Monday, June 8, 2009

The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)

I have been completely obsessed with seeing the Poughkeepsie Tapes ever since I first heard of it. I actually went to college in Poughkeepsie, so the thought of seeing a horror movie about my old stomping ground was totally thrilling. Would our favorite pizza places and bars be in the movie? Would we see interviews with cops that pulled us over in college? The suspense was ridiculous.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes is very very loosely based on an actual serial killer from Poughkeepsie, Kenneth Francois. Francois murdered several prostitutes in the late 90s and early 00s by choking them to death, and then stashed them in his attic. Let's be completely honest. The only way this is based on that case is that it's in Poughkeepsie and there's murders. There's really no other similarities. In the Francois case, there were no tapes and certainly no masks or weird costumes.

If you've heard of this movie, then you've probably seen that crazy video that was floating around YouTube with the crab-walk and the upside down mask. There's a lot of that kind of stuff in this movie and it is thoroughly creepy and pretty jarring.

The movie itself is a faux-documentary where this film crew alternately interviews people from the area and splices in this crazy dude's home videos of all his whacked-out crimes. The filming is horrendous and bounces around so much, it kind of gives you a headache. We were laughing out loud at how ridiculous some of the interviews were. As for the infamous Poughkeepsie "tapes", this was the seriously creepy part of the movie. The guy wore all kinds of masks, and made the girls wear masks. He turned one of the girls into a blubbering submissive, who wanted to return to the dungeon and serve her "master", even after she was saved. The mask scenes seriously made my skin crawl though. Eeeeek.

Anyway, there was really no solid story to this movie. They would have been better off basing the movie on the actual Poughkeepsie murders, which are pretty crazy stories. Check out the book, Body Dump if you're interested. I learned that a psychotic murderer used to cruise by my college checking out co-eds when I was a freshman! Freaky!

Grade: D- (That part in Blair Witch with the close up of Heather's leaky nose: faux-documentary gone wrong)