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The McPherson Tape (1989) - Blu-ray Review

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The McPherson Tape (1989)

They are here. They have always been here. The McPherson Tape (also known as UFO ABDUCTION) is proof.

It doesn’t take long for the skies to ignite over the night sky of Northwoods, Connecticut.  The McPherson family, celebrating birthday number FIVE for little Michelle, is suddenly caught by surprise when she blows out the candles on her birthday cake and out goes the electricity, too.

"The McPherson Tape can now be seen in both its original version AND a director’s cut and, as stated earlier, the results are haunting"


The young adults, empowered by Michael McPherson’s new camcorder, know exactly what to do!  Interrupting the birthday party, they jump up and head out the back door.  Together, they go out to explore Johnson's field.  That’s where the electric poles are.  What they discover, though, is an alien spaceship and three grays that - lo and behold - spot them in the dead of night.

Long before The Blair Witch Project, there was this little known independent title which, in all fairness, was the FIRST film to bring the found footage phenomenon to the world.  The film - still believed to be true (that’s how convincing it is) - was never legitimately released because of a warehouse fire at the distribution company and only bootleg copies have circulated in the years since 1989. And its legitimacy just might be due to the acting and the one take approach it takes in documenting this night of unending terror. {googleads}

Thanks to Bleeding Skull, AGFA, and Vinegar Syndrome, director Dean Alito’s The McPherson Tape can now be seen in both its original version AND a director’s cut and, as stated earlier, the results are haunting and borderline on hypnotic as one brave soul vows to never put the goddamn camera down . . . until he does and, well, disappears forever.  

Yes, this is a legit film about an alien abduction and whether or not this film works for you might just be based on whether or not you believe in aliens.  From dead watches in the dark to unopened birthday presents, the family at the center of this alien visit find themselves - thanks to some red lights that appear in the night - part of these alien’s experiments on this fateful night of terrors and uninvited guests.The McPherson Tape (1989)

For years, the film - in its bootlegged format - was passed around and offered as proof of aliens.  The scene where the alien pokes its head in the window is classic horror and, yes, it will scare the shit out of you.  Especially, when the aliens start climbing on the ceiling!  At the time, the movie was passed around by UFO enthusiasts and arrived with no fanfare, just the opening text that suggests this evidence is a part of Case 77

Relive the terror! Experience the legacy!  Bareboned, backyard horror doesn’t get any better than it does here with The McPherson Tape.

4/5 stars

The McPherson Tape (1989)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: AGFA
Available on Blu-ray
- April 28, 2020.
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: SDH
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A, B

Shot for $6000 by first-time filmmaker Dean Alioto in 1989, The McPherson Tape blends the production design of a Jaycees haunted house with a dead serious tone to forge a fun, hypnotic nightmare that upends the concept of reality.  Due to a warehouse fire at the original distribution company, The McPherson Tape was never legitimately released. AGFA + Bleeding Skull! are proud to present the world home video premiere of this important milestone in shot-on-video horror history, newly preserved from the original 3/4” master tape.

Video:

This movie was shot on VHS and edited on tape. It doesn’t look great and will never look great, but the film works to create an experience of sheer terror that is not easily shaken off.  And that, to me, is worth more than a pretty picture.  Framed in 1.33:1, the 1080p presentation is as shoddy and delineated as you’d expect.  Personally, this adds authenticity to the 1983 proceedings.

Audio:

The audio on this film is carried by the original OAR soundtrack.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Director Dean Alioto offers commentary on the original cut.  You need to listen to his version of events.

Special Features:

This release, while not the slip-covered version (as it is sold out), contains the 2017 director's cut, a commentary track from the director, the original 1989 premiere introduction, an Encounters TV segment, and a Fantastic Fest Q & A session.

  • 1989 Theatrical Premiere Intro
  • ENCOUNTERS TV Segment
  • Fantastic Fest Q&A

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3.5/5 stars

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The McPherson Tape (1989)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
66 mins
Director
: Dean Alioto
Cast:
Tommy Giavocchini, Patrick Kelley, Shirly McCalla
Genre
: Horror | Sci-fi
Tagline:
The uncut video footage from the North Woods, Connecticut U.F.O. Case 77.
Memorable Movie Quote: "He shot him dead, he's right outside."
Theatrical Distributor:
Alamo Drafthouse
Official Site:
Release Date:
1989
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
Aprilt 28, 2020.
Synopsis: On October 8th, 1983, the McPherson family gathered together to celebrate the 5th birthday of Michelle, the littlest member of their household. Everything was captured on VHS by Michael McPherson and his new camcorder. Including the alien invasion.

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The McPherson Tape (1989)

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