ByRichard Embree, writer at Creators.co

How did you guys end up working together, as well as working on Anarchy Parlor?

KG: Devon and I have been close friends for over 19 years. We started writing together about 12 years ago and share very similar tastes in edgier, over-the-top action and horror films.

DD: Shortly after the 2013 release of the film RAZE, which Kenny co-created and produced, a great opportunity came about for us to write and direct a horror film.

KG: Devon and I presented a few of our concepts and eventually Anarchy Parlor was chosen.

Where did the idea for Anarchy Parlor come about?

KG: We are huge fans of the "realism" style of horror and were looking to make a film that felt familiar, yet very different. There was no doubt in our minds that actor Robert LaSardo would be key for this film and after countless hours of conversations with him, the concept all started flowing together. We read a crazy article about the 17th century practice of binding books in human skin and with knowing that this film was looking to become a reality, it truly gave us the inspiration to take our story to another level.

DD: Inside the tattoo world, the artists paint and draw tattoos but create fine art as well. What better place is there for a man descended from a lineage of fine artists than to be a tattoo artist in the modern world? We loved the idea of hiding in plain sight combined with the vulnerability of being in the tattoo chair.

Downs and Gage on the set of Anarchy Parlor
Downs and Gage on the set of Anarchy Parlor

How much has tattoo culture influenced this movie?

DD: A great deal! Kenny and I both have a tremendous amount of respect for tattooing as an art form, having spent countless hours being tattooed ourselves and hanging out in tattoo shops. There is a bond and trust created between the artist and the client. We chose to focus on that bond between the film's characters Amy and "The Artist".

KG: To keep it real, we filmed inside three actual tattoo parlors in Lithuania and all of the equipment and paintings used in those scenes were donated to us.

What were the influences of your character, "The Artist"?

DD: We actually had actor Robert LaSardo in mind when we wrote the script. The entire premise was to create a three-dimensional villain who was completely outside the normal realm of society, but had a likability factor that audiences could relate to. After people watch Anarchy Parlor, the most immediate response we hear is, "I kinda like that guy," and we are so pleased at that reaction since that is exactly what we were going for.

KG: Robert is a true artist and an extremely talented actor. Channeling his life experiences brought out the multiple lathers of "The Artist" as a villain who is both smart and philosophical, right in line with the real Robert…however with the obvious exception that Robert hasn't been flaying anyone…as far as we know!

Downs, Gage, and LaSardo
Downs, Gage, and LaSardo

What were your intentions in regard to the tourist characters?

DD: The tourist kids were intentionally written more satirical and somewhat one-dimensional to infuse humor into the film. We played with the classic horror convention that the audience knows the kids are in a horror film, but yet the kids themselves do not.

KG: We wanted to portray young tourists who are a little naive and reckless visiting a foreign country. They get invited to travel to a cool spot and let off some steam, but get caught up in something unknown and dangerous. The end result is fresh and twisted. Our cast of kids, Tiffany DeMarco, Jordan James Smith, Claire Garvey, Ben Whalen and Anthony Delnegro, quickly became close friends in real life which affected their character interaction in a really great way.

Anarchy Parlor has some really gruesome scenes. How intense was that to film?

KG: It was pretty intense, but we wanted to stick with the realism horror feel.

DD: Credit goes to the phenomenal cast for getting into the emotional mindset to actually pull off those scenes. Robert LaSardo set the bar for the actors and they all came through. Actor Ben Whalen (who plays Brock) was on a table in his underwear for many hours and he had to keep that intensity up while sitting through multiple prosthetic applications in between shots. He did an amazing job, along with everyone else!

KG: Practical Makeup and FX were handled by Christina Kortum from Ravenous Studios, who was extremely dedicated to having the blood and prosthetics look as real as possible. With the time constraints she faced, it was truly a testament to her talent and she pulled it off. Everything looked so real that Devon and I actually felt like we were witnessing a violent crime.

The Artist claims a souvenir
The Artist claims a souvenir

Was this the first US horror movie filmed in Lithuania? Why did you choose this location?

KG: This was the first US horror film ever shot in Lithuania. Anarchy Parlor was written with an Eastern European look in mind, hence why that location was chosen.

DD: Of the options presented to us, Lithuania was the most intriguing. If offered us a chance to shoot everything 100% practical and on-location at real sites. It made zero sense for us to fly halfway around the world and shoot a film in a sound stage, which was what a few of the other options were.

What were the differences from filming in Lithuania and a location in the states?

KG: Lithuania has Renaissance architecture and medieval Old Towns. The country is beautiful and, as an American tourist, gives off the feeling that you are out of your element.

DD: (laughing) Everyone smokes!

Anarchy Parlor headlined Screamfest in Hollywood last year. How did that feel and how did you guys find out the good news?

DD: Rachel Belofsky, the founder of Screamfest, called and let us know that we had the opening night slot. People outside of Los Angeles may not realize Screamfest is in its 14th year and has a ton of memorable alumni, so it's truly a great honor, one which we are still so humbled about.

KG: That night we sold out the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood which was so awesome.

At Screamfest, the film was called Parlor. Now its title is Anarchy Parlor. Why the change?

DD: Anarchy is lawless, Anarchy is craziness, Anarchy is revolution.

KG: Seems appropriate.

Tiffany Demarco and Robert LaSardo
Tiffany Demarco and Robert LaSardo

Will there be any extras available on Anarchy Parlor’s Blu-ray or DVD release?

DD: Yes, the first set of bonus content will be available on iTunes Extras this month featuring 8 deleted/extended scenes; a VFX piece by Stargate Studios and a behind-the-scenes piece by producer Andrew Pagana.

KG: We will also be releasing the fight pre-vis between the characters of Amy and Uta. Fans will now get a good idea about what the fight was supposed to entail. A full day shoot was scheduled, but due to a misunderstanding with the shooting location, the day was shortened to only two hours. The pre-vis will show the brutal back and forth between the girls that we had originally wanted to film.

What's next for you guys and Anarchy Parlor?

DD: We have a few projects in the pipeline. No Good Kind is an action thriller about dirty cops running a human trafficking ring. For our new horror project, Feral, the goal is to make the scariest dog movie ever. It's about a young family who crosses paths with a feral dog pack after they move into a rehab project home. We have a really tight script and are in the process of securing financing and casting…and, of course, "The Artist" will return for Anarchy Parlor 2.

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