Halloween Comes Early to Central New Jersey with a Frightening Film Screening of Cropsey
Realizing the urban legend of their youth has actually come true, two filmmakers delve into the mystery behind five missing children and the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearance in their hometown of Staten Island, New York.
- New York, NY (1888PressRelease) September 29, 2010 - The Raconteur Presents: A Film Screening of Cropsey. This independent documentary will be screening at The Refectory in Metuchen, NJ on Saturday, October 2nd. In attendance will be filmmaker, Barbara Brancaccio who will be available after the screening for Q&A.
Cropsey is an urban legend. A typical camp-tale psychopath who sometimes had a hook for a hand, sometimes didn't, but meant trouble for kids and their dreams. He was in their closets, under their beds, snapping twigs outside their tents. He was the reason you ate all your veggies, did all your homework, stayed clear of the chain-linked woods, of railroad tracks and sewer pipes. For filmmakers Barbara Brancaccio and Joshua Zeman, who grew up on Staten Island, Andre Rand, a former janitor at Staten Island's infamous Willowbrook State School for the mentally handicapped, was Cropsey. Rand had stayed on the property after Geraldo Rivera's horrific expose led to the school's closing, living with a group of former orderlies in the tunnels under the school and in the woods around it. Children started disappearing from town and Rand was ultimately sentenced for the kidnapping and murder of a 13-year-old with Down syndrome.
Fast forward twenty years. Rand is trundled out of prison, in cuffs and manacles, to stand trial for five other murders of long missing little girls. Zeman and Brancaccio decide to confront their childhood fears by exploring the shuttered Willowbrook, where ex-employees still live and sleep, talking to people involved in the original case, and gunning for an interview with Rand himself. He teases them with offers of a face-to-face, but always backs out, instead, writing them increasingly bizarre letters, sheets of notebook paper crowded with drawings and cramped Son-of-Sam scrawl, solidifying his status as the story's boogeyman. But is he? The evidence, the filmmakers discover, was and is wholly circumstantial. That "Cropsey" is about an urban legend come to life is true enough. But so is the gnawing idea that we need, and create, Cropseys to assuage our inability to explain the inexplicably criminal. Zeman and Brancaccio manage to make a thriller and a doctoral dissertation in one fell swoop.
Start Halloween early and join filmmaker Barbara Brancaccio at The Refectory, 270 Woodbridge Ave., Metuchen, NJ (one block away from the NJ Transit Train Station) at 8pm on Saturday, October 2nd for a very special screening of this thrilling movie.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at http://cropsyscreening.eventbrite.com or in person at The Raconteur, 431 Main St., Metuchen, NJ.
Aurelia ( @ ) PassionRiver dot com