Ask any horror fan for a list of the best films to somehow never get a release date and the Dowdle Brothers (Devil, Quarantine) debut effort THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES will inevitably sit near the top of the list. A decade after it’s completion in 2007, the film sat in distribution purgatory, never having seen the light of day outside of illegal torrent and streaming sites.
That’s about to change with today’s announcement from Scream Factory. The distribution company has made a cottage industry of bringing under appreciated horror gems and cult classics to wider audiences. Today they announced a special edition blu ray/dvd combo pack for The Poughkeepsie Tapes to be released on 10/10, though patrons who preorder the movie will get it two weeks in advance.
For those who unfamiliar with the film THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES is a faux documentary about a notorious and at large serial killer. When the F.B.I. discovers his home, their raid fails to find their killer but does uncover a large cache of videotapes that document his grisly crimes. The film follows the reactions of the agents upon seeing the footage and airs some of the disturbing and graphic content contained within.
Filmed a few years before found footage became the go-to modus operandi for low budget horror fare, THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES is a powerful, shocking, disturbing and unsettling affair. The basement footage get under one’s skin in ways few films have the power to do, and there’s a horrifying abduction of a small child committed in broad daylight. While the agents’ acting isn’t top notch, it adds to the realism of the film. One agent relays how his wife caught a small glimpse of the tapes and then refused to touch her husband for six months due to being sickened at what she saw. It’s small flourishes like that which have lent he film it’s cult reputation.
Scream Factory hasn’t announced official extras for the discs yet, but I’d love to see a mini documentary on the reasons it took film so long to see the light of day. Now if we could only get a U.S. release of LIVIDE, my year would be complete.