Out today in select AMC theatres and also available on VOD is the horror film Anarchy Parlor, the feature directorial debut of Kenny Gage and Devon Downs. In our latest Q&A, we caught up with Gage, Downs, and actress Tiffany DeMarco to discuss filming Anarchy Parlor in Lithuania, writing the movie with Robert LaSardo in mind, shooting in a real 12th century dungeon, and much more.

How and when did you guys initially come up with the idea for Anarchy Parlor?

Kenny Gage: Devon and I have been friends for years. We are fans of the "realism" style of horror and were looking to make a film that felt familiar, yet very different. We read a crazy article about the 17th century practice of binding books in human skin and knowing that this film was looking to become a reality, it truly gave us the inspiration to take our story to another level.

Devon Downs: There’s a time-honored tradition of getting tattooed when you’re traveling, or on vacation. We took that idea one step further with the fact that you’re never more vulnerable than when you are being tattooed. There is a trust between the artist and client, and that trust is explored between The Artist’s relationship with Amy. Going deeper, 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 The Artist hiding in plain sight, a sort of urban camouflage.

Kenny Gage: There’s a couple major factors at play. The idea of The Artist as an atypical “villain," but yet he’s not your stereotypical bad guy. Sure, he’s capable of bad things, but he’s been born into a situation and is going about his business.

Devon Downs: The other factor we infused into the film is satire. Taking the classic horror convention where the audience knows the kids are in a horror movie, but the kids themselves do not and really flip that upside down and play with it. From the reactions we’ve seen from audiences, they get the satire.

As co-writers and directors, what is your collaboration process like? Do you guys take turns writing and directing scenes or do you share in the process simultaneously?

Devon Downs: On the writing side, we do all the story beats together and then we take passes on the different acts/scenes. For the final passes though, we come at it together.

Kenny Gage: On the directing side, we both completely integrate into every scene, but we alternate directing each shot. One of us will typically be on monitor and one of us with the actors. In our opinion, the key to being a solid directing team is that all the actors get one voice.

Were there any horror movies that influenced your approach to bringing Anarchy Parlor to life?

Devon Downs: Absolutely! Anarchy Parlor is a mash up of '70s-'80s classic horror mixed with a heavy dose of mid 2000s horror.

Kenny Gage: We are big fans of the Hostel films, as well as some very cool foreign extreme horror films such as the French films Frontier(s) and Sheitan, to name a couple. These were very influential in our decision to give our take in the realism foreign horror realm.

This film was shot entirely in Lithuania. What were your most memorable experiences filming in Lithuania? Did you encounter any unique challenges or rewarding moments?

Kenny Gage: The club scene was a fun shoot and we were very fortunate to have had the top rap group in the region, Pushaz, perform live. There were around 200 non-English speaking extras there to see them perform. We shot the entire club scene, as well as the rap concert, in under nine hours. Although there were many obstacles that day, it was very memorable. 

Devon Downs: The location scouting days were incredible. Being in the old town Vilnius and soaking up the vibe of the people and the country. I lost count of how many basement/dungeons we went into before finally discovering the perfect location for the Parlor! Finding the street kids was awesome too. They were the real kids in the street under the archway who were genuinely sitting there smoking. We asked if they wanted to be in our movie and after some discussion through our translator, they agreed and were super enthusiastic to be a part of the production. For non-professional actors, they are great in the film.

Tiffany DeMarco: Lithuania was absolutely beautiful. I'd never been to Europe before and the city of Vilnius was truly a majestic place. One of the most memorable moments out there was the day we shot the "mansion scene" in their City Hall. It was such a big and beautiful building filled with many Lithuanians, both crew and extras. I got to talk to some of the people and it was rewarding to learn about them and their culture. They were so nice and welcoming, I miss them all already.

Robert LaSardo gives a truly intense performance as The Artist. What were you looking for when casting that role and what was it like having a front-row seat to Robert’s visceral performance?

Devon Downs: The awesome thing is we never actually “cast” the role. We wrote the part with Robert in mind as we'd been wanting to work with him for years. So when the opportunity came up, Kenny and I constructed the entire role and character around him. We actually finished the script without telling Robert and then over lunch we put the script in front of him and said, “We wrote this for you.”

Kenny Gage: Robert is one of the greatest acting talents and we wanted to give him a role which would let him flex his creative muscle. We wrote over 2000 lines of dialogue for him in this film but when he got to Lithuania and stepped into the room for the first table read, he was 100% off-book. The entire script, every page! The intensity he brought to The Artist raised the bar for everyone, both cast and crew!

What was the most challenging scene to shoot?

Devon Downs: One of the most challenging scenes in the film was the initial Artist sequence in the dungeon with Amy, Uta and Brock. The scene is actually a film within the film; roughly twelve minutes long, it has three acts with three set gore pieces… a beginning, a middle and an end. I think there were roughly 54 set-ups, including four different prosthetic pieces on actor Ben Whalen (Brock). Mix in a dog who refused to eat an ear, copious amounts of fake blood and bodily fluids, multiple monologues, time constraints and shooting in a real 12th century dungeon! Needless to say it was challenging.

Kenny Gage: Our plan was to shoot as much practical FX as possible, leaving very little visual FX. The days we were going to shoot the practical FX within our schedule happened to be the two days where forces out of our control limited the blood FX days from a full twelve hours to just two four-hour days. Super talented Christina Kortum, who did all the practical FX, was a true professional and never wavered. We were extremely limited on time, however, she was able to get the prosthetics applied. We also shot blood takes as well as clean plates to have choices in post and were very fortunate to be working with Stargate Studios who really knocked it out of the park with their stunning visual effects!

Tiffany DeMarco: We shot the movie at the end of September into early October, so the weather was very cold. The scenes that took place outside were actually the most challenging to shoot, only because our outfits were not telling of how freezing it really was out there. After every take, the cast would have to be wrapped in blankets until we were ready to shoot again. It didn't bother me too much, though, because the city was so beautiful, no matter how cold it was.

With Anarchy Parlor now available on VOD and out in select theaters, what do you have on tap that you can share with our readers?

Devon Downs:  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 and bad things happen.

Kenny Gage: As well as an action thriller called No Good Kind. Oh… and a new Robert LaSardo project… details coming soon!

Tiffany DeMarco: I'm collaborating with a few people on new and exciting projects at the moment. Can't quite mention what they are just yet, but be sure to look out for more great things to come from me by following my Twitter and Facebook page!


"ANARCHY PARLOR is a horror film about a mysterious nomad simply known as the “Artist” who practices a dark art form passed down through the generations. He creates much more than tattoos for tourists who visit his Lithuanian Tattoo Parlor.

Shot entirely on location in Vilnius, Lithuania, ANARCHY PARLOR features two well-known cast members in the tattoo and horror world. Heavily tattooed lead actor Robert LaSardo portrays The Artist, and Sara Fabel plays his seductive apprentice Uta. ANARCHY PARLOR will be a frighteningly, terrific thrill to the die-hard fans."

Co-written and co-directed by Devon Downs and Kenny Gage, Anarchy Parlor stars Robert LaSardo, Sara Fabel, Jordan James Smith, Ben Whalen, Claire Garvey, Anthony Del Negro, Beth Humphreys, Joey Fisher, and Tiffany DeMarco. Anarchy Parlor was released on VOD on May 12th, and is now available to watch in select AMC Theatres.

To learn more about Gage, Downs, and Anarchy Parlor, visit:

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.