What is “Cropsey?”

Urban legends are nothing new. Almost every town has one to call their own. But sometimes a legend has roots in reality. Maybe that’s the case with Cropsey?

Growing up on Staten Island, children had often heard the legend of ‘Cropsey.’ For the kids in their neighborhood, Cropsey was the escaped mental patient who lived in the old abandoned Willowbrook Mental Institution, who would come out late at night and snatch children off the streets. Sometimes Cropsey had a hook for a hand, other times he wielded a bloody axe. Cropsey was always out there waiting to get them.

Later as teenagers, filmmakers Joshua and Barbara assumed Cropsey was just an urban legend: a cautionary tale used to keep them out of those abandoned buildings. That all changed in the summer of 1987 when a 13-year-old girl with Down syndrome, named Jennifer Schweiger, disappeared from their community. That was the summer all the kids from Staten Island discovered that their urban legend was real.

Now as adults Joshua and Barbara have returned to Staten Island to create Cropsey, a feature documentary that delves into the mystery behind Jennifer and four additional missing children. The film also investigates Andre Rand, the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances. Embarking on a mysterious journey into the underbelly of their forgotten borough, these filmmakers uncover a reality that is more terrifying than any urban legend.

Without digging too deeply into the subject, there doesn’t seem to be much information on the net regarding the subject of Cropsey, but there is plenty of stuff on convicted killer, Andre Rand. The trailer tries to play on the audience’s consciousness of fear and ends up looking like a bad episode of “Ghost Hunters.” The details of the case and what really happened on those streets in the late 80’s is more interesting to me than investigating something that is obviously no more than an urban legend. So if it sticks with that and doesn’t try to give us too much “Blair Witchiness”, I think this could be a potentially interesting a worthwhile look at a (serial?) killer and the grip of panic he held on the area.

We’ve stuck the trailer beneath the seats here; plus, the Official site has all sorts of crazy and highly detailed information on the subject if you’re interested further.
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Someone’s Gonna Die: Hawke & D’Onofrio in Staten Island Trailer

Staten Island Movie StillEveryone knows you don’t rip off the mob right? Apparently someone forgot to tell this guy.

Once known as Little New York but now retitled to Staten Island, James DeMonaco’s directorial debut stars Ethan Hawke as Sully, a septic tank cleaner who decides he’s going to rip off Tarzo (Vincent D’Onofrio), a mafia boss who uses a local grocer (Seymour Cassel) to “clean-up” his messes; I’m fairly certain he probably has a larger part to play but the first trailer, care of QE, doesn’t really specify what.

It’s not a great trailer but it provides a good introduction to the story, one I’m definitely curious to check out. It also looks like there may be more at play than just a heist but again, the trailer doesn’t really set up much of a story outside the plan to rob the don. That said, what little we see is pretty good. Both Hawke and D’Onofrio look their parts (though I’m surprised it’s taken this long to see D’Onofrio as a mobster) and it’s nice to see the two actors re-united.

Staten Island hasn’t been picked up for US distribution but the film is scheduled to open in France later this year and has been picked up for Canadian distribution by VVS Films; a company does both DVD and theatrical releases so there is a chance that the film may open around the country later this year.

Trailer is tucked under the seat!

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