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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Last Broadcast (1998)

In 1999, the world was presente with with one of the first "found footage" style films, "The Blair Witch Project".  The year before, however, there was a lesser known one released... "The Last Broadcast".

While filming a documentary about the "Fact or Fiction" murders, David Leigh receives a box with the mangled remains of a video cassette.  Believing that this tape holds the evidence needed to solve the grisly murders of the TV show hosts- Steven Avkast, Locus Wheeler and Rein Clackin, he enlists the aid of data retrieval expert, Michelle.  Was it the Jersey Devil- the creature the "Fact or Fiction" crew was hoping to catch on video... or something far darker than any of them would believe?

For a low budget film, this one was done quite well.  I liked the documentary style of storytelling they used.  Even though the characters aren't developed much, you do come to like the hosts of "Fact or Fiction".  The acting was pretty good, though to be honest, I wouldn't normally be inclined to watch some like David Beard as a talking head in such a film.  The best performances were definately given by Stefan Avalos- who played Avkast, and Lance Weiler as Locus.  There was some good chemistry between the actors and they were entertaining to watch.

One problem I had with "The Blair Witch Project" was the amount of shaky camera work in it- gave me a bit of a headache watching it.  "The Last Broadcast" balanced out the slightly unbalanced nature of a hand held camera with the steady studio style used for the interviews.

My only serious problem with this film was the ending.  Plotwise, it was good and effective- and was a twist I wasn't expecting.  The problem lies in how it jumps from being a documentary style film to a third person perspective.  I would've preferred that they had stayed in documentary mode until the end.

In my final analysis, I'm going to have to put "The Last Broadcast" into "The Bad"

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