Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Last Broadcast|
Actors: David Beard, Lance Weiler, Stefan Avalos, Jim Seward, Rein Clabbers
Directors: Lance Weiler, Stefan Avalos
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
On December 15th 1995 a four-man team from the cable-access program Fact or Fiction braved the desolate New Jersey Pine Barrens determined to deliver a live broadcast of the legendary monster The Jersey Devil. Only one c... more »
A Companion Video To The Blair Witch Project!
jason | 09/13/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Last Broadcast is a welcome addition to the new "intellegent" trend in fright movies. Like the Blair Witch movie, it relies more on plot and suggestion than on blood and gore. But an accurate comparison between these two films must include the obsevation that it is more of a combination of the sci-fi special "Curse of the Blair Witch" and the actual Blair Witch movie itself. Indeed, after viewing The Last Brodcast, it is hard to believe that the Blair Witch team did not see this earlier version of (basically) the same type of subject matter. That is not to say that it is nessesarily bad to get your inspiration from another film, since both of these films take from other movies as well. Some that come to mind are "Night of the Living Dead", "The Exorcist" And "Evil Dead", movies that also incorporated relatively small budgets, unknown stars, and compared to other films in the genre, little gore. And so, I will give "The Last Broadcast" a thumbs up, and remind the viewer to remember the small amount of cash it was made for and the tremendous amount of effort and imagination that went into making it. It will take it's spot with my other favorite scary movies(right next to Blair Witch, hee hee). I look forward to more films made with such enthusiasm. One final warning: "The Last Broadcast" has slightly more blood and violence than the Blair Witch movie, which should please those of you who thought there was not enough in Blair Witch."
Don't compare it to the Blair Witch
Jeff | Calgary, Ab, Canada | 12/24/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Honestly like many others, I was caught off guard by an ending that made a complete turn around of the movie. Unfortunatly, due to the makers of the Blair Witch Projects ability to rip off a film completed a year before their production even started the Last Broadcast will forever be compared to a poor movie and live in the shadow of it. The movies shouldn't be compared and if you watch the Last Broadcast with the idea that its similar to Blair Witch, you're likely to miss out. The point of the movie is not to scare you, although it likely will at points, it's making a statement about modern media, and the way it twists the reality of life into entertainment. Keep that in mind and the mockumentary will keep you on the edge of your seat and the ending will bring a greater sense of closure."
Better than most high budget movies
Jeff | 08/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What got me about this film and what really worked for me was that I went into it not knowing about it being a movie. I thought this was a true-blue documentary about murders I didn't know about. Furthermore, the 'actors' in the movie gave no sense to me that they were reading off of a script or knew before hand what they were about to say. In fact, the lack of standard acting techniques worked wonders, and gave this film a better sense of being real. After watching the whole movie, I went back and watched again to see what I had missed about this movie. Going through it again, I could see obvious signs I had missed before that this was fiction and not real (newspaper clippings for example). And, seeing how I was so easily lulled into believing this was real, I really truely found respect in what the creators were talking about how media perception affects popular opinion. In fact, it's ironic that this movie talks about the same thing that happened to many people later on who believed this movie's controversial counterpart, The Blair Witch Project, was real. Either way, it IS a low-budget movie and one that has real merit and a good format for what it cost. The directors should be praised that they were able to do so much with so little and make a convincing and, well 'cool' movie that makes a good point about modern technology."
Hardly a thinking-man's "Blair Witch"
Rottenberg's rotten book review | nyc | 10/30/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"A bunch of media doofuses trek into remote woods in search of an old and horrific local legend - and are never seen alive again. By now, "Last Broadcast" will go down (for those few who've seen and remember it) as that other mock-documentary project about the supernatural. I wanted to give this flick a chance given how I've seen "Blair Witch", and not only does "Broadcast" fail by comparison, but fails to escape comparison - painfully ironic given that "Broadcast" is actually the older of the two movies.
WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT: "Broadcast" is a (wholly fictitious) documentary about the 1995 murders of several men who ran a local cable-access show called "Fact or Fiction". When ratings sag, Steve Avkast, Rein Clackin & Locus Wheeler decide to devote a show to the mysterious "Jersey Devil". With the "help" of a local magician and (alleged) psychic named Jim Suerd, our trio make a winter's journey deep into the remote "Pine Barrens". While there, they have their cameras and internet access - they're connected to the outside world, but not protected by it. Only Suerd will emerge alive from the Barrens - luckless, he will be convicted of the brutal murders of two of the others. No body is found of Avkast, precluding feckless prosecutors from pursuing a triple bill against Suerd. (Avkast's hat and gobs of his blood leave little doubt of his fate.) Lacking a confession, prosecutors seal Suerd's fate with his blood spattered clothes, but largely on the strength of preserved video footage showing him as randomly violent and (most importantly) the guy leading the group deeper into the barrens. The documentary begins after Suerd's mysterious death in prison - where he was to serve consecutive life sentences. When the documentarian receives battered remains of an additional video tape - the actual final broadcast of the "Final Broadcast" crew - producer David Leigh switches gears. Reconstructed footage critically undermines the timeline advanced by prosecutors at Suerd's trial, forcing Leigh to rethink the events leading up to the horrific multiple murders of the Pine Barrens, and the very meaning of such legends as "The Jersey Devil" in the modern digital age. (The flick was released in '98, based on events occurring in '95.)
WHAT GOES WRONG: overshadowed by "Blair Witch", "Broadcast" actually derives its inspiration from two other movies - but naming them would spoil the ending (which the producers obviously consider a real twist). "Blair" and "Broadcast" have similar sounding premises but each takes a different turn - one that informs the superiority of "Blair". While "Blair" just gave us the raw footage of 2 films (the documentary that Donahue was shooting AND the DAT she shot documenting her journey), "Final" is structured like a documentary itself - it's the single-minded product of Leigh's vision, complete with his voice-overs and his perspective. "Final" lacks that sense of natural transition from reasoned observation to mad desperation that we enjoyed in "Blair" as our heroes realized that they had become trapped in their own project. "Final" has Leigh directing us as much as his film - telling us what we were to think, what direction to pursue, what to expect. The story has some chills, but mostly that's undermined by its slickness - it looks produced rather than nurtured, with some computer graphics, and actors who bring admirable vigor to their characters without escaping the thin dossiers created for them. (Suerd is a laughable, if harmless idiot who thinks he really is a magician; Avkast, half the visible face of "Fact or Fiction" is a self-important hack desperate to save his stupid show, even though cable access slots are supposed to be given on a first-come basis; Wheeler & Clackin are just a couple of loudmouths who mercilessly ridicule anybody who takes their show seriously.) "Blair" excelled in its ability to show the nuanced changes suffered by its characters, but there's no nuance here.
If anything, "Broadcast" probably enjoyed, rather than suffered exposure to "Blair", offering an alternative to anybody turned off by the latter film's shameless promotion (vindicated by "Book of Shadows") or otherwise made into a "Blair Hater". Unlike "Blair" which relied on a steady stream of shocks, "Broadcast" leads up to a twist ending, one which requires suspension of our disbelief, and shamelessly relies on our reflexive skepticism of the media (and just about everybody else). Fans of this movie must think that if it's less popular than "Blair", it must be more worthwhile than that movie, more of a thinking-man's version of that movie, even though it doesn't evince any more thinking of its own."