Monday, 17 June 2013
August Underground (2001).
Usually brought up when people are having discussions about the sickest movies ever, the August Underground trilogy certainly manage to push the boundaries of horror cinema in every way possible. I first heard about the original August Underground many years ago, after I found out Necrophagia frontman Killjoy DeSade was working on the sequel with Toetag Pictures. I had to find this supposedly sickening movie that ushered in a whole new type of depravity into the horror genre.
I will never forget the first time I watched the original August Underground. It bought so many mixed emotions. I felt disgusted, guilty for watching such a thing, but I still had a morbid fascination to see where the movie would go next. By the end, not even a hot shower could wash away how the movie made me feel. It really was a new type of film. Emotional, effecting the very spirit of it's viewer. August Underground isn't something that the viewer could enjoy, it is more of an endurance test, and one that not everyone will be willing to take.
August Underground is a found footage movie. It tells the story of two killers, one who is never revealed, as he films everything through his camera, and the other, played by Fred Vogel, who commits atrocity after atrocity with gleefully sadistic pleasure. It shows them in their day to day lives. Not only do they rape and kill, but they go out and have fun, laugh and joke and behave like regular normal people. It totally takes away the 'Monster' element of the horror film and brings everything into reality, which makes the movie far more real. It is an incredibly effective piece of cinema, and manages to show murder for what it really is. There is no glamorizing death here. It is dirty, brutal, disturbing and disgusting.
The movie really does manage to paint a very realistic and vivid picture of the day to day lives of two sociopaths, and it doesn't leave anything to the imagination. It demonstrates with great detail that while not all of the perpetrators time is spent murdering and raping, it is always on their mind. It is like they are addicted to the thrill taking life brings. All they seem to live for is murder, and everything else is mundane and boring.
I am sure it would be easy to dismiss August Underground as pure depraved filth. But if you do that, then you obviously do not get what this movie is about. The movie is meant to stir up those sort of feelings in us, because murder isn't fun, it isn't glamorous, and it certainly isn't enjoyable. These people are sick, and this movie brings forth that sickness for everyone to see, and even goes as far as involving the viewer through the use of the handheld camera. People who bash this film because "it isn't horror" or "it's just sick" obviously miss every point this movie is trying to make.
It may not feature a happy ending. It certainly doesn't need to. The film epitomizes true horror and dread, and makes people confront a reality that I am sure many of us would rather spend our lives ignoring. This movie shows that, warts and all. It isn't pretty, funny or nice. It is depraved, sick and revels in it's nihilism until the very last frame. The fact that you choose to watch it, and see such depravity, will haunt you and horrify you for a long while afterwards, and in that respect, this is one of the most powerful horror films in existence.
Don't forget to visit the Toetag Website by clicking HERE. Not only can you pick up all of Toetag's movies, but also merchandise and other things that both collectors and fans would love to get their hands on. There are also movies from other underground directors there too, showing that Toetag really do invest everything into underground cinema, and are definitely a company that should be noticed and respected by every horror fan out there, whether you like Toetag's movies or not.