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The Ultimate Terror Trip

He waits. He watches. He kills.

Joyride is a 1983 horror novel written by Stephen Crye, and published by Pinnacle Books. Inspired by the "slasher boom" that occurred at the beginning of the decade, the book advertises itself as "More horrifying than Halloween!" and "More grisly than Friday the 13th!"

It's the middle of June in 1983, and to celebrate their impending graduation, nine high school students (Bobby, Priscilla, Carlos, Lupe, Joyce, Amanda, Ralph, Eddy, and Clifford) from Colma, California sneak into All Saints Hills Cemetery, where they plan to party the night away with lots of snacks, drugs, alcohol, and sexual debauchery. Unfortunately for the rambunctious tresspassers, Robert "Cleats" Atchison, the creepy caretaker, locks them in, and begins hunting them down one by one, due to the teenagers reminding him of the ones who irreversibly damaged his mind and face during a prank gone wrong back in 1970s.



Yes, I stole my username from Animorphs.


You're gonna love this!

"Come on, I got something to show you..."

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:

  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The escapades of the very definition of "sick fucks".
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: A second or so long bit in Mordum involving a man in a blue mask and sunglasses, who mutters "On commerciality..." before we return to the main events.
  • Bile Fascination
  • Complete Monster: All the villains.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The protagonists are irredeemable monsters, and the victims are merely nameless and almost always dialogue-less props who exist only to be abused and killed and have gross things rubbed on them.
  • Fight Scene Failure: There's something a bit off about the punches in August Underground.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: To quote one review, "There are scenes that are so brutal and unmerciful that its amazing that these films aren't all over the news."
  • Jerkass Woobie: Crusty by the end of Penance, since she actually does seem to be growing remorseful, and ultimately sees suicide as her only way out.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Crusty screeching.
  • Nausea Fuel
  • Nightmare Fuel
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: A victim briefly escaping and beating Peter in Penance.
  • The Scrappy: Maggot is unpopular, and not just because he is one of the most disgusting fictional characters ever. People just found him annoying.
  • Sequelitis: Mordum threw the terrifying realism of the original out the window in favor of just being as repulsive as possible, to the point of bordering on over-the-top.
    • Hence the nickname August Underground's More Dumb.
  • Signature Scene: Maggot raping the dead little girl in a bathtub in Mordum.
  • Squick

  • The Danza: Erika Risovich as Erika in August Underground.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Peter is played by series creator Fred Vogel.
  • Doing It for the Art: All three films were self-financed and distributed, which was quite a gamble considering their off-putting content.
  • Dueling Movies: The Vomit Gore Trilogy (Slaughtered Vomit Dolls, ReGOREgitated Sacrifice and Slow Torture Puke Chamber).
  • No Budget: The original's budget was a little under $2,000.
  • Old Shame: For co-creator Allen Peters.
  • Real-Life Relative: The twin brothers in August Underground.
  • Romance on the Set: Fred Vogel mets his wife Shelby Jackson on the set of Mordum.
  • What Could Have Been: Roger Watkins (creator of Last House on Dead End Street) was apparently going to have a cameo in Penance.
  • Working Title: Peter for August Underground.


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