THE LAST BROADCAST BLU RAY REVIEW 101 Films

I first and last saw THE LAST BROADCAST when I worked in a video shop in the late 1990s. I remember it well because, on my return to the place, as it was closing in 2002, a customer came in and ask me, the apparent film dictionary, about a film that was like this.

‘Its like taken from VHS (that would be video tape to anyone born in this century) about a murder in the woods. There is a crap TV show that you only get in America and the whole thing revolves around a demon. Like THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT but fuckin scary!’ 

I knew the film as soon as he said it. Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler chilling film debut had always resonated with me as an wannabe film maker. It also since then had been sent into a hinterland of obscurity after being the first feature motion film to be screened digitally at Cannes. This obscurity happened due to how it was incorrectly claimed as the inspiration for the more successful BLAIR WITCH. We had no copies in stock as the film was seen as old.

THE LAST BROADCAST is a landmark in the history of the found footage genre without question. Without it, you would have not PARANORMAL ACTIVITY certainly. However the story of murder, supernatural evil and a film crew is less effective or effecting as it once was. It is also actually a lot more impressive comparing the limitations faces. Motivations are compelling. Producers who have decided to starve off the loss of an audience for their cable-access program called Fact or Fiction, by broadcasting live from the remote New Jersey Pine Barrens. The direction and editing is skilled. Their plan to find the legendary monster, the Jersey Devil, ends up with all but one of them dead. The resulting film looks like a late decade documentary but with a sardonic use of autopsy footage and the additional content gleans a broad view of how the film began the conversation on the internet and its power to shape our ideas of truth. Some will bemoan that a restoration wasnt enacted, but it works enough.

Special Features:
• A New Broadcast: Interviews with co-directors Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler (NEW)
• Limited Edition Booklet: Includes ‘Welcome to the Digital Age: The Last Broadcast and the horrors of the Internet’ by Phillip Escott
and ‘Fact or Fiction?’ by Sarah Appleton (NEW)
• Commentary with co-directors Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler (1999)
• Commentary with co-directors Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler (2006)
• Behind-the-scenes documentary: Production
• Behind-the-scenes documentary: Post-production
• Behind-the-scenes documentary: Distribution
• Exclusive interviews
• Fact or Fiction: rare clips from the infamous public access show
• Jim Seward: Alive and Well performing two folk songs
• Lucas: What really happened?
• Gallery of Gore: Pine Barrens murder crime scene and autopsy images, Last Broadcast poster and box art from around the globe
• Trailer

 

 

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