“August Underground” stands as a groundbreaking entry in the realm of found footage, shot-on-video horror, directed by the infamous Fred Vogel. Even two decades after its 2001 release, the film remains a divisive and debated topic, sparking discussions about its place in modern horror lore and its connection to the controversial subgenre of snuff film-inspired horror.
Picking up “August Underground” in the digital age feels like uncovering a relic, contrasting sharply with the era of digital accessibility. The film, however, carries a weight of notoriety, particularly for those who experienced it during its initial release or at the height of its popularity in the mid-2000s when the trilogy concluded. The myths and stories circulating among fans set a high bar for newcomers, creating an anticipation that adds an extra layer to the viewing experience.
Think of “August Underground” as a cinematic experience akin to ‘Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer’ on an adrenaline-fueled journey. Fred Vogel’s distinctive approach to both acting and directing immerses the audience in the harrowing 70-minute runtime, an endurance test for those without a strong stomach. The film thrives on its gruesome and grotesque portrayal of gore, coupled with a grim storytelling style that caters to enthusiasts of extreme horror. The practical gore effects are executed with a finesse that would make even the legendary Tom Savini proud.
While the plot itself may be a weak link, following the well-trodden path of two maniac friends embarking on a serial killing spree, “August Underground” distinguishes itself through the artistry of its director of photography and cinematographer. The immersive lighting contributes significantly to the overall atmosphere, intensifying the terror and torture witnessed throughout the film. It’s a visual experience that transcends the conventional narrative shortcomings.
For hardcore horror fans, “August Underground” is a must-watch and a collector’s item. The film’s ability to shock and disturb makes it a potent tool for those wanting to test the limits of their friends’ endurance. However, a word of caution is warranted – it’s not for the faint-hearted, and the intense and explicit content has been known to clear a party faster than you can imagine. With it being banned in multiple countries it’s not hard to imagine why “August Underground” has such a cult following around it. Thankfully for fans Unearthed Films unearthed a rare classic we can buy on Blu-Ray along with its gruesome and graphic sequels that put this one to shame.
In conclusion, “August Underground” remains a milestone in the found footage horror genre, earning its place as a cult classic with a lasting impact. Fred Vogel’s bold and unapologetic approach to storytelling, coupled with exceptional practical effects, creates an unforgettable experience for those willing to delve into the darker realms of horror cinema. While the plot may be familiar, the film’s visual and visceral elements elevate it to a status that demands attention from avid horror aficionados, ensuring its enduring presence in discussions about extreme and unconventional cinema.
Two serial killers go on a murdering rampage as one films the outcome from behind a video cameraSynopsis
Overall Grade: 3.5/5 Stars