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The Last Broadcast (1998)

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A film crew ventures into the forest in search of the mythical 'Jersey Devil'.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Beard David Beard ... David Leigh, The Filmmaker
Jim Seward Jim Seward ... Jim Suerd - The Accused
Stefan Avalos ... Steven Avkast - 'Fact or Fiction' Host
Lance Weiler Lance Weiler ... Locus Wheeler - 'Fact or Fiction' Host
Rein Clabbers Rein Clabbers ... Rein Clackin, Paranormal Sound Man
Michele Pulaski Michele Pulaski ... Michelle Monarch - Data Retrieval Expert
Tom Brunt Tom Brunt ... Tom Branski - Technical Director of 'Fact or Fiction'
Mark Rublee Mark Rublee ... Clair Deforest - Editor for the Prosecution
A.D. Roso A.D. Roso ... Anthony Rosi - Lead Investigator of Murders
Dale Worstall Dale Worstall ... Dr. Dale Orstall, Jim's Child Psychologist
Vann K. Weller Vann K. Weller ... Dr. Vann Waller - Forensic Pathologist
Sam Wells Sam Wells ... Sam Woods - Television Soap Director
Jay MacDonald Jay MacDonald ... Jay McDowell, Web Designer
Faith Weiler Faith Weiler ... Joyce Dryer, Jim's Landlady
Marianne Connor Marianne Connor ... Mary Brenner, TV Reporter
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Storyline

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. Written by Carl J. Youngdahl <zomno@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What actually happened that night in the woods? See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jersey Devil Project See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

FFM Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot for just $900. See more »

Goofs

The "Jersey Devil" investigation is started when someone comes on the internet to the TV show and says" Why don't you do a show on the "Jersey Devil"?. When this is referred to later, and shown on screen (twice), the caller says "Why don't you do a show on the pine barrens?". See more »

Quotes

David Leigh, The Filmmaker: At 10 PM, in what will be the last broadcast, Fact or Fiction goes live.
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Crazy Credits

The story and characters depicted in this movie are entirely fictitious. But please don't tell anyone. See more »

Connections

Featured in Reel (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Stranger
Written by A.D. Roso
Performed by A.D. Roso, Stefan Avalos
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User Reviews

 
A Good Film
8 November 2001 | by Mike Z-2See all my reviews

Written for my high school newspaper my senior year.

A few years ago, Lance Weller and Stefan Avalos were sitting around and from their ennui came the idea that they make an inexpensive movie. They had less than a thousand dollars to spend, but they also had advanced digital camera equipment that was sufficient for their film. Eventually the product developed from that idea was an independent, documentary-style horror film with plenty of home-video shots of camp-sites, and people running around the woods at night. Does that sound familiar? It should.

While The Last Broadcast was made before the much more famous Blair Witch Project, the difference in their success was the distribution. When distributors approached Avalos and Weller asking for permission to distribute their film, the directors rejected the offers because they wanted to change the movie (either by removing parts of it or changing the title). Instead they opted to distribute it themselves and now it has been all over the world, winning many awards along the way, and even gaining the recognition of being both the first full-length film to be digitally broadcast in a movie theater and over the internet. It had a one week run at the International House in Philadelphia when it was first released, right before it went to Belgium and the Cannes Film Festival among other places.

In terms of whether or not the makers of The Blair Witch Project stole their idea, it is known that those directors did see The Last Broadcast in Florida over a year ago. Avalos and Weller, whom I had the chance to speak with when I saw the movie during its special run in Doylestown recently, said they have gotten many calls from lawyers encouraging them to sue but "are working on current projects and in general have better things to do." They were very down-to-earth, and even showed my friend and me the projection room where the small digital projector, which resembled your typical CPU and contained the movie on its hard drive, stood next to the giant movie reels used to show regular films.

The basic plot of The Last Broadcast involves four men (two of whom are Avalos and Weller), from a cable access television show called Fact or Fiction, going into the Pine Barrens of New Jersey hoping to catch a glimpse of the infamous Jersey Devil on camera. One of the men gets out of the forest alive, a very eccentric recluse who went on the trip because he claimed to know the whereabouts of the Jersey Devil, and of course he is accused of murdering the other three. The whole film is told in a compelling documentary style that presents the facts of the case, the police investigation into the murders, Suerd's trial, and the documentarian's (David Beard) view of who really committed the murders. All of the interviews and "factual" information are interwoven with "actual" footage that was taken by the four members of the crew before their brutal murders, and all of it flows together seamlessly until the disturbing and astonishing conclusion. Throughout the movie, the familiar Pine Barrens provide a grim backdrop.

As opposed to the very simplistic Blair Witch Project, The Last Broadcast is a very complex jigsaw puzzle with finely drawn characters, an excellent and wholly believable mystery, and an equally shocking, if not more satisfying, conclusion. Broadcast is also provocative in that it serves as a mind-opening commentary on the news media's manipulation of the facts (usually to create an agreed upon truth for the public to accept) as well as the ludicrousness of the tabloid media.

Destined for cult status with its nine hundred dollar budget, The Last Broadcast is excellent, and certainly one of the most original and well structured films I've seen. Before Thanksgiving the film will be on VHS and DVD at video stores, and it will be shown on HBO several times in the coming months.


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