One year before the runaway hit, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (and now we know there’s a new one coming soon), the film that would usher in a whole new horror filmmaking subgenre – found footage – there was a chilling mockumentary called THE LAST BROADCAST. The quality may not have been as good as Blair Witch, but I think that’s what made it all the more chilling. Why didn’t it hit it big? It all came down to that new fangled thing, the internet. In 1999, The creators of Blair Witch used the power of internet viral marketing before it was even called viral marketing. In 1998, THE LAST BROADCAST didn’t have that same hype, with people assuming the film was real before it even came out. The producers had a web presence, but they weren’t quite as savvy. It came and went, largely ignored.
Which is sad, because in some ways, THE LAST BROADCAST is even scarier. When you watch it, you feel like you’re viewing something that shouldn’t be seen. I’m not going to say it’s the bees knees, but for one of the first entries in found footage, it’s up there with The Poughkeepsie Tapes (which can give you a case of the everlasting goosebumps).
Here’s my favorite part of THE LAST BROADCAST. In it, two guys with a local cable access show set off into New Jersey’s Pine Barrens to search for The Jersey Devil. Sign me up. I’ve been to the Barrens. Even without a legendary creature, the place is spooky as hell.
Check out the trailer :
I first saw the entire movie on YouTube, but it’s since been taken down. However, you can now grab a copy at The Last Broadcast website.
Now, remember, this is a low budget flick. Making the hosts some dudes with a cable access show was the perfect framework to set expectations in terms of film and production quality. It’s done that way on purpose, but also allows the viewer to make some concessions. Don’t expect any crazy creature effects. This is all about atmosphere and mystery.
If you’re a horror and cryptid completist like me, I strongly urge you to check it out. And I triple dog dare you to venture out into the Pine Barrens at night.