Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Friday, July 6, 2012

August Underground's Mordum (2003)

... aka: Mordum

Directed by:
Jerami Cruz
Michael Todd Schneider
Fred Vogel
Cristie Whiles

I remembering seeing the name August Underground on someone's list of the sickest films ever made, so I went ahead and watched it to see what all the fuss was. I also went into it having no clue what I was about to see. It wasn't until later that I found out this is actually part two in a series of three films (2001's AUGUST UNDERGROUND and 2007's AUGUST UNDERGROUND: PENANCE), even though I'm guessing they are all unrelated to one another. While I'll agree that this movie has some pretty sick and nasty scenes, I found it tedious and forgettable all the same. I had to fight the temptation to hit the fast-forward button several times and that wasn't because I was disturbed by what I was seeing, but because I started getting bored by how monotonous it was. So sad to say, I did not find this no budget homemade effort all that disturbing, nor did I find it very entertaining. I can name dozens of PG-rated vintage horror movies from the silent era to the 1960's that managed to disturb me more than this one did. Some of those actually have the ability to get inside your head, unlike this one, which has absolutely no insight into the sick minds it so gleefully likes to portray.

There's really no plot line to follow here. It's a loosely structured series of scenes following three people (two guys and a girl) as they videotape themselves torturing, degrading, raping and murdering people. That's about it. Oh except for all the utterly pointless filler where they run around on the street aimlessly, go to some lame concert, go to a tattoo parlor, go to eat and break into some person's house. As if anyone cared to actually see any of that. Unfortunately, the "characters" never shut up and bring obnoxious to a whole new level by cackling and screaming profanities at one another almost nonstop from beginning to end, which got extremely annoying after about two minutes. There's a certain spontaneity here when it comes to the amateurish camera-work/lighting and the fact that the pitiful "dialogue" all seems improvised. However, whatever realism the filmmakers were shooting for was ruined because the antics of the killer's were so ridiculously exaggerated and over-the-top it became almost cartoon-like after awhile.

Even the presentation of the psycho characters was hilariously clichéd. Naturally, one of them looks like he hasn't bathed or shaved in weeks a la Charles Manson. The female lead is all decked out in silly little Hot Topic punk/goth accessories right down to a ridiculous pair of spiked panties that scream "I'm a sadistic bitch." All of them have multiple facial piercings and are probably the types who describe themselves as "extreme" and "hardcore" to their friends, thinking they don't conform to a certain image or lifestyle like the rest of us boring folks do, when clearly they do. I've always found it amusing that some people equate being vile and disgusting with being "edgy" and anti-establishment, but I certainly wouldn't want to refer to any of these fine folks as degenerates because I'm pretty sure they'd take that as some kind of complement. And that's giving them way more credit than they actually deserve. There is a LOT of full frontal male and female nudity on display here. Obviously done just to shock. Not that it really matters all that much, but all of the female victims are on the hefty side and none of them are particularly attractive. Looks like they raided some pretty seedy dives, or street corners, or maybe even some truck stop parking lots, to come up with the "talent" they used here. Then again, it would have been difficult to find an attractive woman, or one with even a sliver of self worth, who's going to lay there and let someone puke into their mouth.

Even though I found this mostly worthless, I went ahead and gave it a 2 instead of a 1 because the gore effects are pretty good. So what gory goodies can you expect to find here? Well, a guy is forced to cut his penis off; then the stub is inserted into the vagina or his screaming, bound-and-gagged girlfriend. There are two nude women who look like lesbian rough trade that get puked on, are forced to kiss and lick each other and are then sliced to ribbons. One of those girls is even gutted and "made love to" in her abdominal wound by one of the killers. All of the torture scenes go on for what seems like an eternity. There's also a headless dead baby covered in maggots, a guy screwing a dead child in a bathtub and a little incest thrown in for good measure. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then sit back and "enjoy." Personally, I was just bored.


Anonymous said...

They tried adding depth and story to August Underground's Penance, but it came off as a bit forced. Still, I will admit that film had some of the best gore and make-up effects I've ever seen, especially considering the budget, and found footage aspect.

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

Yep, the gore was good. Shame about the rest of the movie though! :) I do have a copy of Redsin Tower sitting around I need to watch eventually...

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