Anarchy Parlor (2014) *1/2
D: Devon Downs, Kenny Gage
C: Robert LaSardo, Jordan James Smith, Tiffany DeMarco, Ben Whalen, Sara Fabel, Anthony Del Negro, Joey Fisher, Claire Garvey, Beth Humphreys
Plot Synopsis: A mysterious nomad known as the "Artist" practices a dark art form passed down through the generations.
Review: Anarchy Parlor is two opposing ideas jumbled into one film. Part of it deals with the artistry involved in being a tattoo artist and how that's being lost in today's society. The other deals with college aged kids falling victim to a Hostel like situation where they're kidnapped and tortured. Even though the film wants to be something intellectual & thought provoking, it gives into the exploitation elements of the premise.
There's long, drawn out sequences of nudity & sexuality. There's long, drawn out sequences of college aged kids being relentlessly tortured. During these scenes of torture, Robert LaSardo's character randomly muses about art and the use of the human body as a canvas. These musings are used as a justification as to why there's prolonged scenes of excessive violence. Here's a question? The villains couldn't simply find people who were willing to be tattooed? If these artists wanted to explore their art form, I'm sure there's people that would be willing to be tattooed for free. However, let's not go there. How dare we ask for logic! If that logic had been applied, then we wouldn't get to witness all of the gratuitous sex & violence.
When the focus isn't on excessive scenes of violence, nudity & sex, there's a cliched story of kids going around in circles looking for their missing friends before falling victim themselves. It almost begs the question when will these kids ever learn? When one person goes missing, more and likely, they're dead. So guess what they do? They send out another person to look for that missing person. Guess what happens? They go missing as well and the cycle repeats itself. At least one character has the good sense to go to the strip club and get laid knowing that they shouldn't even bother looking for their missing friends.
On the positive, there's a few stylishly executed scenes. Robert LaSardo turns in such an assured performance that it makes you wish it was in service of a better film. Some of the dialogue, in the first act, in which LaSardo & Tiffany DeMarco's character talk about tattooing as an art form, has a ring of truth to it. If LaSardo's performance and some of the dialogue from the first act had been harnessed into a commentary about tattooing, this might have worked. As is, it's a good few qualities, a lot of bad ones, all in service of pointless exploitation. [Not Rated] 98 minutes.
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