August Underground

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August Underground is a 2001 horror film, and the first release of Toe Tag Pictures (Sella Turcica, Maskhead, The Redsin Tower, Murder Collection V.1, etc.)

You know that sequence in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer where Henry and Otis break into a house and videotape themselves torturing and murdering the residents? Stretch that out to feature length and you pretty much have August Underground.

Presented as a degraded serial killer home movie, the film follows a sadistic psychopath named Peter as he commits random acts of torture and murder, all of it recorded by his unnamed and unseen (but very talkative) accomplice. Among the people they brutalize and/or kill are a female hitchhiker, an old woman, a convenience store clerk and two of his customers, twin brothers, and a pair of prostitutes. A girl named Laura is also kept captive in Peter's basement, beside the corpse of her dead and castrated boyfriend, Michael.

A sequel, subtitled Mordum, followed in 2003. This time around, Peter is being helped out by his sadomasochistic girlfriend Crusty, and her sexually depraved manchild brother Maggot, with whom she has an incestuous relationship. The trio initially get along well (barring random outbreaks of infighting) but after a while, things turn sour between Peter and Maggot over the affection of Crusty.

The final installment of the series, Penance, was released in 2007. Unlike its predecessors, the footage of this one is near-mint, so we can see all the horrors inflicted upon the victims in crystal clarity. Now it's just Peter and Crusty, whose initially lovey dovey relationship is breaking down, with the two deranged individuals beginning to turn their violent impulses on each other.

Of the three, Mordum is the most well known, and with good reason; coming off like an experiment to create "the sickest shit evar!!!1!" it features things like rape with a severed penis, cannibalization of a headless and maggot-infested infant, a young child's rotten corpse being sexually abused, and a woman who is covered in blood and vomit being cut open and "gut fucked".

This series provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Abusive Parents: Peter's father, going by a comment made by Crusty.
  • A Date With Rosie Palms: While Crusty is molesting, tormenting and puking on a pair of women in Mordum, Peter and Maggot jerk off while filming it.
    • In Penance, Crusty masturbates to Peter abusing a dying woman, and later Peter jacks off in front of a tortured woman, and smears his semen (actually some kind of coconut shampoo) on her.
  • All There in the Manual: The main killer's name is Peter.
  • A Love to Dismember: After Maggot forces a man to cut off his own penis in Mordum, the chunk of dick is taken by Crusty, who violates a woman with it.
  • Alternate DVD Commentary: The first film has one by Peter, and it comes complete with him torturing someone in the background.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Even by psycho killer standards, there is obviously something up with Maggot.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Seems like everyone assumes the two women from the vomit torture sequence in Mordum are a lesbian couple.
  • An Arm and a Leg: August Underground has Michael being dismembered post-mortem, and one of the twin brothers has a leg hacked off with a meat cleaver. There's also human and deer bodies being taken apart in Penance.
  • Annoying Laugh: Peter and Maggot.
  • Ass Shove: The first film is likely one of the few places where you can see a woman have her shit shoved back up her ass.
  • Attention Whore: Maggot.
  • Ax Crazy
  • Bad Samaritan: Peter helps an old woman carry her groceries in August Underground, and kills her once he gets inside her house.
  • Batter Up: The female convenience store patron is whacked with a bat in August Underground, and Peter goes crazy with one in Penance.
  • Beard of Evil: Maggot, and Killjoy in Mordum.
  • Big Bad: Peter.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Peter and the cameraman in August Underground, and Peter and Crusty in Penance.
  • Bi the Way: The prostitutes in August Underground.
  • Blood Bath: At the end of Mordum (after it has long lost coherency) Peter drags a near-nude Maggot under a woman who is suspended upside-down, and slits her throat, resulting in an even bloodier Maggot.

Peter: That's your fucking baptism, you fuck!

Crusty: (while in a crack house): These people are fucking sick!

  • I Lied: Crusty and Maggot telling a man they'll set him free if he cuts his own penis off Mordum.
  • I Love the Dead: Peter sodomizes Erika while caving her head in with a hammer in August Underground, and Mordum shows Maggot having sex with the wound of a dead and gutted woman, and raping a little girl's corpse.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Maggot.
  • Improvised Weapon: The old woman is stabbed to death with a corkscrew in August Underground.
  • IncrediblyLamePun: August Underground:

Peter: (while looking at statues of Biblical figures): You know what I don't understand? I don't understand, you know, like, in, y'know, in the bible, and y'know, the stories that you hear, y'know, they're always upset, and weeping, and crying and stuff like that. These people just have a stoned look on their face. Get it?
Cameraman: That was bad.

Peter: Doesn't she look smart like that?
Crusty: That's because I'm a librarian, now fuck me!

Crusty: I like dull knives better

Crusty: (mockingly): You're not gonna have to worry about growing up now, sweetie!