Friday, November 19, 2010

August Underground (2001)

Director: Fed Vogel

Starring: Fred Vogel

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The sickest film ever made

Plot: Two serial killers go on a murdering rampage as one films the outcome from behind a video camera. One of the most realistically portrayed simulated snuff films.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Probably not but this could be the one film I bust out when some horror fan know-it-all shows up thinking they've seen everything and aren't repulsed by anything.

This is definitely not a date movie!

So after watching S&MAN (2006) I just had to pop this one in to see what all the fuss is about. Yep, it's fucked up. Remember that scene in HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER (1986) where Henry & Otis are videotaping their murder of that family? This is kind of like a 70 minute version of that with some extra shit thrown in. This is not for anyone with a weak stomach. It's about as hardcore as you get that isn't real...and that's where it's impressive. It's not like anyone who reads this is going to run out and find a copy but, this is a taste of where this picture goes...

That's in the first few minutes, too. After the torture, murder, cutting up of the bodies, etc, our killers hit the road for some little adventures including picking up a female hitchhiker and humiliating her ending with a beating, some lame nonsense at a slamdance, some more humiliation, torture and murder at a convenience store and finally back at home with a couple of prostitutes that doesn't end happily. There's your movie, essentially.

The makeup effects are top notch and puts some big budget Hollywood movies to shame. It's not surprising to find out that Vogel was an instructor at Tom Savini's makeup effects school. Just the one image above is a prime example. You cannot see the seams where the woman's nipple/areola has been severed. Granted, the image is somewhat blurry but there's plenty of footage of it. Even with such great effects, without good performances (especially from the poor girl pictured) it wouldn't mean anything.

AUGUST UNDERGROUND is one of those pictures you need to show someone who doesn't know it's not real. That's where it would be most effective. It wasn't easy to watch but at the same time I knew it was only a movie. For what this film is striving for, it succeeds in spades. It's horrific and repulsive and it's sure to offend and turn off about 98% of viewers...but then if you're watching it, you're probably part of that 2% that isn't. Bust out the Coke and popcorn!

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