Jan 13, 2009

The Poughkeepsie Tapes

I used to work for a pseudo-Jewish intellectual boss at a theater. At times, he would escape to "New Yaok" for the term of several days and come back with an all-too forced accent as to accentuate his Jewishness. I recall one of his talks describing how he had breakfast with J.Lo and how he almost made it into the NBA but "fame's not for him". It doesn't take a genius to realize that he's both talking out of his ass and presenting the trait of a habitual liar. And then he began telling us about The Poughkeepsie murders that occurred near his home with the discovery of a tiny library of snuff tapes.

I had seen the viral video showing the woman tied to a chair being toyed with by a masked killer. Instantly, I knew the authenticity was not valid but my manager claimed that this was genuine footage (Yes. On YouTube). That was the last I heard about the film The Poughkeepsie Tapes until it finally leaked. I had been waiting too long to see this film. After hearing my manager's rants about how the Poughkeepsie killer terrified his community, I pushed his words aside. Thankfully so, as upon further inspection this entire film is a faux documentary depicting incredible loose events of a serial killer that murdered 8 women.

Apart from the hilarious lies & scandal I had been fed by an inane egomaniac, The Poughkeepsie Tapes fares up pretty well to other serial killer incarnates of the present. The intent to procure your attention with graphic over-edited imagery is a valiant effort on behalf of the creators of this alternate universe. The presented statistic of there being 30 active serial killers in America is curiously not as intimidating as the numbers should allow. I find that the country we live in is a relatively secure area, that is, until a personal incident allows for paranoia to seep in, blurring the illusion all the while.

The composition of this documentary is many interview scenes that appear "over budgeted" and often trash the build up of intensity. The other scenes are the reason why you'd be viewing this film in the first place; the sweet chocolaty center - the killer's tapes. From featuring brutal acts of dehumanization and a master & slave relationship that spirals into an absolutely depressing fictional case of Stockholm syndrome, these scenes don't disappoint but allow for the fluff of the film to stand out like a sore thumb alleviating any melodrama this film pursues.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes has had a long journey ahead of it for quite some time. When I first became employed at the theater over a year ago, we had rotting trailers for that film in a bin. Using basic mathematics, it's quite clear that this film has been delayed for quite some time. Maybe not as bad as "Duke Nukem For-never" but the gap in dates is still partially substantial. Now that The Poughkeepsie Tapes is released in some form to the public, is it worth a viewing? It's hard to classify this film. The entertainment value doesn't strike me much but it was noble in its vain quest to find an audience. I wouldn't go out of my way to view this. You can find the highlight scenes on YouTube and it would spare you over an hour of police drama.


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