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directed by: Stefan Avalos & Lance Weiler
produced by: Stefan Avalos & Lance Weiler
starring: Stefan Avalos, Lance Weiler, David Beard, Jim Seward, Rein Clabbers, Michele Pulaski
(87 minutes )
THE LAST BROADCAST, which was screening in the DIGIFEST section of the Flanders International Film Festival is a highly innovative movie by filmmakers Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler, who merged two ideas into one: to use digital technology - cameras, sound - to create the first all digital movie, which had never been done before. The second: a thriller that blurred the line between documentary and fiction. The story: two filmmakers go into the New Jersey Pine Barren Woods in search of the Jersy Devil. Does this premise sound familiar?
The first movie to get a national digital release - beamed via satellite to several national locations in October 1998, THE LAST BROADCAST was and is inevitably compared to its successor The Blair Witch Project. The similarities are scary. The story has caught on and this new and innovative film has been receiving major press attention in the US as well as abroad and has been the subject of much controversy (TV news, People Magazine, all video and film trades, etc.) as to "which is witch" and which came first.
THE LAST BROADCAST .....What The CRITICS Say...
"To be as curt as possible, The Last Broadcast will fuck you up. Fuck you up good."
CITY PAGES MINNEAPOLIS WEEKLY
"... a gritty Thin Blue Line meets Blow Up investigation of two public-access TV show hosts murdered in New Jersey...
Avalos and Weiler boldly go where no filmmaker has gone before..."
"A slick thriller. There is betrayal, death and a twisty climactic frisson in this dark, media mauling parable."
"Sixty minutes meets War of the Worlds meets the X files meets the OJ Simpson trial...The acting is realistic...
The story is well told... It's terrific."
FOX TV FILM CRITIC, Bill Wine
"The Last Broadcast" is so densely constructed and intellectually assured that it makes "Blair Witch" look like a nifty stunt and not much more. It's the difference between watching "Halloween" and "The Shining," to name two other classic horror movies. You don't have to be a film buff to recognize that one effort is clearly the product of a superior intelligence."
NEW JERSEY STAR LEDGER
"The older The Last Broadcast is eerily similar to The Blair Witch Project. It's a scary, thought-provoking, and extremely well-crafted film."
*** 1/2 stars
"The Last Broadcast is creepy and provocative... a startlingly good feature... a smart assured work no matter how exactly it was made."
"Expertly crafted and convincingly presented, this film is one of the best of the fest this year. No stone is left unturned as Avalos and Weiler show us the rest of the story that the police investigation failed to turn up. Open and shut case it's not, as you the viewer are asked to be the judge and jury of this twisted tale."
LUMPEN MAGAZINE, Chris Molnar
"Avalos and Weiler's digital movie packs a more creative and frightening wallop than most Hollywood pictures made for millions."
WILLIAMETTE WEEKLY, PORTLAND
"The movie is often strange, entrancing and incredibly creepy. Don't see it alone, and if you do, don't go to bed alone. Some images linger, and are so thought provoking that chances are they'll be there tbe next morning like a deadly hangover. That alone is just a part of the beauty of The Last Broadcast."
THE VANGUARD POP ARTS SECTION
"The story itself is so engaging that I was on the edge of my chair, dying to know what happens next. It's so rare that I'm totally immersed in a film and I don't look at my watch. But this combined with great filmmaking skills, great content, great characters, great subtext, great overview and innovative ways to use these skills makes this a masterpiece."
THE LAST BROADCAST .....What The PEOPLE Say...
benxedo@aol from Pennsylvania , August 18, 1999
Innovative thinking and creativity - I saw this movie at the world premiere in Pennsylvania and was immediately blown away. I went back to see it again. If you are the kind of person that likes a movie that makes you think and tears at the walls of our perceptions of reality, then buy this movie. You will not be let down.
HITMAN _24@HOTMAIL from ILLINOIS , August 18, 1999 THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME BETTER AND CREEPIER THAN B W P READ TH
THIS MOVIE IS SO COOL IT IS ALOT EASIER TO BELIEVE A STORY ABOUT A DEVIL THAN A WITCH,REMEBER THE EXORCIST THERE WAS A STORY ABOUT A DEVIL SCARED MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AND IS STILL DOING IT TODAY . IF YOU LIKED AND THOUGHT THE EXORCIST WAS SCARY THIS ONE IS TWICE AS SCARY, AND THE CREEPY PART IS ,IS THAT THE EXORCIST IS A TRUE STORY!CHECK OUT THIS MOVIE YOU WONT BE DISAPPOINTED.
Psyko_Disko@hotmail from Tulsa, OK , August 17, 1999 Very Dark and chilling ride - I saw this movie long before i had even heard of the Blair Witch Project. This movie was very original, and disturbed me somewhat due to the great acting and whole reality of the story. The only complaint in this movie is the ending, which i wont give away, but just let me say, it somewhat let me down...I do, however recommend this film to anyone who likes to be bothered by films. Very much like a SIGHTINGS episode or a Beyond Belief special in style.
A viewer from Iowa , August 5, 1999
It scared the &%#@ out of me!!! This movie definitely was similar to Blair Witch because it had the same intensity. The mystery and freakyness made it hard to look away but the suspence made you want to dive to the floor. If it had a Resevoir Dogs ending, it would have been an easy 5 stars. A must see!!!!
A viewer from calif , August 15, 1999
Yes! These guys definately missed the boat or did they? This should be the 100 million dollar movie or the summer not Lairs itch. This is a thought out well crafted film . And to those reviews who are stating that these young men need to go back to film school are probably babbling spoiled little My father works for paramount fools. I am a film teacher and while the film does feel raw the talent is obvious. Can't wait to see what they do next. At least their doing it!
Detailer50@aol from Hamilton, New Jersey , August 15, 1999
"The Last Broadcast" all the way!!!!!!! All I can say is that the Jersey Devil gives me the creeps more than a Maryland witch legend can. The Last Broadcast deserves to be credited more than the "BWP"--since it was first! Plus the Pine Barrens is way scarier.
greenet@mailexcite from Orlando FL USA , August 14, 1999 Chilling and innovative Perhaps comparing The Last Broadcast and The Blair Witch Project is inevitable since they do have similar structures. Intelligent fans of quality cinema, however, will appreciate the many differences betwixt the two archetypes. Both are powerful and well-made examples of low-budget art...not ready-made for a low-concept audience weened on music videos and Adam Sandler movies.
The Last Broadcast (and the Blair Witch, for that matter) demonstrates that true fear lies in that which is not known or cannot be seen, not in digital space aliens or blood-tinted corn syrup. And show me every viewer on this site who found these films "dull", "boring", or "amateurish"...and I'll show you viewers who have developed Cinematic Attention Deficit Disorder from watching Armageddon one too many times at the multiplex.
This is a great film.
A viewer from Bellevue, WA , August 13, 1999
Sucks you in and freaks you out!
At first, I felt like I was watching "Investigative Reports" on A&E. You know, interesting, but not engaging. However, it wasn't until 1/2 hour into the film, that I realized how involved I had actually gotten. I couldn't turn it off, and I was anxiously riveted to my sofa to find out "whodunnit." Congratulations to these two independent filmmakers for a job well done!
Seawasp69@aol from Orlando, Florida , August 12, 1999
The Best Film Of 1998
I saw this masterpiece at the Enzian theater in Orlando (I was lucky enough to be near one of the 5 theaters it was played at via satellite,)last October. I had no idea that it was fictitiuos! I was immensly CREEPED out by the whole experience. It was the most realistically acted film I had ever seen. The images presented to me during this film have been LOCKED in my brain ever since....they are impossible to erase from my mind (especially when I am home alone).I was so amazed by it's effect on my senses, that I went the next night to see it again. I caught it again on IFC a few months ago, but have been waiting patiently for it's video release. THE LAST BROADCAST is so entirely different from THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT....both should be admired separetely instead of compared. THE LAST BROADCAST illustrates an ULTRA-FRIGHTENING tale!
A viewer from California , August 10, 1999
This movie was a product of pure genuis.
Talk about a bite you nails, hair pulling, teeth clenching, all out pants wetting masterpiece. I could recommend no other film as a must watch this year. Blair Witch doesn't come close to being worthy of being in a movie theater. LIFE IS NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT VIEWING THIS FILM!!!!!
Rob Coleman from Manhattan, New York , August 10, 1999
The Last Broadcast is frightingly realistic film.
'The Last Broadcast' is a psuedo-dockumentary that incorporates reality TV and horror, and delivers a frightenly realistic film which builds a web of suspense that lasts all the way until the end. The camparison between this film and 'The Blair Witch Project' are strikingly similar and do warrant suspicion. But this film is far superior in it's style, and plot. Do not settle for second best. 'The Last Broadcast' is worth watching again and again.
A viewer from USA , August 11, 1999
I would rather watch the MOD SQUAD.
Worst acting....Worst directing.....Worst movie I have ever seen.....The Directors have no concept of story structure.
EMN from Philadelphia, PA , August 10, 1999
TLB in a class by itself
The comparison between " The Last Broadcast" and "Blair Witch" only works on one level: their similar story lines. From there, TLB is far more superior. The filmmakers push the envelope by integrating several new technologies - both on and off the screen. Their digital technologies have been noticed by George Lucas, and are paving the way for future independant filmmakers. Utilizing the Internet as part of their story line elevates TLB far beyond the playful antics of college-level documentarists in "Blair Witch" and positions it as an important work..
Craig from Philadelphia , August 9, revolutionary filmmaking
A terrific, original documentary. It blows Blair Witch out of the water. I assume the Blair Witch creators saw this film before they began shooting... their concept was a complete rip-off. People who see this movie should also know that it was produced on a home computer and was the first movie ever simulcast to theaters across the nation in digital projection format (George Lucas is looking to use this process with a future episode of Star Wars). This is truly groundbreaking and could be the future of movie distribution. It could put the power of filmaking into the hands of anyone with a PC and some creativity. Do yourself a favor and buy this movie.