Thursday, 14 May 2015

Anarchy Parlor

"Anarchy Parlor" aka "Parlor" (2015, Devon Downs, Kenny Gage, Gravitas Ventures) is a gory horror about a strange tattoo artist known only as "The Artist" who practices much more than tattooing on the unwitting tourists who wander into his parlor in Lithuania.

Some college friends are travelling Europe and have just landed in Vilnius, Lithuania. They encounter the party scene pretty quickly with some unconvincing drunken scenes, which are overly reminiscent of Eli Roth's "Aftershock" (2012), and some terrible decision making already paving the way to disaster.

One of the gang encounters the beautiful but violent tattoo apprentice, Uta (Sara Fabel, the Finnish model and artist), and is soon introduced to her tattoo mentor, The Artist (Robert LaSardo). The Artist is keen on tattoos, torture, flaying and talking at length about these subjects.

Ironically, whilst this film is making a social comment on how tattooing has went from a counterculture, individualist statement to a popular, societal norm, the film is pretty much the clich├ęd horror torture porn that represents the decline of horror from subculture to generic in the same way.

We have a group of ignorant, self-important young asshats, we have a foreign culture element, we have the big bad people bent on killing the group of asshats, and we have heaps of gore, blood and constant screaming. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer being scared to being grossed out. I love a bit of gore with my horror (I'm actually a huge fan of gore), but prefer it to be peppered with comedy, real fear or mystique... Frankly, watching a guy carve up bound teens whilst a hot, blonde, tattooed chick acts fierce in the background does not constitute good horror for me.

Also, "Fuck you. You're sick." repeated several hundred times loses its relevance after a while, especially when it's all in the one scene.

The plot also made little actual sense and the finished 'canvases' were unintentionally hilarious. I think I could have painted/inked better!

All in all, the effects were indeed gross, but the lack of good plot, unintentionally hilarious props and scripting and abundance of tropes used, this film winds up as just another generic gore fest.

[Image: Gravitas Ventures]

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