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Was awarded Hammer to Nail's Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at 2009's Tribeca Film Festival. See more »
Donna Cutugno - Founder, Friends of Jennifer:
A lot of reasons why my children were so involved in these things was I was afraid to leave them, the whole Rand thing. Suppose he got out on a technicality, would he come after me? You know that's always in the back of my mind to this day.
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Excellent documentary from filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio, two people who grew up hearing stories of Cropsey, a killer of children living up in Staten Island, New York. Through the documentary we hear how various children were told different stories of who exactly Cropsey was but then we get to a drifter named Andre Rand who many believed killed at least five children in the area. Throughout the documentary we hear about the urban legend that stalked the people of this town and we learn about the little evidence that got Rand convicted and how perhaps the legends are what got him found guilty and not the actual case against him. CROPSEY came to my attention as a horror movie fan because I had heard that both MADMAN and THE BURNING were based around this case. Both of those slashers took a lot of liberties with the actual story and that's what makes this documentary so interesting because it really does seem as if the two filmmakers wanted to get the truth and not just paint a picture of a monster. The directors try to paint an open and honest look at the case and by the time the picture is over you really don't know what to believe in regards to Rand's guilt. There are moments where you feel this guy is a monster and he must have committed the crimes but then a minute later you realize that there's really nothing connecting him to the crimes and there are even more mysterious circumstances around the case. As someone who had never really heard of the cases, I found it really interesting seeing the news clips from back when the crimes were committed as well as hearing from those who actually searched for the children. Out of the five victims only one's body was recovered and how it was uncovered was a little suspicious to say the least. The documentary also gets quite a few interviews with those who were connected to the case, those who searched for the body as well as a possible witness who is the most questionable person in the entire film. CROPSEY is certainly a very entertaining documentary taking a look at the connection between an urban legend and the truth.
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