, torture, horror flick. But, it isn’t trying to outdo the shock value of any other films, so the gore is relatively limited. This movie is really just an excuse to give Robert LaSardo a little more screen time, and to display a little bit of the best body art in the biz. But, there’s something particularly chilling about the idea of being detained and involuntarily tattooed. It’s definitely not the what you’re looking for from a sexy, post-graduation tour of Europe. This movie isn’t great, but I still enjoyed it for the few charms it had to offer. If you’re not a horror movie snob, you’ll probably enjoy it too for a trashy, Halloween scare.