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Neil Lagorio was a practical creature effects artist who had a highly successful career in film from the mid-70s up until the turn of the century. In the early 2000's, he was diagnosed with what was apparently Parkinson's Disease and began to be cared for by his friend, Alison Killala. In 2012, Lagorio was paid a visit by Annabelle Cane and was found dead in his home five months later. He was also allegedly hired to build a giant spider animatronic for the 2012 horror film Widow's Weave. (MAG 110)



History[]

Neil Lagorio was very private about his life, preferring instead to talk about his work. However, Lagorio repeatedly described himself as "a puppeteer at heart" and while under the effects of sedatives would speak emphatically of his time working with puppets, demonstrating with his hands how he would move the strings of a marionette. Lagorio was also fond of spiders through his life, something he was vocal about while working on a film about an unrelated species of arachnids, harvestmen.

Though not cold, Lagorio was highly judgmental of the people in his life and subscribed to the view that all the people in the world could either be categorized as worth his time or wasting it. Despite this Lagorio did occasionally give screenings of his original cuts to people he apparently viewed as wasting his time, however those people "never quite looked the same" after viewing his work.

Around the same time as the release of his film The Harvestmen, an early-2000's horror featuring the long-legged arachnids of the same name, Lagorio began to suffer from a mysterious affliction that degraded his ability to control his body. Though diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, Lagorio's symptoms diverged from traditional cases in that his mind was unaffected by his ailment, and he was not afraid of or upset by his steadily declining state. With the help of his friend-turned-carer, Alison Killala, Lagorio designed a series of ropes, hooks, and pulleys that attached to wearable loops, intending to have his body be puppeteered through the motions of daily life. The contraption was a success, much to Lagorio's delight, and for the next several years Killala would operate his body like a marionette, allowing him to regain the sense of movement and autonomy he had lost as his motor functions continued to degrade. As time went on, the loops that the ropes would hook into had gone from being worn on harnesses to being embedded directly into Lagorio's flesh, something neither puppet nor puppeteer took particular issue with.

In 2012, Annabelle Cane came to visit Neil Lagorio's home. Alison Killala, who had answered the door, was promptly compelled by Cane to leave her and Lagorio to their business and to watch the original cuts of Lagorio's work in the screening room until they were finished. Lagorio, who had been made to walk by an entity other than Killala, greeted Cane with uncharacteristic cordiality and was last seen by Killala to have been controlled by the ropes to be dancing a "graceful, sweeping ballet" and crying tears of joy. When Cane retrieved Killala five months later, the now-dead Neil Lagorio was found suspended and "wrapped in his strings like a cocoon". It is unclear how or when he died.

The public announcement of Neil Lagorio's death coincided with the date of the mass disappearance of the director and cast of Widow's Weave, which had been in production in the previous months. Prior to the disappearances, the director of the film claimed to have hired Lagorio to build the giant spider featured in the film. However, surviving crew note that Lagorio had never been seen on set and the workshop where Lagorio had supposedly been working was silent over the course of production. Despite this, one member of the crew who entered the workshop claimed to have briefly seen a giant spiderweb filled with "a hundred cocoons, writhing and dangling" , with a giant spider in its centre. The spider apparently fled "up and away into nothing", taking its web with it and leaving the workshop empty to all else who arrived. It is unclear what role, if any, Lagorio played in the production of Widow's Weave or the subsequent disappearances.

Filmography[]

Filmography
  • Labyrinth of the Minotaur (Pre-1972): A horror film featuring a claymation minotaur. Lagorio produced this film with his partner Gabe (possibly Gabriel) before their split in 1972. After splitting with Gabe, moved on to practical effects.
  • Agents of Orion (1975): A sci-fi thriller featuring a robot animatronic.
  • Beyond Time (Late 1970's): A science fiction film.
  • Under New York (Late 1970's): A science fiction film.
  • The Crawling Ones (Late 1970's): A science fiction film.
  • Dead Sky (1980's): A horror film produced in the time Lagorio was seeking out more grotesque works.
  • The Nightmare Children (1980's): A horror film produced in the time Lagorio was seeking out more grotesque works.
  • Forty Winks (1980's): A horror film produced in the time Lagorio was seeking out more grotesque works.
  • Toy Shop (1980's): A horror film that served as the culmination of Lagorio's phase of grotesque works. Although the film was received very poorly by critics upon release and regarded as a video nasty, Toy Shop is thought of as a cult classic in modern times.
  • Orbit (1989): A science-fiction thriller featuring a 12-foot-tall animatronic robot, which was received poorly by critics.
  • Jewel of the Amazon (1992): An effects-driven action film featuring an animatronic jaguar.
  • The Wire Runner (Mid 1990's to early 2000's): A film of an unknown genre that served as Lagorio's first and only foray into CGI, and which was received poorly by critics.
  • Eagle Falls (Mid 1990's to early 2000's): A film of an unknown genre featuring irradiated creatures.
  • The Harvestmen (Early 2000's): A horror film featuring the long-legged arachnids known as harvestmen.
  • Dancer (Intended for release in the early 2000's): An art house film that was abandoned in production due to the progression of Lagorio's illness.
  • Widow's Weave (Partly produced in 2012): A horror film featuring a giant spider which terrorizes the residents of a small island off the coast of Kagoshima, Japan, and which was abandoned partway through production due to the sudden disappearance of the director and cast.

Episode Appearances[]

Episode Appearances
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