August Underground

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August Underground
Two-Disc Snuff Edition
Directed byFred Vogel
Produced byFred Vogel
Written byFred Vogel
Allen Peters
StarringFred Vogel
Allen Peters
Music byKaos FM
Richard J. Donahue
Edited byKelly Hutch
Absu Films
Toetag Pictures
Distributed byToetag Pictures
Release date
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2,000 (estimated)

August Underground is a 2001 American exploitation horror film written and directed by Fred Vogel, and co-written by Allen Peters. The first release of Toetag Pictures, the film follows the exploits of a serial killer named Peter, as filmed by his unnamed and unseen accomplice. The film was followed by two sequels, August Underground's Mordum in 2003, and August Underground's Penance in 2007.


Presented as a severely degraded home movie, the film opens with a man named Peter inviting his camera-wielding friend into his basement, where he is holding a woman named Laura captive. Having already killed her boyfriend (whose castrated body has been left in a bathtub to rot), Peter is keeping Laura alive so he and his accomplice can torture her at their leisure, committing sadistic acts such as slicing one of her nipples off, and covering her in feces and urine.

Next, the two are shown picking up a female hitchhiker, whom Peter coerces into performing oral sex on him. After climaxing, Peter beats the hitchhiker, and leaves her for dead on the side of the road. After returning to Laura, to whom they force-feed one of her now dismembered boyfriend's toes, the duo attend a concert (which they are kicked out of for rowdy behavior) and visit a farm, returning to the house afterward to find Laura has died.

After some mundane outings, such as touring a slaughterhouse and visiting a cemetery, Peter murders an old woman in her home, which he and the cameraman ransack. Later, the two harass and stab a convenience store clerk, and torment a pair of shoppers. The two try to take the wounded clerk or one of the bystanders with them, but abandon those plans when they hear police sirens approaching. The two then proceed to tour Roadside America, and visit a tattoo parlor. When the tattoo artist finishes giving Peter a tattoo, he and his twin brother are captured by Peter and the cameraman. The tattoo artist has a leg cut off with a meat cleaver, and is finished off by being bludgeoned with a hammer, his brother sharing his fate moments later.

The two are next shown at home doing drugs with a pair of prostitutes, with the cameraman going upstairs to have sex with one. When finished, the cameraman finds Peter in the basement, sodomizing the other prostitute while beating her with a hammer. Upon discovering the fate of her companion, the remaining prostitute tries to escape. In the chaotic chase that ensues, the camera is dropped and cuts off. There's dead silence as the credits roll.


  • Fred Vogel as Peter[1]
  • Allen Peters as Man Behind the Camera
  • Kyle Dealman
  • Dan Friedman
  • Alexa Iris as Hitchhiker
  • Victoria Jones as Old Woman
  • Aaron LaBonte as Younger Twin
  • Ben LaBonte as Older Twin
  • Andrew Lauer
  • Peter Mountain
  • AnnMarie Reveruzzi as Laura (Girl in Cellar)
  • Erika Risovich as Erika (Blond Prostitute)
  • Russel A. Sagona
  • Randi Stubbs as Black Prostitute
  • Stephen Vogel as Boy in Supermarket
  • John A. Wisniewski as Michael (Dead Man in Bathtub)
  • Nick Yatso as Bouncer at Concert


Gregory S. Burkart of Bloody Disgusting included August Underground on his list "20 Landmarks of Found-Footage Horror!", writing, "I'm not a big fan of this series, but I admire Vogel's fearless audacity in serving up the ultimate in onscreen sadism".[2] Jay Alan from gave the film a positive review, praising the film's performances, gore effects, and realistic quality.[3] Chris Mayo of Severed Cinema offered similar praise, writing, "August Underground is a true testament of what horror should be; nasty, nihilistic, raw and real."[4] Robert Firsching from Allmovie wrot in his review on the film, "A grueling but important antidote to the plethora of films glamorizing serial killers, August Underground is not likely to find a wide audience, but will not leave those who manage to find a copy unaffected."[5]

The film was later ranked at #14 in Complex's Most Disturbing Movies of All Time, with the entry on the film noting it's realistic quality, and "sadistically natural vibe".[6]


While traveling to Canada to attend the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear in Toronto, director and co-writer Fred Vogel was arrested, pending charges of transporting obscene materials into Canada, when copies of August Underground and its sequel were found by customs officials among the merchandise he had intended to bring to the convention. The charges were eventually dropped, after Vogel had spent roughly ten hours in customs prison, and his films were sent to Ottawa for further observation.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Underground: Twenty Questions with Fred Vogel - Director of August Underground and August Underground's Mordum". Atrocities Cinema. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  2. ^ Burkart, Gregory (14 October 2014). "20 Landmarks of Found-Footage Horror!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  3. ^ Alan, Jay. "Film Review: August Underground (2001)". Jay Alan. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  4. ^ Mayo, Chris. "August Underground DVD Review". Severed Chris Mayo. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  5. ^ Firsching, Robert. "August Underground (2002)". Robert Firsching. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  6. ^ Barone, Matt; Serafino, Jason; Pimentel, Julia. "The Most Disturbing Movies of All Time". Complex Magazine. Retrieved 2 May 2019.

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