Wednesday, August 31, 2022



Unearthed Films is proud to release the biggest announcement of the year, Fred Vogel’s August Underground Trilogy. 
Heralded as the most disturbing, intense, and extreme series in horror fandom, Unearthed Films will be presenting the Trilogy in fresh, new Blu-Ray releases with rare behind-the-scenes, new commentaries, new video interviews, rare commentaries, and older interviews.
"We will be digging through the depths of their depravity and working with everyone involved that helped make The August Underground Trilogy become the most vicious series in the entire horror genre.
With copies of previous releases going for hundreds of dollars, we hope these releases bring a whole new audience to the Trilogy and allow them to be available through nationwide retailers for 1st time, ever. I personally know the creators and it will be a pleasure to work with them. We’re planning behind the scenes so who knows what the future may hold." -Stephen Biro, CEO of Spreading The Sickness

“It’s been too long and the fans are ravenous for the trilogy. A whole new generation of Sickos are ready to experience “August Underground.”  I’m stoked that TOETAG and Unearthed Films will be working together on these upcoming releases to give the fans what they want. I look forward to Spreading the Sickness with Unearthed Films… Get ready.” -Fred Vogel, Director

"I am thrilled we are working with Unearthed... Toe Tag and Unearthed, are going to get bloody." -Jerami Cruise, TOETAG FX

"I am excited for TOETAG and Unearthed to Spread the Sickness together and release some bad-ass editions of the August Underground films." -Shelby Vogel

Imagine walking down the street and finding an unmarked VHS tape. Curiosity peaked, you take it home and pop it in. What starts off as two men screwing around with a video camera quickly transforms into an ultra-realistic torture sequence where the unidentified psychopaths tape their exploits as they torment and violate a woman tied to a chair. The sodomy of your morals continues throughout the entirety of the footage, while subtly revealing the killer’s shattered pasts via the interactions with the victims and each other. The most shockingly realistic portrait of a serial killer's existence is FRED VOGEL’S AUGUST UNDERGROUND.

Run Time: 70 minutes
Fred Vogel 
Allen Peters 
AnnMarie Reveruzzi 
John A. Wisniewski  
Aaron LaBonte ... 
Ben LaBonte  
Alexa Iris  
Victoria Jones  
Casey Eganey  
Stephen Vogel  
Erika Risovich  
Randi Stubbs  
Nick Yatsko  

“August Underground is as close to a snuff movie as you’re going to get.”
“One... side effect of running a horror site is that a lot of indie filmmakers who want people to know about their movies are willing to send you free copies for review. One such film is August Underground, which proves to me that exploitation horror never went away, it just went underground.” -Dread Central

“There is really no doubt about the fact that August Underground holds a place in indie horror film history. It’s almost become legendary in its status.” -Monsters at Play
The sequel to the cult classic August Underground is a character study in the sick, an amoral putrid masturbatory fantasy. The found footage contained in August Underground’s MORDUM documents extreme deviant sexuality, torture, and murder while unfolding a classic tale of a man and woman in love. However, the woman cannot give up her other lover, who also happens to be her younger brother. Exploiting the trio of killers and their deviant ways with issues such as child abuse, incest, rape, and their effects on the human psyche, August Underground’s MORDUM will vomit all over you and leave you for dead!

Run Time: 77 Minutes
Cristie Whiles
Fred Vogel
Michael T. Schneider
Jerami Cruise
M. Kadath
Erika Schultz
E Jay
Midian Crosby
Elmo Painter
Dave Brown
Art Ettinger
Rick Kundrach
Tim Grubjesik
Allana Sleeth
Shelby Jackson
Shannon Thames
Chris Shaw
Mike Schneider

“Through and through you will believe that you are watching a legit home video/snuff film. You will despise the abductors and feel for the victims. You will feel as if you have been put through the wringer. August Underground’s Mordum, is a brave, effective hard-core horror film. While it’s bound to have as many fans as enemies, I highly recommend picking up a copy. This film is most certainly not for everyone, so you know who you are.” -Lawrence P. Rafaell, Monsters at Play
“This film is hands down the sickest movie we’ve ever seen, and by far the hardest to watch." -Horror Brain,

“I don’t even have the vocabulary to express what you will feel when you watch this movie but I will say this when you do watch it you will never ever forget what you witnessed” -Horror Vault Review

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 was Directed By Fred Vogel and Starring Cristie “Crusty” Whiles. August Underground’s 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.

Run Time: 84 Minutes
Cristie Whiles
Fred Vogel
Shelby Vogel
Jerami Cruise
Anthony Matthews
Renee Bell
Sara McGill
Mikol Bell
Matt Rizzutto
John Cornell
Trevor Collins
Brian Hutchison
Don Moore

“Fred Vogel has essentially put together a pretty brilliant movie that really does what it sets out to do... disgust.” -Goon,

“Powered by the nauseating onslaught of convincing special effects and a no-holds-barred attitude towards sadistic violence, August Underground’s Penance is probably THE most uncomfortable motion picture experience I’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting through." -The Film Fiend
“August Underground’s Penance is truly an accomplished exercise in pure horror, the real horror of having someone come into your house late at night and putting you through Hell. It is unrelenting in its physical and psychological violence throughout its running time, I recommend it to anyone with a strong stomach.” -Jude Felton, The Lair of Filth
About Unearthed Films
Unearthed Films was founded in 2002 to distribute independent horror films from around the world in the United States and Canada. We release films in all media including theatrical, home video, television, and video-on-demand. From its inception, Unearthed has concentrated on cult and horror genres and has established a unique label brand for fans of cutting-edge "horror" cinema. Over the intervening years, our ever-growing catalog of unique titles has attracted a dedicated customer base and made Unearthed Films the "go-to" place for discerning horror fans.

FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL (1974) (Second Sight Films Limited Edition Blu-ray Review)

 Second Sight Films Limited Edition Blu-ray 

Label: Second Sight Films 
Rating: Cert. 15
Region: B
Duration: 92 Minutes 
Audio: English DTS-HD MA  with Optional English Subtitles  
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.66:1), 1080p HD Fullscreen (1.37:1) 
Director: Terence Fisher
Cast: Peter Cushing, Shane Briant, David Prowse, Madeline Smith

Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1975) was the final film in Hammer's long-running Frankenstein cycle, the once thriving production house was on shakier ground but it would be a return to Gothic horror for the studio who had been trafficking in more modern genre pieces by this time in the 70's. It would also be the last film that director Terrence Fisher would direct a film and would also be the final time  Peter Cushing would reprise the role of the Baron Frankenstein. In it a young doctor Simon Helder (Shane Briant, Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter) is following in the footsteps of Baron Victor Frankenstein, but his graverobbing ways land him in courts where he is found guilty of sorcery, the same crime his Frankenstein was charged with. As chance would have it he is sentenced to the same asylum for the criminally insane that Frankenstein, and there he meets Doctor Karl Victor  (Peter Cushing, Corruption), Frankenstein under an assumed named. It turns out that the Baron had dirt on the lecherous alcoholic asylum director Klauss (John Stratton, Quatermass and the Pit) and blackmailed him into agreeing to declare that Frankenstein had died, and installing himself as lead physician of the facility, where he is free to carry on his experiments in reanimating dead flesh while the world believes him to have died. Simon quickly recognized Doctor Victor is actually his macabre medical hero Frankenstein and convinces the Baron to allow him to help him in his pursuits. 

The Baron is pleased to have the help from the young surgeon as his own hands were badly burned "in the name of science" some years ago, and he has since relied on the help of the pretty mute Sarah (Madelaine Smith, The Vampire Lovers) to help him stitch the his latest creation together, a rather hairy violent criminal named Herr Schneider (David Prowse, Star Wars Trilogy) with the hairy-body of a hulking ape who recently attempted suicide by breaking through the iron bars of his cell and throwing himself out, damaging his eye and hands. 

Frankenstein uses the unfortunates inside the asylum as his own personal spare-sparts cabinet, using the hands of a demented sculptor to replace Schnedier's hands, which were damaged in his suicide attempt, and then transplanting the brain of a mad mathematician with a penchant for slashing people with shards of broken glass, who Frankenstein coerced into suicide, into the hulking ape-man. This version of the Baron is more unhinged than most of the series, he has some redeeming qualities like caring for some of the inmates early on, but the way he harvests body-parts and has little regard for the dignity of his creatures is more alarming than ever, and it closes on a note that while not exactly ending the story with fiery finality leads you to believe there's only more of the same in the future with no hope for any redemption. The more-mad and unsympathetic portrayal accented by a very gaunt looking Cushing whose was suffering since the death of his wife a few years earlier, looking like death warmed over at times here with protruding cheekbones, but also quite kinetic and always the consummate professional. 

The "monster" is also more beastly than any version we've seen on the screen previously, looking more like a barrel-chested hairy ape-man than the usual stitched together creature we were accustomed to, which looks a bit ridiculous at times, but it grew on me. Along with that, while Hammer were going back to the Gothic chillers that brought them acclaim, this final entry in the Frankenstein series is more gruesome and grim than most Hammer horrors with some visceral by Hammer standards gore scene involving eye-trauma, the cracking open of a cranium to extract the brain, and a particaurly strange scene of the Baron, unable to use his crippled hands, biting down on an artery with his mouth to stop it from hemorrhaging during surgery - which was cut from the U.S. release. 

This was a first time watch for me, somehow I had ever caught up with it, and I had heard that this was a much lesser entry in the series, but as they say, one man's trash is another's buffet, because I enjoyed it quite a bit. I loved the period setting, how grim and gruesome it was, and while I thought the design of the monster was rough and a bit rubbery, I loved the idea of it. With David Prouse (A Clockwork Orange) beneath the rubber he managed to put across a truly sympathetic turn at times, you felt the creature's pain as the mathematician trapped inside struggles to reconcile what he has been turned into, and you also fear it when it's freed from it's iron-barred prison.

Audio/Video: The longer U.K. cut of Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974) arrives on region-B locked Blu-ray from Second Sight Films presented in 1080p HD widescreen (1.66:1) or an alternative full frame 1.37:1 presentations that shows more image on the top and bottom. It looks fantastic, grain is gorgeously refined, colors are rich and robust, and the black levels are solid throughout. I don't have the U.S. Blu-ray from Scream Factory to compare it to, but this looks fantastic and I know the UK cut runs a bit longer than the U.S. version available from Scream Factory. Audio comes by way of English PCM 2.0 dual-mono with optional English subtitles. The track is clean and free of hiss and other issues, it sounds authentically vintage to my ears, and that score from longtime Hammer composer James Bernard (Dracula: Prince of Darkness) is top-notch, if not exactly my favorite of his scores. 

Disc extras are plentiful, starting of with a brand new New Audio Commentary by film academic Kat Ellinger who talks about the perceived issues with the film and what she loves about, and how Hammer was struggling to keep it together in an era that brought us The Last House on the Left, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Exorcist.  We also get an Archival Audio commentary by Shane Briant, Madeline Smith and Marcus Hearn that is also a great listen from the actors and the noted Hammer horror historian. 

We also get over an hour of featurettes, these kick-off with the 9-min An Appreciation of Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell by David Huckvale, and the 12-min The Music of Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell also with Huckvale wo discusses the score while playing parts of it on piano while getting into the recurring themes and ominous tones heard throughout the film. The meatiest of the video extras is the  26-min Taking Over the Asylum, featuring noted Hammer horror historians/authors Denis Miekle, David Miller, and Jonathan Rigby, plus actors Philip Ernst, Madeline Smith, Janet Hargreaves, David Prowse, and Shane Briant as they recall the making of the film. Charming Evil: Terence Fisher at Hammer is a 13-min tribute to the actor with his daughter Micky Harding, author Denis Miekle and Hammer convention organizer Sue Cowie. The last of the on-disc extras is a 7-min Gallery with poster artwork, behind-the-scenes shots, stills and promo images. 

The single-disc limited edition  release arrives in an oversized black keepcase with a single sided sleeve of artwork with a striking new illustration by horror artist extraordinaire Graham Humphreys with a sickly purple, green, and yellow color scheme that is just chef's kiss worthy. This comes housed in a sturdy rigid slip box with the same artwork on a dark purple background with a yellow title logo on the spine that has plenty of shelf appeal. Inside there's a selection of 5 Collectors' Art Cards featuring three images from the film, a vintage poster artwork and the new Humphreys illustration. On top of all that we get a 48-page 
illustrated Soft Cover Book with new essays by Kevin Lyons, Kelly Robinson and Emma Westwood that dig into the finals days of Hammer studios, the story of the Hammer Frankenstein franchise, plus a deep-dive into the making of this film. 
Special Features: 
- Main feature presented in original UK Theatrical aspect ratio 1.66:1 and alternative full frame1.37:1
- New Audio Commentary by film academic Kat Ellinger
- Archive Audio Commentary by Shane Briant, Madeline Smith and Marcus Hearn
- An Appreciation of Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell by David Huckvale (9 min)
- The Music of Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell 
(12 min)
- Taking Over the Asylum (26 min) 
- Charming Evil: Terence Fisher at Hammer (13 min)
- Stills Gallery (7 min) 
Limited Edition Contents:
- Rigid Slipcase with new artwork by Graham Humphreys
- Soft cover book with new essays by Kevin Lyons, Kelly Robinson and Emma Westwood plus production stills
- 5 Collectors' Art Cards 

The Second Sight limited edition release of Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974) is quite wonderful, with a terrific A/V presentation and over an hour of featurettes and a pair of dynamite commentaries, plus collectible packaging that puts it right over the top. As usual Second Sight absolutely go overboard and do it up right, it's the sort of release that you just hold in your hands, noting the weight, and turning it over while admiring the amount of love and care that went into assembling such a terrific release with it's gorgeous artwork and loving presentation, it's a stunner. 

Screenshots from the Second Sight Films Blu-ray: