Jacaranda Joe, a found footage horror said to pre-date The Blair Witch Project, is a George A Romeo film thought lost.

Following the release of the late George A. Romero’s The Amusement Park on Shudder last year, another of the legendary filmmaker’s lost films has now turned up and will be free to watch, provided you sign up for an upcoming virtual screening. The fascinating aspect about the film in question – Jacaranda Joe – is that it is a found-footage horror film that pre-dates 1999’s The Blair Witch Project by some five years, perhaps marking it one of the first entries, if not the first, into the genre.

The film reportedly uses documentary-style ‘found footage’ to explore the bigfoot legend, with the website Horror Studies, stating: ‘In June 1994, George Romero traveled to Valencia College in Florida to make a short film called Jacaranda Joe. It was a re-imagined version of a movie he’d tried to make in the 1970s called The Footage, about a TV show in which a famous athlete learns to hunt alongside a handful of experienced outdoorsmen that stumbles onto a bigfoot community. But while that story was entirely focused on the film shoot, with the footage never actually being seen by anyone (one version ends with the bigfeet throwing the film reels into the air like streamers), Jacaranda Joe takes place after a clip from a similar TV show has leaked out. It was very much a proto-found footage movie, about which Romero told a local paper that he “wants to know if audiences can be scared by a documentary format.” But it was also pre-Blair Witch Project, and so that footage makes up only a few seconds of the running time.’

Thanks to Movieweb for reporting this.

You can register for free to see the film, which will premiere on April 12th at 11PM UK time. There will also be a Q&A with a crew member from the shoot. All you have to do is follow the link to this website. 

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