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Fred Vogel’s August Underground - Two Disc Snuff Edition - Toe Tag Pictures Print E-mail
User Rating: / 43
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Written by Chris Mayo   
Friday, 11 January 2008

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Directed by: Fred Vogel
Written by: Fred Vogel, Allen Peters
Produced by: Fred Vogel
Cinematography by: Allen Peters
Editing by: Kelly Hutch
Special Effects by: Loaded Dice Effects
Music by: Kaos FM, Richard J. Donahue
Cast: Ann Marie Reveruzzi, John A. Wisniewski, Alexa Iris, Aaron LaBonte, Ben LaBonte, Fred Vogel
Year: 2001
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 71 Minutes

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Video: NTSC R0
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Official Website: Toe Tag Pictures

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Many with the knowledge of Toe Tag Pictures have an “August Underground” story; and Severed Cinema is no exception.  Two or three years ago a few tapes showed up in the mail.  One lone unmarked tape stared me in the face.  What I didn’t realize then was that what I was about to witness would change my life forever.

The tape began with a grainy sequence of a couple guys entering a house.  One held the camera as the other (Fred Vogel, “August Underground’s Mordum”) led him downstairs into the basement: “You are going to love this”.  What was around the corner would become the most depraved and disturbing sequence in cinematic history.  A crying naked woman (Ann Marie Reveruzzi), gagged with an apple and duct tape was tied to a chair in the room (a room plastered with blood and pornography).  The unknown woman was caked in blood, missing a nipple and sitting in her own piss and shit.  In the back room her dead boyfriend lay in a bathtub -- castrated -- his penis discarded in the toilet.  The degradation and misanthropy to follow would prove to be an endurance test for anyone.

August Underground - "Feces Knee"

I sat there in disbelief and watched as these two guys did unspeakable things.  The cameraman (Allen Peters) smeared shit into the hole where the woman’s nipple once was.  The other sadist (Fred Vogel) ate an apple, taunting the tortured woman as she sat starving in her seat of feces.  I watched while the cameraman laughed maniacally as he crammed shit back into the victim.  In the other room the onscreen killer focused on dismembering the dead guy’s leg while trying to refrain from vomiting, with no luck (in a scene that complements the realism of the sequence).  All the while “Property of Absu Films” intermittently appeared onscreen causing me to ponder further into what I was actually viewing.  This couldn’t be real could it?  After all, with “Property of Absu Films” appearing onscreen, this must mean it isn’t real, but rather, a very well orchestrated pseudo-snuff film.  But if this is the case, then who in their right mind would willingly showcase himself on video enacting such debauchery?  On the other hand though, if this were genuine snuff, wouldn’t it be smart to make it seem “staged” by placing a production companies name strategically throughout the film?  All these thoughts crossed my mind, while the experience truly frightened, disturbed and sickened me like no other “film” before.  I didn’t turn the film off.  I couldn’t resist.  I had to see what these sicko’s were capable of.

Jump two or three years in the future and “August Underground” and Toe Tag Pictures have taken the underground horror community hostage, with a ransom note by way of a two disc special edition DVD.  What Fred Vogel has created is an indisputable depiction of “horror”.  When you watch “August Underground”, you experience what true horror is.  What Vogel and crew have also created is a brand name you can trust.  In Toe Tag Pictures’ short existence, they have delivered authentic horror entertainment, with the “AU” films, a driving force toward the success of “Murder-Set-Pieces” as modern day exploitation with the combination of Nick Palumbo’s direction and Toe Tag’s effects work and now the forthcoming “The Redsin Tower”.

August Underground - "Bloody Females Are Still Hot"

Even though “August Underground” was created to represent a serial killer’s home movie, it does follow a relatively linear structure while taking traditional horror movie conventions and bashing them in your fucking face.  The plot of the video follows two close friends, not unlike the guys you went to high school with.  Their only divergence from the general public is that they have a crutch for sadism and slaughter.  We live in a society with serial killers; we just don’t know them.  This video intimately follows the two on their journey for self-gratification, to find their next victim.  Footage of “every day life” is juxtaposed with their infliction of human torment in a way that could not be more unsettling.  The choice of depicting these two characters as “regular” guys makes it all the more disturbing and real.  When Vogel’s baby-faced character lashes out on his victims, it’s terrifying.  You see these types of people every day.  They could be the murderers living next door.  You just don’t know it yet.

This is as realistic as it gets, but is not completely devoid of blemishes.  The only sequence that had me questioning the film’s authenticity was with the female hitchhiker.  After Vogel’s character forces her out of the car for a blowjob, he ends the copulation by beating her to the ground.  Whilst on top of her, he continues to pound her on the ground but the punches come across more like a wrestler’s staged antics than a real beating.  This being the only flaw in the film, it does not stand out damagingly.

August Underground - "Didn't I just have a Severed Foot?"

Fred Vogel’s August Underground” depicts some of the most derogatory footage ever captured.  Abuse and degradation are taken to new heights of depravity with not only the footage of the blood and shit covered woman, but also with a couple prostitutes and two twin brothers (Aaron and Ben Labonte).  One of the twins is murdered in front of the other, while being tortured and ridiculed of his loss.  This is all before his skull faces the same demise as his brother’s, by the blow of a hammer.  Not only does the film contain its own grade of nihilism, it also plays homage to another worthy piece of horror cinema.  The home invasion sequence in “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” is mentioned in the commentary by Vogel, as being a big inspiration for “August Underground”, and definitely shows homage in the convenience store invasion sequence where an unsuspecting couple is forced to sniff each others asses. 

"August Underground” is a true testament of what horror should be; nasty, nihilistic, raw and real.  Murder is not an easy subject to stomach, and if “August Underground” makes you feel like a piece of shit as the viewer, then it has accomplished its task of depicting true serial murder.

August Underground - "Cool Photograph of Victim/Actress Ann Marie Reveruzzi"

THE DVD

VIDEO:
4:3 Full Frame
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AUDIO:
Dolby Digital 2.0 – English
http://severed-cinema.com/images/full-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/full-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/full-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/half-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/zero-star.jpg

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
DISC ONE
- 3 Audio Commentaries
- Trailer
- Easter Eggs

August Underground - "Disc One Sick Menu Design"
 
DISC TWO

- An Introduction by Director Fred Vogel
- Hammer to the Head (Documentary)
      - “August Underground” On Location
      - “August Underground” Behind the Brutality
- “August Underground” Too Real For Comfort (Interviews)
- Slideshow
- Easter Eggs

August Underground - "Disc Two Sick Menu Design"

Toe Tag Pictures delivers a stellar Two Disc Limited Snuff Edition DVD presentation of “Fred Vogel’s August Underground”.  Disc one begins with a great menu design which has a video of Vogel’s character in a basement appearing to tell you “to just fucking hit play already”.  This disc contains three commentaries that accompany the film.  The first is a ‘Director Commentary’.  Vogel gives an insight behind the making of the film, the cast, how many of his students from the Tom Savini institute worked with him on “AU”, and even some filming mishaps on set (one of which Vogel’s character accidentally smashes his brothers head through the glass of a cooler in a convenience store).  He even mentions co-writer/cameraman Allen Peters complete displacement with the film.  The next commentary is with Vogel and former students Ben and Aaron Labonte, who worked on the film as actors and makeup effects artists.  This commentary is interesting, but usually overlaps information given by Vogel in the first commentary.  However, due to the consistent and repeated use of the phrase “you know”, this could be used as a popular "August Underground" drinking game.  Each time someone says the phrase “you know” you take a drink.  Play this drinking game and you’ll end up more inebriated than a Canuck at a Chiller Theatre Halloween after party!!!  The next ‘Killer Commentary’ is only included on the Snuff Edition DVD and is well worth the extra charge.  What we get is Vogel’s serial killer character forcing another captive girl to endure this home video.  He mocks her and beats her, the whole while the sobbing girl begs to go home.  This puts a fresh feel to “August Underground” for fans who have viewed the film multiple times.  Whilst watching the film with this new sadistic soundtrack it becomes almost surreal, and brings back the original emotions of seeing such a disturbing film.  Rounding off disc one we get a first-rate trailer for the film as well as two easter eggs which are not hard to find.

As if the first disc wasn’t enough, disc two brings another abundance of ‘Gruesome Features’.  Akin to disc one, disc two contains an even cooler menu design.  This time Vogel’s character has a female (Shelby Jackson) gagged and tied to a chair ala the beginning scene in “AU”.  He pulls her hair and forces her to tell the viewer to "pick a special feature".  This menu design has to be the best of any I have seen.  The originality and layout is superb.  We begin the supplements with an introduction by director Fred Vogel and continue with the 67 minute documentary directed by Toe Tag Street Team front man Logan Tallman, entitled ‘Hammer to the Head: A Closer Look at August Underground’.  This documentary is devided into two sections; the first being ‘August Underground On Location’, which follows Vogel back to the areas in which he originally shot the film 5 years ago.  A highlight of this is an interview with Vogel’s grandmother, Victoria Jones, who relives being murdered in the film and her support for Freddy.  The second segment is titled ‘August Underground Behind the Brutality’ and focuses more on behind the scenes footage of makeup effects work.  We also get some interviews with various people including actor/casting director John Wisniewski, actor/fx artist Aaron Labonte, actor/fx artist Ben Labonte, and fx artist Jerami Cruise.  This was without a doubt the best feature on disc two.  Moving on we get ‘August Underground “Too Real for Comfort” An Outsiders Perspective’, which is a massive 102 minute compilation of interviews from various people about their first experience with Toe Tag Pictures and “August Underground”.  It is cool too hear other people’s experiences with the film.  Some of the participants include Tony Simonelli of Xploited Cinema, Killjoy of Necrophagia, Nick Palumbo of Fright Flix, Art Ettinger and Allana Sleeth of Ultra Violent Magazine, Jovanka Vuckovic of Rue Morgue and Rob Steinbruegge the Superfan.  Notably, Rob the Superfan’s interview was a great inclusion and is refreshing to see such intense passion and love for the genre.  Rounding off ‘An Outsiders Perspective’ is a brutal sequence where Crusty tortures and cuts the throat of Logan Tallman, which is up there with the nastiness of the Iraqi beheading videos.  If this is an indication of what to expect in “August Underground’s Penance” then Toe Tag Pictures are on the right track.  We finish these ‘Gruesome Features’ with an awesome 12 minute slideshow of behind the scenes images, with background music by Poppa Pill’s “Murderer Living next Door” and two must-see easter eggs.

"Fred Vogel's August Underground" Two Disc Snuff Edition DVD is a must have for fans of extreme cinema and is the best DVD release of the year.

August Underground - "Spill the beer, then spill the blood!"

August Underground - "Toilet Paper"

August Underground - "Kill me"

August Underground - Hmm, I do need a ride and 20 bucks"

August Underground - "Beaver"

August Underground - "Arthouse Underground"

August Underground - "Stink Finger"

August Underground - "Mr. Rogers Neighbourhood - Murderer Living Next Door!"

August Underground - "Serial Killer Tat"

August Underground - "Your Brothers Dead Fucker!"

August Underground - "Take a Picture, Take Your Soul"

August Underground - "Party Whores"

August Underground - "Vogel the Director"

August Underground - "Tony Simonelli - Xploited Cinema"

August Underground - "Look at all the Porn!"

August Underground - "Art Ettinger - Ultra Violent Magazine"

August Underground - "The Art of Death"

August Underground - "Nick Palumbo - Director of Murder-Set-Pieces"

August Underground - "Bye bye nipple!"

August Underground - "Jovanka Vuckovic - Rue Morgue Magazine"

August Underground - "Victim torso mould"

August Underground - "Rob Steinbruegge the Ultimate Superfan!"

August Underground - "Murder is Fun"

Comments
Add New Search
Paco gorgona  - I yours movies is the best   |189.133.192.xxx |2008-08-20 15:32:37
Hi, i want to congratulations for the sunuff movie, im from mexico and here not
exist cine snuff.

please made more movies.
Anonymous Fucker  - I thought this shit was real it was so good.   |174.126.112.xxx |2009-10-30 00:33:31
Had me fooled man, thought it was real until the credits. Have to admit, I was
disappointed about being indirectly fooled, but all that means is you made a
fantastic fucking movie. Good job.

Keep it up. I thirst for more.
Part one
loaded the gun and cocked the hammer, now give us part two hard enough to send
the bullet through our heads like a fucking cannon.
Chris Mayo   |SAdministrator |2009-10-30 09:03:31
Part two is August Underground's Mordum, and part three is August
Underground's Penance. You can get them from Toetag directly: http://www.toetagpictures.com/webstore/
Sadikoasesino   |187.152.11.xxx |2010-06-14 12:50:51
QUIEN DICE QUE EN MEXICO NO EXISTEN JEJEJEJE CUANDO QUIERAS TE PRESTO UNAS,MAS
BIENNO SABES EN DONDE ENCONTRAR ESTE TIPO DE
FILMES....
......................................
........
.....................
Dave  - Videotape   |166.137.138.xxx |2010-09-10 19:02:19
Hey guys, do any of you know how much an original AU videotape is worth? I have
one of the original batch, complete with bloody fingerprint and a nice little
thank-you drawing from Fred-
I see in my searches that some of the DVDs are
fetching some pretty big bucks, so I know my tape must be also.
--thanx for any
info you can throw my way.
Chris Mayo     |SAdministrator |2010-09-10 19:35:27
I've seen them fetch over 100 bucks on ebay in the past. They pop up on there
from time to time so I'd suggest keeping an eye out there. They are pretty
rare, so I can imagine they will fetch a pretty penny if sold now.
John   |212.117.176.xxx |2011-09-05 19:03:22
This is fucking BRUTAL. Yeah, its an art but it still makes me cringe...
gabeus99   |70.196.199.xxx |2013-11-26 13:05:07
If you really wanna experience this movie in the most intense way try watching
it without any foreknowledge of what it is 48 hours into a serious pain pill
detox alone at three in the morning. Also I have a seven month old baby and an
eight year old daughter. Obviously I'm referring to "mordum".
eeesss   |142.162.227.xxx |2014-09-07 14:26:34
Can't look at it directly.
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