The Last Broadcast (1998)

Can we remove the last ten minutes of this film please??

The Last Broadcast (1998)
Directed By: Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler

The Prologue

If you are a fan of “lost footage” films, or first person point of view films, or however you want to word it. Odds are you think The Blair Witch Project was the film that started all of that right? And yes, it was the first to really breakthrough to the main stream, but besides Cannibal Holocaust being the first film that comes to my mind when thinking of the concept, the sad fact remains that The Blair Witch Project isn’t as original as we might think. While that’s another site entry for another time I’ll just say this. The Blair Witch Project borrows A LOT from the film this review is about, The Last Broadcast. A film that actually came before Blair Witch, but sadly a lot of people just aren’t aware of that.

The Movie
Bristling with equipment, two enthusiastic local access cable TV producers recruit an assistant and venture into a forest in search of the mythical and horrifying Jersey Devil. Days later, only one of the trio emerges. He becomes the prime suspect in the disappearances of the other two. However, a local filmmaker examines extensive footage found at the scene and arrives at a different conclusion.

From a realistic point of view, this film goes above and beyond to make this movie seem as up and up and legit as any fake documentary or lost footage film could get. Things that were popular in 1995 and onward are used to ensure the authentic quality of the film and nobody that we see even seems like actors at all. Had I not known heading into this that what I was watching wasn’t real I never would have guessed it at first. That means you could use this to really freak people out for the most part and it’s actually very interesting as we dive into this intriguing story about a show’s live broadcast gone bad.

Much of the style and elements that people loved about the more well known and popular Blair Witch Project can be found here in, The Last Broadcast. And in my personal opinion, I think it was done in a much better and more realistic manner. Suspense is built way better, the characters come across if not more real at least more sympathetic. I think also the story of The New Jersey Devil is much more compelling than what we have in that other film, that sadly still outshines this film in public knowledge and popularity department today. But from the start this film kicks off in a very real and attention grabbing way and is well on it’s way to a big reveal and a status of being a pure classic…Then the last ten minutes of this film happens and it almost kills everything we’ve just spent and hour and twenty minutes watching.

WHY? WHY? WHY? That’s all I could find myself saying. Why did the people behind this film take everything they’ve created and near perfected only to flush it down the toilet in the final ten minutes of this movie?? Why bypass what could have been a shocking ending in it’s self that thus kept the realness and quality of what was going down intact for the pure garbage that is the final ten minutes of this movie? It’s not clever, it’s a mess and it nearly ruins the entire movie. While many mock films are hated on for their endings, I’ve never seen one end THIS bad. And it still makes me upset to think about how the entire film is nearly wasted due to the lame ending.

The Conclusion

I would have honestly gave this film a full on 8 or 9 had the final minutes of this been anything at all different than what we get. I won’t spoil it but it’s a damn shame here thirteen long years later to see how this ends, especially when compared to the great story we have up until the film reaches that point. That being said, everything before that is still great and I still think it’s better than The Blair Witch Project. But gosh, why go with this type of ending??

The Rating (7/10)