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The Last Broadcast ( 1998 ) – New Jersey Devil Myth

 

The Last Broadcast ( 1998 )- New Jersey Devil Myth

The Last Broadcast is a Found Footage effort that covers the New Jersey Devil myth. If I’m honest I only watched this film for the first time last week as I found it hard to find a decent version of it. I finally ended up on a pretty dodgy film streaming site that attempted to throw Malware at my laptop every time I pressed the play button on the media player! Anyway one of the links to the film finally worked and I managed to stream the full version and write this review today ( tidy! ).

A Father Figure to The Blair Witch?

I had heard a lot about this film due to the fact many people claimed the Blair Witch flick took so much influence from it……..yeah right! Let’s get something straight here before we carry on – The Blair Witch Project took nothing from this film!

The whole idea of having a found footage effort based on the New Jersey Devil Myth is awesome in my book and I couldn’t wait to see the film. Now, I’m not saying I was disappointed with the film but something was really amiss with the delivery of it…..

Documentary Not Camcorder

Most of the footage of this New Jersey Devil Myth was filmed in a documentary style which was fine with me. It was intelligent, well laid out and very believable – I thought overall it was original!

But I find when you film these types of films in a documentary style you lose a little bit of the momentum – the film is not quite ‘edge of your seat’ but rather anticipation. Yeah that’s fine to – anticipation is a relevant emotion in horror……it’s just that I like to be on the edge of my seat throughout these films!

Realistic Setup

You have to be impressed by the fake testimonies and the general setup of the documentary as a whole – it was convincing! Sure the acting did slip in some places and seemed a little amateur at best but overall it did work.

That being said I think they may have concentrated a little to much on the look and feel of the documentary. In my opinion they neglected the main point of the film – a point that draws most viewers into watching it………

Come on Guys This is Supposed to be Horror!

The plot of the film sells itself on covering the New Jersey Devil Myth. So if this is the case why is it not mentioned more often? The idea is sort of thrown together a little and we are not given the chance to feel the supernatural element of the film.

It needed to concentrate harder on the New Jersey Devil Myth and less on the film crew that were going out to the Barrens. This film crew were part of a ‘fact or fiction’ type show – those awful types of shows you get at midday on a Science Fiction channel.

I found the arguments between show members and the apparent failure of the show took front seat for long portions of this film. When I was about half an hour into it I realized I couldn’t give a crap about the main characters of the show – not a good sign!

When you have a film topic as cool as the New Jersey Devil Myth you should really be trying to throw it in people’s faces as often as possible. You should not be turning the thing into a bit of a soap opera!

All That Ends Well

Unfortunately the ending of this film has turned out to be the it’s biggest talking point over the years since it’s release. That’s a shame really as it’s not that good! As you know we have a ‘spoiler’ rule on this site that does not allow us to go into detail so I have to be careful here…..

The ending basically takes everything we have built up to with the New Jersey Devil myth and throws it in the bin. I couldn’t find any reason for this other than misplaced ‘shock quality’ judgement by the director.

Strangely enough the longest scene filmed in ‘actual’ Found Footage style is the ending of the film……why? I’m not saying it stunk I’m just saying it was far to bold for this particular director to pull off ( sorry but we speak our mind here! ).

Conclusion

This IS NOT a bad film by any stretch of the imagination so apologies if you have come to that conclusion. The New Jersey Devil myth is a great idea to base a Found Footage movie on but unfortunately this film came to soon in the game.

The director means well by throwing the story line into orbit at the end but he doesn’t seem to have thought it out properly – he left to many holes!

The documentaries and the interviews etc were excellent at times and the film flowed really well in parts. I do feel it would of worked better if we had gone a little deeper into the characters – we would care more about what actually happened to them!

Not a bad effort guys but you can see why The Blair Witch Project completely eclipsed this film little more than a year later ( and I bet the director’s sick of hearing that! ).

Chris

7 Comments

    • I watched this one pretty late on – I only got to it about a year ago! The film was enjoyable enough but I wasn’t really that keen on the ending. Still, it was a very original twist 🙂

  1. Oh.the ending.you mean where……GOTCHA…..!!!! Lol….Yeah i know what you mean If I hadn’t watched it when it 1st came out,im not sure it would’ve blown my mind(like it did) I even bought it!!!!

    • Yeah it was a decent enough film but I was left scratching my head after the ending – had to rewind it twice to make sure I had got it right 🙂

  2. I first watched TLB about ten years ago (on VHS!) and probably three or four times since and pretty much thought the same as you – although I think I liked it a little more 🙂 But yes, that ending. Narratively I didn’t like it at all – and the sudden inexplicable jump from 1st person to 3rd person REALLY jarred with me. Shame, because I thought in the main it was quite an effective little film.

  3. Hello Chris,

    Firstly, thanks so much for this site – it’s a wicked resource of Found Footage and horror titles…I’ve never seen anything like it before!

    I can remember watching this film a few years back because a lot of my friends were banging on about it – I had to see what all the fuss was about. I’m a bit like you though – I couldn’t really see that much in it overall.

    I suppose there are so many classy Found Footage titles out these days they sort of overtake this one without really trying – this has been left well behind.

    What do you think?

    • Hi Tar – great to meet you!

      Yeah I have to agree with you 100% there – I think this film has been completely washed away by more modern and memorable films.

      I realize that this is considered a classic and I have no real problem with that – it deserves it’s position due to it’s age. But it’s not on the top ten of my list – nowhere near really!

      Thanks for introducing yourself and leaving your opinion on the review – hope to speak with you again some time in the future!

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