Serial Killer Film So Dark It Was Banned Has Been Re-Released


A horror film so disturbing it was banned from cinemas has been re-released on DVD.

Cult serial killer film The Poughkeepsie Tapes, was supposed to hit cinemas almost 10 years ago but was pulled by studio MGM, according to Shortlist.

The plot kicks off after murder investigators uncover hundreds of tapes at an abandoned house in Poughkeepsie, New York, showing decades of a serial killer’s work.

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The documentary-style horror film was directed by John Erick Dowdle and was originally due for a theatrical release in early 2008 and no official explanation has ever been given as to why it was pulled from cinema or DVD release at the time.

Set in America, The Poughkeepsie Tapes has supposed similarities to The Blair Witch Project and other early-2000s films.

According to a recent write-up from Variety:

It contains scenes that are so disturbing and profoundly unpleasant, it deserves a chance to frighten a wider audience.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes has received mixed reviews and holds a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Paul Donovan’s 2016 MoviePilot write-up describing it as ‘one of the best horror films you may never see’.

Others have described it as ‘among the nastiest films’ and ‘genuinely unpleasant’.

Its original synopsis at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival reads:

When hundreds of videotapes showing torture, murder and dismemberment are found in an abandoned house, they reveal a serial killer’s decade-long reign of terror and become the most disturbing collection of evidence homicide detectives have ever seen.

MoviePilot explains how in the film, federal law enforcement have to go through 800 tapes in an attempt to identify victims, as well as the killer, who only appears on camera in a white mask or ‘dressed like a plague doctor’.


They reveal a rather gory detail:

A famously grotesque scene from the movie involves the killer performing a C-section on an unconscious young woman, then placing her husband’s severed head inside her stomach, before sewing her back up and filming her response.

The movie is also loosely based on a real serial killer from Poughkeepsie, but elements from many terrifying historical serial killers were used to demonstrate the brutality of the man behind the camera.

Erm, no thanks. That sounds absolutely terrifying.


Horror is very popular right now, with Stephen King’s It smashing box office records this year, overtaking The Exorcist as the highest-grossing horror film of all-time.

Following It’s success King spoke with Vulture about the prospect of The Stand being made into a TV show and Salem’s Lot being transformed into a movie.

He said:

There’s talk about doing The Stand as an extended TV series, possibly for Showtime or CBS All Access.

And there’s been some interest in developing Salem’s Lot as a feature, probably because people are saying, ‘Well, we took an old miniseries called It and turned it into a phenomenon, so maybe we can do it with something else’.

Nothing succeeds like excess!

Warner Bros Pictures

Hollywood also announced the release date for the It sequel. New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. announced the follow up will hit theatres, including IMAX locations, on September 6, 2019.

It scared its way to becoming the top-grossing horror film of all time, earning more than $266.1 million domestically and $478.1 million globally to date.

Scary times.