Tuesday, 21 April 2015
August Underground (2001)
Five minutes in and I'm wondering how the hell Fred Vogel can maintain this for a whole 70 minutes.
Grim, nasty, horrific, punishing. The film acts as a counterpoint to the trivialisation of torture and abasement portrayed in the media and popular 15 cert Hollywood "horror" movies. Serial killers are nasty evil fuckers and not one-liner snapping media whores. Serial killers don't eat fava beans and don't drink fucking Chianti. Vogel gives us a killer that we most definitely wouldn't want our kids dressing up as come Halloween.
The low-res video, the over-saturisation, and the grounding in the mundane gives August Underground a terrible realism that's hard to ignore and harder still to watch. This is Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer turned up to eleven and is a stunning, if appalling, début feature.
Original letterboxd review