Pros: you'll love it or hate it, no medium here - pardon the pun
Cons: described in review
The Bottom Line: There is only one Jersey Devil but which one is it?
I try not to read reviews or blurbs about a movie that is classified as horror before I watch it. Generally I dont even read the jacket cover or media hype at all, afraid something important will be given away. That was definitely the case in this release, the little bit on the NetFlix teaser was enough to pique my interest but it gave no information away.
This movie is about 4 people that were investigating the legend of the Jersey Devil. The two major participants were stars on a cable TV show titled Fact or Fiction, the other two were a paranormal sound engineer and a psychic. They enter the woods to film the Jersey Devil and only one returns. During their stay in the woods, all participants are constantly on film, which is being broadcast live through cable and the internet - hence, The Last Broadcast.
After Suerd was convicted to prison for the deaths of the three men, a mysterious box appeared filled with video tape - no cassette, just tape - at the home/office of David Leigh. Leigh turns it over to a data retrieval expert to see if they can discover the truth of the murders.
This documentary is an attempt, by David Leigh, to discover what happened during those hours that ended the lives of three of the participants.
~*~*~*~ Spoiler Alert, if you havent seen it then you may not want to read this ~*~*~*~
Walking blindly into this movie, yep, thought it was a real documentary. It was lame enough to be a real documentary filmed by these guys that ran this no-where cable show Fact or Fiction. It reminded me a little of the exposes that Geraldo Rivera attempted and failed, you know that kinda sutff.
The fact that they inserted commentary from boring and plodding official types helped rather than hindered the feel of a real documentary. They were going along so good, had the hook completely around my neck, then poof - that stupid ending. That was just insane. Of course I immediately realized I had been spoofed all along because a snuff tape wouldnt be released into general public. Damn them, damn them all.
But up to that point, I was believing it.
~*~*~*~ Buh-bye Spoiler Alert ~*~*~*~
Dont get me wrong, this was not prime video. Oh good Lord no. There are very few exceptions to the rule that when the stars of a movie are also the writers, directors, editors, and so on and so on, that the movie will be any good at all. This is low-budget indie film at its best. In fact, using the term film in conjunction with this movie is almost a joke within itself. According to what Ive read - after watching the movie - there was no actual film used making this movie. It was the first film to be completely digital, including the premiere screening.
All filming and editing was done digitally and the premiere screening was shown across the US by satellite with DLP digital camera projectors from Texas Instruments. Hey, the guys deserve something just for that. Not that any awards walked across their soundstage - oops, no soundstage.
~*~*~*~ Baby Spoiler ~*~*~*~
I guess what made it believable for me was the use of the non-actor types. Basically people pulled off the street and dropped into roles they had no clue about. The fun part was that these ordinary people - probably house painters or dog catchers in real life - adapted to the boring and plodding parts they were imitating. It made the movie fun and considering the subject, a little fun was needed.
~*~*~*~ Spoiler Gone ~*~*~*~
The film was written and directed by Stefan Avalos & Lance Weiler and is basically their only project. Both were also involved in another clip, The True Legend of the Jersey Devil, but Weiler hasnt done anything beyond that. Avalos has done a few more, but not much.
The players in this gig are David Beard as David Leigh, filming the follow-up documentary; Jim Seward as Jim Suerd, the murderer, Stefan Avalos as Steven Johnny Avkast and Lance Weiler as Locus Wheeler, both Fact or Fiction hosts; Rein Clabbers as Rein Clackin, paranormal sound man and Michele Pulaski as Michelle Shelly Monarch, data retrieval expert.
More fun than the movie, but definitely more boring, was the behind-the-scenes look at film production and distribution, and the True Legend of the Jersey Devil - now that was strange. There is also audio commentary by director and cast available.
I suppose I must make note, as so many others have, of the correlation between The Last Broadcast and The Blair Witch Project. well, with that said
A sloppy film, poorly made and cheap, acting horrible, story sucks, ending abysmal - Watch it now!!, worth a chuckle and a viewing.
** out of **** It's the upper end of the 1990's, and a film crew that works exclusively for New Jersey-based reality television program "Fact or Fiction" is hitting rock bottom. After a strong start, the founders are facing what looks to be cancellation and bankruptcy. They've simply ran out of good ideas, or anything to talk about at all; and when it seems like they've finally settled on a single, good idea, everything just falls apart on the spot. Then, out of the blue, … more
A trio of people with a cable access TV show venture into the wilds of New Jersey to make a documentary about a search for the legendary Jersey Devil. Days later, only one of them returns--and he quickly becomes a suspect in the murder of the other. Only when the footage they shot is found is the horrifying truth revealed. A controversy regarding the similarities between this film and THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT emerged upon the release of the latter in the summer of 1999. THE LAST BROADCAST was actually made first.