While traveling to Canada to attend a film festival in Toronto, director and co-writer Fred Vogel was arrested, pending charges of transporting obscene materials into Canada, when copies of August Underground and its sequel were found by customs officials among the merchandise he had intended to bring to the convention. The charges were eventually dropped, after Vogel had spent roughly ten hours in customs prison. See more »
Come on, I got something to show you. You are going to love this.
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Appalling grotesque, but they sort-of achieved what they wanted
There are movies meant to be scary, there are movies meant to shock, and then there are films that do nothing but threaten the limits of nausea and putrid film-making. August Underground is a low budget, and frequently disgusting film that portrays a real snuff film about two men that go on a senseless killing spree for no other reason but sick pleasure. The acts are recorded on a now old-fashioned camcorder to intensify the situation.
I will give the film credit for looking very realistic, and being shot with a method I personally enjoy. Shot on video horror films do a great deal to intensify the scene, and make for a very realistic film if done right. August Underground does a good job at making this very low budget independent film look like a black-market snuff film.
For those not aware of what a snuff film is, it is a film that is compiled or real murders and torture to human beings. The purpose of their existence is to provide sick pleasure to the person watching them. Apparently, not one has ever been made or sold, and they are just a thing we humans believe exist because we fear the strange. I'm sure somewhere, somehow someone has made and sold one, but there is no record of it.
I am a fan of films like The Collector and Saw that are works of the torture porn genre. I am also a slight fan of the 2007 horror film Vacancy which plot revolved around motel murders constructing snuff films. The difference between this and August Underground is the fact that those films all had a story line, thin as it may it was there. This film is nothing but a grotesque picture that exists solely for the purpose of extreme shock, without providing a moral or awareness on the subject of snuff. It's not like this is an hour-long PSA saying this could happen.
August Underground was most likely made by people who were interested in the field of film, but didn't think they could pull off making a real film of any specific genre. They took the easy way out and made a film that is just a bunch of compiled murders, ridiculous scenes of animals with large reproductive organs, and senseless acts of torture that make the viewer feel like a sick sadist.
What are we supposed to feel from this film? Better yet, what was did this film accomplish by being like this? Screams? Shrieks? Jaw drops? Nausea? Vomitting? Well, it could have all of those, if it didn't add credits at the end. Without those credits, this could've been an even more realistic snuff film. But like everyone, the makers wanted to have their five seconds of fame on the screen. Congratulations? Starring: Kyle Dealman. Directed by: Fred Vogel.
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