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August Underground's Penance Print E-mail
User Rating: / 39
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Written by Chris Mayo   
Sunday, 25 March 2007
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"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema "August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

Directed by: Fred Vogel
Written by: Christie Whiles, Fred Vogel
Produced by: Fred Vogel
Editing by: Logan Tallman, Fred Vogel
Special Effects by: Jerami Cruise
Cast: Christie Whiles, Fred Vogel
Year: 2007
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 84 Minutes

Distributor: Toe Tag Pictures
Official Website: http://www.augustunderground.com/

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Just when you thought you'd seen it all -- shit smeared in the hacked-off nipple-wound of a helpless female in "August Underground", or another victim having her stomach slit open and her intestines fucked by a demented creep in "Mordum" -- another little sickie is regurgitated from the depths of the degenerate minds of Toe Tag Pictures.  The third and final flick in the “August Underground” series, "Penance" is the snuff film to end all snuff films! 

Notorious for their acts of masochism, murder and depravity captured on a handheld camera -- following their own benchmark which started with "August Underground" -- Toe Tag Pictures are back with a vengeance, to bring fans and foes on another journey to excruciating terror.  True depictions of barbarism, almost too real for comfort!  This time around the found footage follows only Vogel and Whiles character’s on their twisted killing spree.

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

Pure evil commences with a struggling male victim, bound and gagged.  In the next cut our victim is out of his misery; face down, dead on the ground.  The male killer sits next to him visibly fatigued, with a bloodied mouth.  “Tell me you got that fucking shit” he says to his accomplice holding the camera.  This introduction is a teaser and basis of things to come.  The ensuing segments contain the two killers visiting various areas of Pittsburg while goofing around (much like any home video footage one might create).

The next victim on the tape lays on his back, borderline unconscious, beaten, with nails growing from several crimson wounds in his chest.  The male killer proceeds to mock his bludgeoned victim’s anguish by moving the prey’s jaw, mouthing “I don’t feel so good!” and “I don’t like myself!”  Vogel’s character then repeats these statements, transforming the self loathing upon himself.  This gives the viewer a viewpoint behind the killers reasoning for taking human life.  The killer doesn’t value his own life, so why would he value the lives of others?  This also shines a light on the title of the film, “Penance”, which casual viewers probably won’t pick up on. 

Each entry in the “August Underground” series has contained standout abhorrent acts that reach even the most jaded viewer’s emotions.  An act so absolutely depraved that it won’t leave your mind no matter how hard you try.  Fans of the previous “AU” films, best be prepared for some extreme shit.  “Penance” contains so much repugnant shit that even the most jaded horror fan will be unsettled. 

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

One sequence which takes place during Christmas makes the home invasion scene in “Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer” appear laughable in comparison!  We follow the murderers in a random household where they rape and murder the family members, in a sequence that stroked my inner misanthrope, and almost went too far.  The viewer will be in amazement at the utter audacity of this sequence shot behind a Christmas backdrop complete with a tree and gifts.  During this particular sequence, after the father and mother are out of the way, and while Whiles’ character strangles the young daughter, Vogel’s character (from behind the camera) taunts “Make her open some gifts.”  What increases the viciousness of the situation is what the camera man says when the female killer strangles the little girl to death -- “I want to see the life go.  I want to see the life go.”  This will not be easily forgotten.

A second sequence contained a disembowelment more extreme than anything you have ever been witness to.  This sequence will be the forerunner for any filmmaking attempts at one-upping the “August Underground” series as this went far and beyond the gruesome reality that the previous films presented the viewer.  Try not to cringe when some sort of organ gets ruptured during the procedure and gastric air bubbles spurt from beneath the viscera.  Gorehounds rejoice!

In the tradition of Italian cinema such as “Cannibal Holocaust”, fans should take heed to a few animal sequences herein.  One situation involves a white rat being fed to a caged household alligator.  Another shows the killers in a scene where they actually feed a caged lion parts of a deer.

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

A differing factor of “Penance” when compared to the previous films in the series is that “Penance” is shot letterboxed in the utmost digital video clarity.  The degraded picture quality of the previous videos definitely enhanced the authenticity of the “found footage” mythos, but this is not to say this new(ish), clearer medium is a deterrent to the film.  Since this is the final entry to the “August Underground” saga, the stellar visual quality was a wise decision as it almost adds to the finalization of ordeal.  That and it lets the fans view the depravity put forth in stunning lucidity.  Unlike the chaos that was “Mordum”, “Penance” seems to linger around the carnage, rather than jerk about the madness.  This gives the viewer the utmost intimate experience into the actions of our two madmen.

Vogel and Whiles are a well paired duo in depravity.  Their relationship is a unique one, they appear to care for one another, but ultimately the hate in their love/hate relationship prevails.  “Penance” plays as a downward spiral of sorts, and as such, we see their relationship spiral downward.  The film begins methodically, and gradually descends out of control.  As their murdering urges progress, their relationship plummets, amounting in their ultimate downfall.

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

 "August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

The thought of “Penance” having the audacious capacity of outdoing or even comparing to “August Underground” or “August Underground’s Mordum” has been an issue amongst fan circles for a long time now.  Not to say, fans have been plotting against Toe Tag’s demise, it’s just that, how the hell does one compete with the previous films?  How the hell do you make a snuff film that even compares?  The minds behind the initial madness have figured this out for us.  Fans need not worry.  Cynics of the previous two films best be prepared.  Toe Tag has delivered something truly ungodly.  So if you haven’t already pre-ordered the “Penance” snuff edition, then you best be reaching for your wallet, because this is a must have exhibit of unadulterated wickedness.  You have been warned.

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

 "August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

RATING:
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"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema

"August Underground's Penance" DVD - Click to Enlarge - Severed Cinema


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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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