The Human Centipede III

SPOTLIGHT: Robert LaSardo

SPOTLIGHT: Robert LaSardo

By John Roisland

Robert LaSardo

Robert LaSardo. When you say the name Robert LaSardo, many people respond, “Oh, yeah I know him. He's the actor with all the tattoos.” But that's barely scratching the surface of who he is. I had the privilege of meeting Robert LaSardo last July at the Scares That Care charity weekend convention, and he agreed to call me and arrange an interview when he returned from filming in Europe. Although we had not yet officially launched www.HouseofTorturedSouls.com, he, nevertheless, said he would call.

Robert LaSardo Photo by Justice Howard

Photo by Justice Howard

Not to disparage Mr. LaSardo, but I never really expected my phone to ring because, as I said, we had not officially launched. One evening, however, it did and displayed a Los Angeles phone number. I looked at my phone and then let it go to voicemail since I don't know anybody in LA. About 10 minutes later, the same phone number called again, and again I let it go to voicemail, but this time he left a message. After listening to the voicemail, I was grinning from ear to ear; Robert LaSardo had just called my phone. I called him back, and, by the end of the call, he told me to call him Rob.

Unlike many actors might do, Robert reached out to me as a person. We talked a few times and built a rapport and a friendship. When I told him I wanted to do an article on the real Robert LaSardo, not just the actor, he liked the idea and agreed to an interview in mid-September of 2015... So I’ve been sitting on it staring at it for almost a year now! I wasn’t sure how to do it – and him - justice. With House of Tortured Souls’s one year anniversary upon us, however, I decided to turn the spotlight on Robert LaSardo and give the rest of the world a look at the man behind the tattoos.

Robert LaSardo was born in Brooklyn, New York, on September 20, 1963, and currently resides on the West Coast in California with his loving family. But what about in between?

At a very young age, he became quite the aspiring actor. I asked him about this. Had he dreamed of growing up to be an actor when he was a young boy? “No,” he said. “I used to watch the trains, watching them leave town and wishing I was on one of them.” This is not surprising. Robert had a hard life growing up. He lived on the street sometimes, in cars at other times, and sometimes with friends. However, there was one bright spot: Robert was accepted to a high school for the performing arts where he received critical acclaim for his work. In spite of this, Robert was in and out of gangs and even had a few run ins with the law. He could’ve stayed on the streets at this point, but he was smart enough to realize that was a dead end. So he walked away from it and into the US Navy after high school.

Robert LaSardo in Bleach

Robert LaSardo in Bleach

When he returned, he redoubled his efforts to become an actor and flesh out his talent. At first he received small parts here and there, but he found himself stereotyped by his appearance. This did not deter him, and he continued to seek various types of characters. Eventually, the combination of his talent, determination, and self discipline paid off. Not only did Robert LaSardo gain recognition in the tattoo industry, but he has also become a versatile, well-established actor with a lengthy list of credits ranging from China Beach to General Hospital to Strangeland to The Human Centipede III and encompassing a variety of roles from thugs to tattoo artists to priests.

Robert LaSardo left an impact on me like not many others have. He's a man of few words but who always chooses them wisely, so when he speaks, people listen. He often portrays tough guys, perhaps because he demands - and earns – respect from those with whom he works. Indeed, while he isn't the biggest guy in the room, he does give the impression of the one who will kick your ass the hardest. I'm not saying that's not true (or that it is true); what I am saying is that he has a presence and is not the type of person who can be ignored. I'm honored to have gotten to know the real person, the man behind the tattoos. He is grateful for what he has and passionate about what he does and it shows. In addition to being a prolific actor with over 118 credits to his name – and more in production, he is also a published author, having penned. Life Sentence: A True Story About Love, Lunacy, and Fame and Playing With Fire.

Though we did not get to speak often or for long, I always looked forward to our next chat and not because it was Robert LaSardo the actor calling, but because it was Rob the awesome person calling. He was always very honest and direct, and I have the utmost respect for him.

Robert LaSardoAt the end of my interview with Rob, he said to me,

Life can be really hard, but never give up. Never give up on yourself or your dreams. Never forget that there are always people that are going to try to bring you down, and thats when you have to pull together everything you have and make it work, to not only prove them wrong, but to prove it to yourself.

Robert LaSardo is proof that dreams can be realized.

Robert LaSardo, I look forward to seeing and speaking with you again soon.

Take care, my friend, and thank you.

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in IN THE SPOTLIGHT, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Strangeland (1998)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Strangeland (1998)

By John Roisland

Strangeland

October 2, 1998, was a time when people were still learning about the Internet and body modification was really breaking through. Director John Pieplow brings us Strangeland.

The story is about “Captain Howdy” (played by Dee Snider of rock band Twisted Sister, who also wrote and produced the film), a sadist Internet predator who invites other internet friends over for a party, where they soon meet their end.

Kevin Gage (Heat, Blow, G.I. Jane, Laid to Rest), the town sheriff, is quick on the case after his daughter, played by Linda Cardellini (Grandma’s Boy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Freaks and Geeks), falls to the hands of Captain Howdy.

The chase continues to find Howdy, and the scenes of the torture with his victims and his own self-mutilation are actually pretty impressive. A few scenes are actual textbook history of how different cultures used different devices to either torture or elevate one to a higher sense of body limitations.

Now I’m not saying its the best film ever made…it’s not. At moments it’s actually kinda slow. But I will give Dee props on his first attempt and writing, producing and starring in….he put forth a very valiant effort. At the box office, this film actually lost money. If not for its huge impact as a cult classic…it would have been a complete bomb!

It offers a pretty impressive cast, aside from Dee Snyder, Kevin Gage, and Linda Cardellini, it also stars Elizabeth Pena (Jacob’s Ladder, Down in the Valley, Things Behind the Sun), Brett Harrelson (The People vs. Larry Flynt, From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money), Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Wishmaster, Urban Legend, 2001 Maniacs, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon), Amy Smart (The Butterfly Effect, Crank, Just Friends, Starsky and Hutch) and Robert Lasardo (Death Race, The Human Centipede III, Anarchy Parlor, Nip/Tuck). Now with this line up, one would expect a little more…but they only acted in it

For those headbangers out there like myself, the film did have a pretty kick fucking ass soundtrack though: Bile, Pantera, Megadeth, Coal Chamber, Anthrax, Soul Fly, and Hed PE – to name a few.

I can’t say this is honestly on my every year must watch Halloween films…but it is always this time of year when I do think about it the most. Does that count?

I REALLY want to say better things about the film, but sadly it is what it is, a great idea, that just wasn’t executed to its fullest potential.

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“So much flesh…so little time”- Captain Howdy

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
New DVD Releases – October 2015

New DVD Releases – October 2015

DVD Releases

By Amy Lynes

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Insidious 3
Director: Leigh Whannel
Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Lin Shaye and Angus Sampson
Synopsis: A prequel to the haunting of the Lambert family in which gifted psychic, Elise Rainier, agrees to help a young teenage girl who is being stalked by a dangerous entity.

 

Dark Places
Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Stars: Charlize Theron, Christina Hendricks and Nicholas Hoult
Synopsis: Libby was only eight years old when her family was brutally murdered in their Kansas home. Now, thirty years later, she returns to the scene of the crime and uncovers the truth of the events on that fateful night.

 

Tremors 5: Bloodlines
Director: Don Michael Paul
Stars: Michael Gross, Jaime Kennedy and Natalie Becker
Synopsis: The Graboids are back and deadlier than ever! In this installment of the franchise, they terrorize a South African wildlife reserve form below AND above!

 

Final Girl
Director: Tyler Shields
Stars: Abigail Breslin and Francesca Eastwood, Alexander Ludwig and Wes Bentley
Synopsis: After the death of her parents, Veronica was taught how to become a human weapon by a man who lost his wife and child to murder. Twelve years later she encounters a group of young men that like to hunt and kill pretty blonde women. They decide they want to hunt Veronica but who's really hunting who?

 

Hidden
Director: Matt and Ross Duffer
Stars; Alexander Skarsgard and Andrea Riseborough
Synopsis: A family seeks shelter in and old fallout shelter in an effort to escape a dangerous outbreak.

 

American Horror Story: Freak Show (Series)

 

Penny Dreadful Season 2 (Series)

 

The Falling
Director: Carol Morley
Stars: Maxine Peake, Maisie Williams and Florence Pugh
Synopsis: After a tragic event, the students at a strict, English girls school are struck with a strange fainting epidemic.

 

Eaters
Director: Johnny Tabor
Stars: Marcelle Bowman, Tristan Parrish Moore and Robert Dean
Synopsis: Five friends go on a road trip, in search of fun. When one of them suddenly goes missing, the rest of the group is forced to confront a violent biker gang. After a narrow escape, their night quickly goes from bad to worse.

 

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!
Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Stars: Ian Zeiring, Tara Reid
Synopsis: Yet another ravenous shark-raining tornado strikes from Washington D.C. all the way to Florida.

 

Eli Roth Presents: The Stranger
Director: Guillermo Amoedo
Stars: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy and Aaron Burns
Synopsis: A strange man arrives in a small Canadian town, looking for his wife and his presence plunges the community into a bloodbath.

 

We Are Still Here
Director: Ted Geoghegan
Stars: Barbara Crampton, Lisa Marie and Andrew Sensenig
Synopsis: An old New England home wakes up every thirty years and demands a sacrifice

 

Monster High New Ghoul at School

 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Gallows
Director: Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing
Stars: Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown, Ryan Shoos
Synopsis: The Ouija 20 years after a horrific accident during a small town school play, students at the school resurrect the failed show in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy - but soon discover that some things are better left alone.

 

Bates Motel Season 3 (Series)

 

The Following Season 3 (Series)

 

The 100 (Series)

 

Amnesiac
Director: Michael Polish
Stars: Kate Bosworth, Wes Bentley and Olivia Rose Keegan
Synopsis: A man wakes up with no memory after an accident and begins to suspect that his wife may not be his real wife and soon finds himself a prisoner in his home.

 

Dead Rising: Watchtower
Director: Zach Lipovsky
Stars: Virginia Madsen, Jesse Metcalfe, Meghan Ory
Synopsis: A zombie outbreak forces the citizens of a small town to fight for their survival amidst the outbreak.

 

Ghost in the Shell: Arise
Director: Kazuchika Kise and Masahiko Murata
Stars: Maaya Sakamoto, Ikkyu Juku and Yoji Ueda
Synopsis: In this prequel set one year after the fourth World War, cyborg and hacker extraordinaire Motoko Kusanagi from the military's 501st Secret Unit finds herself wrapped up in the investigation of a devastating bombing.

 

The Sand
Director: Isaac Gabaeff
Stars: Cleo Berry, Brian Boone and Brooke Butler
Synopsis: After and all night graduation party on the beach, the partygoers wake up to discover that the beach is a living thing that will devour anything that touches its sand.

 

2 Bedroom 1 Bath
Director: Stanley Yung
Stars: Eric Roberts, Michele Hicks and Dee Wallace
Synopsis: A young hopeful couple move into the perfect home but when they discover there is a baby on the way, things soon begin to fall apart.

 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Death Valley
Director: T.J. Scott
Stars: Katrina Law, Lochlyn Munro and Victoria Pratt
Synopsis: Four drunken strangers driving from L.A. to Vegas hit a woman in the desert and are forced to overcome injury, elements and even each other in an effort to survive.

 

The Exorcism of Molly Hartley
Director: Steven R. Monroe
Stars: Sarah Lind, Devon Sawa and Gina Holden
Synopsis: Taking place years after The Haunting of Molly Hartley, Molly, now an adult, has become possessed by an evil spirit and needs to be exorcised before Stan takes her completely.

 

How To Kill A Zombie
Director: Tiffany McLean
Stars: Bill Steven McLean, Ben McLean and Hannah Elaine
Synopsis: Mack is trying to raise son Jesse to be a survivalist but Ben would rather do his things his own way. Can the two overcome their differences in the face of a zombie outbreak and somehow save humanity?

 

I Spit On Your Grave III: Vengeance is Mine
Director: R.D. Braunstein
Stars: Sarah Butler, Gabriel Hogan and Doug McKeon
Synopsis: Years after the events of the 2010 film, Jennifer Hills is back, still traumatized by the brutal assault she suffered. She has changed cities and her name and is trying to get her life back together, but when her friend is tragically murdered and the murderers go free, she takes justice into her own hands. Again.

 

The Vatican Tapes
Director: Mark Neveldine
Stars: Olivia Taylor Dudley, Michael Pena and Dougray Scott
Synopsis: A priest and two Vatican exorcists must battle an ancient evil force and save a young girl's life.

 

The Invoking 2
Director: Jay Holben, Corey Norman, Jamie DeWolfe, Patrick Rea, Jamie Root and Adam O'Brien
Stars: Andrew Fleming, Allen Lowman and Jessica Fratus
Synopsis: A horror anthology just in time for the Halloween season, in which six tales of terror are told, each by a different director.

 

June
Director: L. Gustavo Cooper
Stars: Casper Van Dien, Victoria Pratt and Addy Miller
Synopsis: A story about overcoming your own inner demons in order to find love.

 

Last Shift
Director: Anthony DiBlasi
Stars: Juliana Harkavay, Joshua Mikel and J. LaRose
Synopsis: A rookie cop's works his first and only shift on the last night of a precinct that's closing. And his night quickly turns into a living nightmare.

 

Martian Land
Director: Scott Wheeler
Stars: Alan Pietruszewski, Lane Townsend and Jennifer Dorogi
Synopsis: In the future, a large portion of humanity lives on Mars. The cities are protected from the inhospitable Mars atmosphere by dome-like force-fields. When a sandstorm breaks through one of domes and destroys one of the cities, and the inhabitants of the other cities must try and find a way to stop the storm before it wipes them all out.

 

POD
Director: Michael Keeting
Stars: Larry Fessenden, Lauren Ashley Carter and Brian Morvant
Synopsis: A family intervention goes terribly wrong at an isolated home.

 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ghostline
Director: Dean Whitney
Stars: Rachel Alig, Zach Gold and Burt Culver

 

The Human Centipede 3: The Final Sequence
Director: Tom Six
Stars: Dieter Laser, Eric Roberts, Robert LaSardo and Bree Olson
Synopsis: The body horror trilogy concludes in a prison with a 500+ centipede.

 

Navy Seals Vs. Zombies
Director: Stanton Barrett
Stars: Ed Quinn, Stephanie Honore, Sue-Lynn Ansari
Synopsis: A team of highly trained Navy seals comes face to face with the undead and must fight to survive.

 

Nocturna
Director: Buz Alexander
Stars: Estella Warren, Mike Doyle and Massimo Dobrovic
Synopsis: Two New Orleans detectives are caught in a centuries-long feud between two clans of vampires while investigating a runaway child's case. Torn between their everyday lives and the allure of immortality, the detectives must race to destroy the evil Moldero clan.

 

Old 37
Director: Alan Smithee
Stars: Bill Moseley, Kane Kodder, Mike Doyle and Estella Warren
Synopsis: Two brothers intercept 911 calls and arrive on the scene in a beat up ambulance to torture and kill the accident victims.

 

Toxin
Director: Jason Dudek
Stars: Vinnie Jones, Danny Glover and Taylor Handley
Synopsis: A deadly virus outbreak causes a Pharmaceutical company to recruit a wee-know scientist to develop a vaccine.

Posted by Alan Smithee in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments

The Human Centipede Trilogy – Final Observations

How Does The Human Centipede Trilogy Stack Up

By Woofer McWooferson

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

At first glance, The Human Centipede films (First, Full, and Final Sequences) seem little more than shock horror that is designed merely to gross out its audience – and each alone does that very well. However, when viewed as a trilogy, as Tom Six intended, they become iconic, rising above the individual films to become the epitome of franchise horror. Each film knows its place in the series and Six makes sure that each delivers exactly what audiences want and expect from them. Is the trilogy 100% medically accurate? No, but it is 100% entertaining.

Check out my introduction to the series. For more detail on the movies, check out my reviews of The Human Centipede (First Sequence), The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), and The Human Centipede (Final Sequence).

Final score is 10/10 claws for understanding sequels and making a trilogy to rival any franchise horror.

NOTE: When scoring The Human Centipede trilogy, the movies were evaluated for what they are as opposed to evaluating them as thoughtful films in the vein of Academy Award winners.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Human Centipede Trilogy Introduction

The Human Centipede Series: Introduction

By Woofer McWooferson

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Some movies (including The Human Centipede) and their sequels are billed as not suitable for the faint of heart, some assert they're based on true stories, and some claim to be beyond the limits of decency. The Human Centipede (First Sequence) and its sequels, comedic horror of the most disturbing kind, assert medical accuracy as only medically inaccurate yet horrifically disgusting movies can. The Human Centipede films were inspired by what writer/director Tom Six jokingly said would be a great punishment for child molesters: sewing their mouths to the asses of sweaty, long haul truck drivers. Exactly how this idea transformed into a trilogy of films that hold no punches when it comes to the gross out is something only Tom Six can answer. Regardless of the evolution of the idea, The Human Centipede trilogy have carved a gross niche in the body horror genre.

Six, born 29 August 1973 in Noord-Holland,Netherlands and known for wearing RAF-style sunglasses, Panama and cowboy hats, and light-colored linen suits, says of his films, "I try to create original films, why write stories that are done a hundred thousand times? Create something new, push boundaries, why else bother?" and "I don't like happy endings in films, only at massage parlors." Indeed, his films clearly reflect his philosophy, something not always possible for filmmakers in today's world. Among his influences are his favorite films La Grande Bouffe (1973), The Idiots (1998), Crash (1996), Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), and Fitzcarraldo (1982). Salò's influence is quite clear in The Human Centipede trilogy.

Check out the rest of my commentary on this trilogy:

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)
The Human Centipede (Full Sequence)
The Human Centipede (Final Sequence)
The Human Centipede Trilogy Final Observations

Stay spooky.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments