5.6/10
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An Exploration of the Blair Witch Legend (1999)

Sticks and Stones: Investigating the Blair Witch (original title)
| Short | Video
This short film was originally offered by Blockbuster Video to promote the rental and sales of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT video when it was first released. There is an amusing comment at the ... See full summary »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself - 11 News Anchor (as Joseph Nagy)
Minette Marcial ...
Herself - 6 News Anchor
...
Herself
...
Himself (as Josh Leonard)
...
Himself (as Michael Williams)
Mr. Leonard ...
Himself - Father of Josh Leonard
Keith Whittaker ...
Himself - Newschannel 6 Reporter
Buck Buchanan ...
Himself - Private Investigator
Charlie Carlson ...
Charles Moorhouse, Professor of Folklore, Hampshire College
Lucan Johnson ...
Himself - Appearance on 'Mystic Occurences'
Bill Dreggors ...
Bill Barnes, Burkittsville Historian
Elaine Shyner ...
Herself - Brother Murdered 1940 by Rustin Parr
Ronald Cravens ...
Himself - Burkittsville Sheriff
Michael Hoover ...
Michael DeCoto, Montgomery College Film Professor
Tom Williams ...
Himself - Michael Williams' Brother
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Storyline

This short film was originally offered by Blockbuster Video to promote the rental and sales of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT video when it was first released. There is an amusing comment at the beginning of STICKS and STONES indicating that Blockbuster didn't go looking for the added footage because "You'd have to be crazy to go into those woods." Much of the film is scenes from THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and CURSE OF THE BLAIR WITCH. But two new pieces of film are tacked on at the end, one of which provides a provocative added clue or misclue to the mystery. This clue adds support to one of the many theories of what happened in THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, namely that there was some sort of time warp involved which prevented the search party from seeing the three missing college students even though the searchers covered the same territory where the students disappeared. STICKS and STONES isn't particularly important except for the two new pieces of film. If the viewer has no interest in the ...

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An exploration of the Blair Witch legend

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User Reviews

 
Will break your bones, and be assembled around your campsite
29 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Whether you love it, hate it, or just plain like it, you can't deny that The Blair Witch Project was a landmark in the horror genre and paved the way for a new sub-genre in the category. The found footage genre of horror has now greatly expanded in present day and now, the franchise getting the Blair Witch treatment is Paranormal Activity.

But this isn't a history lesson of the genre. This is a review of Sticks and Stones: An Exploration of the Blair Witch Legend, a direct-to-VHS documentary released the same year as the film The Blair Witch Project. The thirty minute documentary documents the legacy, the aftermath, the response, and the myth of the Blair Witch who supposedly inhabits a woodsy area in Maryland.

I say "supposedly" because this isn't a documentary. It's a collection of fictionalized events with actors playing fictionalized people in efforts to further that the myth and the film are real. Why do I say this? Because a quick look on IMDb proves this is all quackery. We supposedly get interviews from "Bill Barnes, Burkittsville historian." A quick search of that name pulls up "Bill Dreggors, actor" who has appeared in a number of other Blair Witch films/documentaries playing the same character.

Same thing goes for "Charles Moorhouse" who is said to be Professor of Folklore, Hampshire College. Quick search tells me it's a man by the name of "Charlie Carlson" who has written screenplays and books about the paranormal and has played the same character in other Blair Witch films, as well.

The tape, Stick and Stones, was not only to try and further the accusations and events in the film to be of a true nature, but to try and increase rental sales of the feature film. Some people actually believed it. There was no formal and consistent use of the internet in 1999 like there is today, and it surely wasn't blessed with as much information as we have today.

So why am I awarding a fairly high rating to a fictional documentary? For a few reasons. Not only is it persistent in its efforts to try and make us believe this myth, but it captures a more naive time in the horror world. When people believed everything they heard about this film. The film is rather convincing, as it also gets interviews from Blair Witch Project star Joshua Leonard's father and Michael C. Williams' brother Tom talking about their reactions to each of their relative's disappearance.

Now, the hype and questions brought from The Blair Witch Project have greatly simmered, information is in barrels online and the false nature of this film has been exposed. Because of all that, I can't exactly really recommend Sticks and Stones: An Exploration of the Blair Witch Legacy with my head held high. All I can do is stand on the sidelines and watch in amazement how one movie, shot for less than a million dollars, unintentionally changed the face of horror and made untold millions at the box office.

NOTE: Oh, and don't fall for the faulty newscasts shown in the film too. I was skeptical, but it turns out Joseph Nagy isn't with the Channel 11 News and Minette Marcial not with the Channel 6 News either. Just with the "impressively fake actor committee." Starring: Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael C. Williams, Joe Nagy, Minette Marcial, Bill Dreggors, and Charlie Carlson.


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