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Home | Film Reviews | Extreme Cinema | Film Review: August Underground’s Penance (2007)

Film Review: August Underground’s Penance (2007)

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Has someone ever handed you a movie, not telling you one thing about it, only telling you to watch it. What if that tape was the personal home video of two sociopaths on a killing spree? This is their home movie, for their eyes-only. This is August Underground’s PENANCE. The third and final film in the AU franchise Directed By Fred Vogel and Starring Cristie “Crusty” Whiles. PENANCE shows the dark decline of the two nameless killers from the previous films as they continue to videotape their madness on their path to destruction.


Written by: Christie Whiles and Fred Vogel
Directed by: Fred Vogel
Starring: Art Ettinger, Sara McGill, Anthony Matthews, Renee Bell, Jerami Cruise, Christie Whiles, Shelby Vogel and Fred Vogel

Hell-o from the underground once again. This is the third and final (so far) film in the August Underground trilogy. You’ve stomached the original, you made it through the second realm of torture, Mordum without going insane… Now try the final assault in the August Underground series… August Underground’s Penance.

The Toetag Pictures group is back to serve and force feed some of the most vile and disturbing footage to be released and unleashed to the viewing public. This film is much slicker and clear than the last two in the series. The camera work (being home video) is still “killer “ cinematography at it most uncompromising and brutal. The special effects are still over the top, convincing and realistic. The vision of carnage is also much more in your face than ever before. Not only that, the content is at its most depraved. Maybe not only for the series, but celluloid in general. This film sets out to shock the viewer and anyone that is not affected by it in some way should seek professional help.

This is the one film series that has made those who can sit through it wonder if something is wrong with themselves for viewing such a vile piece of… art. I personally love the series. Some that watch it on the surface may think it’s all about the gore, depravity and violence. To me, this installment has the best story line and characterization of them all. The acting is painfully believable and of course, the brutality and depravity (… and all out brutal depravity) is at an all time high… or low. At the same time, we see our nameless killers ( now on a couple with a love/ hate relationship) on a black spiral out of control with the world around them and each other. Sympathy is actually spawned within one of the characters, as if that were possible. This gets the star performer a little unnerved.

The content is for adults only as you may have guessed. The gore score is an “ultra- violent” thirteen plus and violence is the least of the sickness that your eyes will endure upon viewing. Because of the better camera quality, the stuff you’d never thought you see is crystal clear and in front of your face (as apposed to the previously grainy“found footage” approach). There are guts galore, puke, necrophilia and rape… to top off the tip of the iceberg. Some of the subtleties make the acts more disturbing. Such a scene is shown where they mess with a homeless man under a bridge and break into a parked car, taking a cigar. It’s moments like these that make the brutal stuff ten times more believable, unbearing and realistic. Again, this could be pawned off as actual snuff footage (as the two before it).

Of course, as a seasoned August Underground viewer would expect, the white masks appear. Things are about to get absolutely and extremely vile. This footage does not fall short in deliverance. An entire family’s home is invaded on Christmas and some of the most crude possible acts take place in the house, to the family and on the Christmas presents. This is the scene used to stop a party dead in its tracks. If you want the guests to scatter, pop in this clip and let it do the exterminating of prior annoyances. If you have heart conditions (or at least a heart), you may want to leave the room. Things are sure to get terribly ugly for those in attendance (as well as the married couple,their daughter… and her Christmas gift). We also witness the rape of loving couple (physically,mentally and literally). Humans are no longer human beings, they are objects and specimens for random slaughter… “kill it.” Of course, no spoilers shall be revealed.

If you’re looking for the sickest ride of your life, look no further than the Toetag gang and this serial killer opus of a final installment. Special Features on the DVD include music videos, commentaries with Toetag Pictures (TTP if you’re “staying sick”), trailers, a documentary and more. Absolutely worth the money if you’re into hardcore depravity and Horror at its most extreme and realistic… Finding a barf bag is another task all within itself. See this cult classic trilogy before it’s banned from the United States as well. I give this film, August Underground’s Penance, FOUR HORNS UP. “…Stay sick.”

August Underground’s Penance

One comment

  1. Daniel Murray

    August Underground, Mordum, and Penance are works of art, Fred Vogel manages to use a handheld camera to give the audience and amazing look at sh*t that happens in our messed up world every single day. Im so sick of people constantly saying their a pointless triology, open your f*cking eyes for two seconds and understand that Fred Vogel didnt make these movies because he’s sick and demented, he’s a normal guy just like everybody else, the films were made purely on the love of horror and exploitation. If u dont like seeing people be mutilated and violated in ways that can only can be brought to life by toetag Productions then DONT WATCH THE MOVIES! its as simple as that. Look past the gore and violence and you cant tell me that what ToeTag did in these films was nothing short of perfect, the special effects are so good that friends of mine have been 100% convinced that this is an actual snuff film. Take a serbian film, i spit on your grave, nekromantics, and even angels melancholy they all still dont stack up to how disturbing and amazing the AU triology is, can you find a movie that tops it?


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