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YMMV: The Poughkeepsie Tapes
  • Complete Monster: The Water Street Butcher, AKA “Ed,” is one of the most prolific and brutal Serial Killers in the history of film. He is given no backstory, but as far as the police could tell, one day he just started killing people. Taking great pride in his murders, the Butcher had logged each one of them on camera, and by the time the police finally found out where he lived, he had already made 800 tapes showing the killings, with several thousand hours of film chronicling his sadism. Watching the tapes, the police soon learned that nothing appeared to be off-limits for the Butcher; he proves very early in the film that he Would Hurt a Child when he knocks an 8-year-old girl unconscious before abducting and killing her, and is implied to have raped her too. His sadistic streak continues when, posing as a hitchhiker, he kills a man who picks him up, drugs his wife, cuts the man's head off, gives the woman a C-section, puts the man's head inside of her womb, sews her back up, then wakes her up to film her reaction. Possibly the worst thing he does is to a young woman named Cheryl; he kidnaps her and keeps her as his prisoner and slave, physically and mentally tormenting her non-stop for his own amusement, and forcing her to commit some of the murders. When her mother gives a heart-felt plea for him to return Cheryl, he taunts her right to her face. Also around this time, he decides to take up necrophilia. At one point, an innocent retired police officer is put to death under strong evidence that he was the Butcher, but it turns out that the real killer fabricated the evidence. He did it not to get away scot-free, but just to get the police to kill one of their own. Eventually, though the killer got away, Cheryl is found, a full 8-years after her original abduction, and is so broken that she can’t interact with the world around her. She is convinced that her “master” will one day come back for her, and kills herself soon after. Then the Butcher digs up her body and runs off with it. While the crimes listed are shown in the most detail, the killer is also shown committing many other murders on the tapes throughout the film. The Butcher appears to only kill for his own amusement and sadistic pleasure, and sees no reason to ever stop.
  • Memetic Mutation: An animated GIF showing the Butcher's slow creep towards the English woman has wound up on the Paranormal board of a certain well-known Image Board.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Water Street Butcher's killings start off as standard fare for a Serial Killer movie, but the graphic physical and mental torture that he inflicts on his "slave" is freakin' terrifying.
  • Narm: The killer's angry growling (especially in the Mind Rape scenes) can be somewhat jarring.
    • The balloon scene.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The film encourages the notion that the killer's vanity means he's probably right there in the theater watching it with you.
    • "At any given time, there are somewhere between 25 and 50 active serial killers in America alone. It it really a much bigger problem than most people realize."
  • Uncanny Valley: Cheryl's latex mask that he forces her to wear.

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