Now that John Dowdle’s [REC] remake Quarantine has wildly outperformed expectations at the box office, opening at #2 with $14.2 million, perhaps there’s reason to hope that his previous feature might finally see a release.
Trailers for The Poughkeepsie Tapes debuted about a year ago, attached to Saw IV, promising a February 2008 release. That date has been pushed back twice by MGM,until it was taken off their release schedule, entirely. The film is currently “tba 2009”, meaning don’t hold your breath…
The film is a faux documentary about the hundreds of video tapes discovered in an abandoned home, that document the decade long career of “The Water Street Butcher”, a mysterious serial killer operating out of Poughkeepsie, NY, as recorded by the killer. It’s a fascinating concept for a horror film, and based on the trailer, there appears to be enough of an element of fantasy and stylization to distinguish it from full-on psuedo snuff, like the August Underground series, and mysogenistic torture porn like Captivity.
The Poughkeepsie Tapes drew raves at the Tribecca Film Festival, but subsequent screenings, after it was decided to position and market the film as being a real documentary, led to a backlash. The aftermath of a disasterous screening in December 2007 for aint-it-cool.com’s butt-numb-athon may have been responsible for at least the first blown release date.
At Tribecca, director Dowdle mentioned that he saw Poughkeepsie Tapes as the first part of trilogy, detailing the past, present and future of the Water Street Butcher. That sounds great, but at this point, I’d be happy to see any of it.
On some parallel, utopian Earth (where public schools actually work, Torchwood didn’t kill off half it’s cast in the finale, and Mattel knows how to distribute action figures), the studios don’t wipe their bums with potentially great horror films (consistently the most profitable genre, due largely to relatively low costs)…it brings some solace knowing that our crappy world makes the existence of that awesome one possible.