If you thought Blairwitch Project was the first found-footage horror film, you are in for a surprise. Though Hollywood horror movies The Blairwitch Project and Paranormal Activity made found footage famous there are several more. More than 900 found footage films exist and one of them is The McPherson Tape.
This film was made in 1998 but never released because of a reason that’ll weird all horror film fans here – the distribution company that brought the rights to the film burned to the ground a few months later.
However, the version that releases now is a completely remastered version. The quality is better, compared to the bootlegged versions that made the rounds of the cassette collectors world a few years ago.
Here’s a picture showing the difference between the two versions:
That wasn’t the end of the horror film, though, which has a storied history. For almost five years, the VHS and footage had a slice of life in the weird world fo UFO believers. Someone sliced off the credits and passed on the video, saying that this was proof that UFOs and aliens exist. You can read his complete interview here.
Looking at the contents of the horror film, the director Dean Alioto seems quite ahead of his time. Who’d have thought, in 1998, that someone would marry the found footage genre with alien abduction? Of course, nobody. That means the director ended up making The McPherson Tape on a shoestring budget, giving all of it an Ed Wood and Manos: Hand of Fate touch.
This is one of those rare films that are seeing a release almost a decade after it was shot. What’s surprising is that the film had its moment a few years later as a hoax video, and is still around to interest viewers all over the world.