Saturday, November 17, 2012

Films with pizzazz.

   I am always searching for the most depraved and unsettling films. Checking and seeing if I thought the sfx were believable, seeing if i could detect any relevant allegory or social commentary. Even sometimes going so far as to demand some sort of plot and character progression.As much as I love the gory 'nasties' out there I don't always want a mindless exploitation film. Which brings me too:

                    August Underground Mordum


   August Underground Mordum (AUM) has developed quite the emotional response both negative and positive.Conveying my location on the spectrum is a difficult task for me.The film is gory, an evil gory that depicts a severe lack of moral inclination from the protagonists.A brutally accurate depiction of three sociopaths minds and impulses. Filmed in the form of a horribly degraded home video/found footage style. AUM delves into the day to day happenings of three serial killers: Peter, his girlfriend Crusty and her horridly inept (and incestuous) brother Maggot. What I find the most depraved is how I can vividly imagine AUM being a VHS that some poor fellow has stumbled upon. I can put myself in the proverbial shoes of the victim and I find this to be a rare quality in films now. It's brutally unsettling to watch the systematic torture, rape, humiliation and gruesome murders of the victims.The film shows no mercy with the perfected special effects; the dismemberment,laceration and subsequent deaths play out so violently you are convinced its real. 
   The film wastes no time throwing you into an incestuous encounter between Crusty and Maggot.Immediately Peter catches the two in the act which causes him to bang on the door while demanding entry (all the while holding a hammer). I almost empathize with that particular reaction...but not really. While there are slow, miserable sections of inane hobbies and arguments they remain only a fraction of the reality.I don't want to remove the shock factor from the rest of the film, should you decide to experience the adventure on your own.Adding to the validity of AUM is the film quality, it is believably degraded enough to strip you of detecting any flaws in the SFX. It bodes very well for the director to have the duality of an intentionally low quality picture, where having a tight budget but no lack of gore positively affect the story. In a 2005 interview with Atrocities, Director and Writer Fred Vogel (which can be viewed here) spoke on the inspiration of the film saying: 

"I wanted to make a big-budget zombie film, and i knew if i made a good enough first film, I could get money to make my zombie film, I was tired of all the serial killer movies that didn't show you what's really going on. The serial killer genre was a perfect way to go. We had no money, but we had the gore, I was teaching at the time, and was at the top of my game with FX, and knew I could make something that people would notice. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer's "home invasion" scene always freaked me out. So, just imagining a feature of that went through my mind, but, five times more real. Really show the viewer what these people are like, not like how Hollywood shows, clean, pretty. August Underground had to be immature, dirty, ugly and of course real."

Mission accomplished, I say. A well done film with a brutally honest story and and true to it's director's vision. That's the exact reason I recommend August Underground Mordum for any true horror film buff. Well done Toe Tag. 

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HorRoar! by Mitch Kelley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.