When I decided to view The Last Broadcast, the power had gone out, I had a fire in the fireplace, headphones on to keep the sound to my cranium, and just the laptop to draw me in. Yeah, don’t shockin’ do that to yourself anytime soon.
Jim Suard (Seward) is the only remaining member of a four-man team who seeks to broadcast a live feed of the long-time legend, the Jersey Devil. A program titled “Fact or Fiction”, led by Steven Avkast (Avalos) and Locus Wheeler (Wheeler), along with Rein Clackin (Clabbers) decides to hunt down the centuries old legend for a little video expedition.
Instead, Seward returns alone, and viewers are left to wonder if this is the Northern incarnation of the Blair Witch, or the Eastern incarnation of Albert Packer.
(Okay, it took me a whopping two paragraphs to throw out the ol’ BW reference, but it’s hard not to in this day and age when you see TLB.) Broadcast is not BW. The Blair Witch Project, of which I remain a big fan, is shot in present time, and completely reliant on interviews in the first Act of the film. Broadcast is shot almost entirely in past tense and flashback, and isn’t so locked in to a single interview or event in the film.
The Blair Witch Project wasn’t released until a year after The Last Broadcast, but there are too many similarities not to mention, including the use of actors’ real names as their characters.
Still, I’m a Philly kid, and I’m really waitin’ for a good Jersey accent or Mall Girl haircut to make its way to the camera yet.
The Last Broadcast is shot on a very low budget, with continual shots of papers and extended abstract slow-mo. In TLB, guess what…it works. Fact or Fiction is depicted as a tiny local cable show that makes it big, or desires to. In DC, we have that, with the Sports Junkies, who started off as four idiots on a cable broadcast channel show, and now they hold down the morning drive slot on a Clear Channel station.
Fact or Fiction had strong tie-ins to the IRC channel, and so, when a strange user suggests that the egomaniacal Steve seeks out the Jersey Devil, he has to bite on it, lest the show be canceled. So, Steve and Locus hire Rein and Jim to broadcast live from the Pine Barrens to find the Jersey Devil. Rein brings in the technical expertise. Jim claims he has psychic powers. Jim instantly turns up suspect, as his only expertise is in the psychic field, and how credible he is depends on how many episodes of Chris Angels’ “Mindfreak” series he managed to catch beforehand.
What follows is one lonely geek in a chat room, and three guys getting chopped to bits. Sounds like a typical weekend for most Horrorview reaers.
Weiler’s love of comics is shown in the packaging of the DVD, as in his 2006 film, Head Trauma, which incorporates on and off screen comic relativity. Head Trauma is a phenomenal film, with an incredibly talented cast, shot in a completely different manner than Broadcast. Trauma was an outsider look at a man torturing himself, while Broadcast is much more of an internal view of a troubled individual and the potential possession involved with the chaotic Jersey Devil.
Extras include several behind-the-scenes featurettes, trailers, interviews, galleries and more. The DVD is well constructed, though it’s obvious Weiler learned from his first film exposure to his next.