Nov 12, 2012

Extreme Flick Week: August Underground - 2001

This review is based on one I wrote in Swedish 2005.

August Underground
Director: Fred Vogel

What would you do if you found a videotape with two men executing the most hideous crimes? Crimes that you imagination never even could come up with? If you found a tape with severe sexual assaults and torture, would that shock you? What if it contained Coprophagia and cannibalism? This is the journal of two men, their way of documenting their everyday life and the violent killings they do just for fun…

There’s only a handful flick more infamous than this one! I can’t really say if that’s because it’s kind of difficult to get by, at least on a legitimate DVD. I would imagine it’s a lot easier to find a downloadable version as this seems to be the way things are done these days, but what fun is it to own an illegal copy anyway? I think part of the truth is that this film is somewhat unique. It’s filmed in subjective mode and is really extreme! The rumor has it that Fred Vogel got the film taken away from him in the Canadian customs and that is cause him to spend ten hours of his life behind bars. And that he didn’t even get to take the film with him once he was released.

If I were to compare it with anything else I would use the Guinea Pig film The Devils Experiment. There is a lot better documentary feeling in this one though. There are very few things to give away that it’s actually fake and not for real! The picture quality is bad just as it would be if it were the real deal filmed by a mediocre video camera. The victims act like the really are about to die and the perpetrators seems to be totally mental fucked up! They are truly sadistic and get aroused by their innocent victims’ pleas for mercy and laughs in the victims’ faces. They are in total control and won’t let anything get in their way!

But even it’s a unique film we can still debate on how strong it really is. For an experienced film critic such as myself it’s really not that much of a big deal. I have seen too much violent and bizarre film to be totally shocked by this. In fact, it gets quite boring at times. There are too many scenes which don’t contribute to any uncomforting feelings at all that make it all lose pace. But that’s a paradox of sorts too! It’s just those scenes that make the illusion of reality so good! We get to follow the bad guys both when they kill sadistically and when they to the most trivial things. I think that a mainstream viewer would be really shocked of this and it’s an extreme movie; there is no doubt about that! The films tagline describes it pretty well too by the way – The Sickest Film Ever Made. It might not be completely true but it’ll still give you a hint on what you are about to see!


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