Last night I finally got to sit down and watch the long sought after film The Poughkeepsie Tapes. Made in 2007 with a release date slated for 2008, the film ended up being shelved. We cut to 2014 and the film got a very short (3 weeks I believe) VOD run, but that was it. It never was put on DVD or Blu-ray, so unless you saw it via On Demand those few weeks, or managed to get a bootleg copy you were just left waiting to see it. That all changes on October 10th when the good people at Scream Factory will be releasing this on a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack.
Poughkeepsie Tapes is a found footage style film, that actually gets the concept correct. Its the story of a serial killer who we never identify fully. He's dubbed "The Water Street Killer" by the local media. The film starts with a raid on the killers home, which he has already abandoned. The police find 800 VHS tapes of the victims he had taken.
Combing through the tapes we see multiple disturbing fetishes and degrading acts, from mutilation to necrophilia. We watch as the killer, who is the one filming all of this slowly stalks his victims, abducts them, then after various activities murders them.
In between the VHS tapes we watch hard camera interviews with members of law enforcement, the family's of the victims, and various news reports. By incorporating these variations of film we watch everything unfold.
For the most part the torture and more vile scenes are left to the imagination. Which works well as psychological terror is more frightening than the blood and gore we are accustomed to seeing in these films. By combining all these elements you experience what a found footage film should be. It needs to be intertwined with other hard camera footage, much like Cannibal Holocaust did years ago.
The acting is well done, and the fact we never see the killers face, unless covered adds to a sense that he's still out there waiting for another victim. John Erick Dowdle was able to blend all of this together and make one of the best serial killer films to date.
Scream Factory has done another beautiful transfer and they have included
Original Theatrical Trailer
New interviews with John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle, and actress Stacy Chbosky
This is definitely a must own for any horror fan, or people who like serial killer documentary's. I can't stress enough how well it all comes together. Be sure to stick around till the end of the film as well.
Overall 4 out if 5 Stars