Natalie and her gang of college friends are just a bunch of normal college kids. That is until people they know start getting killed and, weird, they all seem to have something to do with urban legends. Despite her warnings, no one believes her and her friends get picked off one by one. Can she stop the killer before it’s too late? Find out in… Urban Legend.
How?! Natalie and her friends at college are shocked when a classmate is murdered. Little do they know that Natalie has a dark secret connection to that classmate (bum bum bum) and soon finds herself amidst a series of bizarre deaths that seem to mimic the urban legends she’s learning about in her urban legends class (you know, that class you take in college… the one all about urban legends). No one believes her though and she begins to suspect everyone. As she tries to shake off the feeling that she’s going crazy her reporter friend Paul starts to take interest in the story when he finds that all the information about their school’s very own urban legend has been scrubbed from the records. Whiffing a conspiracy, he helps Natalie try to make headway, but is soon kicked off the newspaper for his efforts. Despondent and scared, Natalie goes to a party only to have the murders kick up a notch. She attempts to escape with Paul and her friend Brenda but soon starts to suspect Paul and they run away. This all leads back to the school’s spooky abandoned dorm where it’s revealed that Brenda was behind it all! She was the girlfriend of the guy who Natalie and her friend ran off the road with an urban legend prank (who among us…). For revenge she has killed everyone around Natalie and saved her for last. But just as she is going to do it Paul shows up (and really doesn’t do much) but then the school security guard shows up and saves the day. In the end we see Natalie and Paul rushing to get help, only to have to subdue a still-not-dead Brenda (or do they? Bum bum bum). THE END.
Why?! Eventually the motive for the crimes are made abundantly clear through an exposition scene that I think was supposed to play as satire. Brenda even has a projector there to help her explain her motives to Natalie/The Audience. Natalie isn’t purely an audience surrogate, though, she has that whole backstory about killing someone that explains why she’s so paranoid. It’s actually a wild plot point considering you are shown the flashback of their “prank” where they literally are laughing and laughing and laughing like crazy people as they run a dude off the road. It’s weird. The whole film is bizarre at times.
Who?! I think the most notable thing about the cast of this film was the inclusion of Robert Englund aka Freddy Krueger. It’s more than a cameo considering he’s one of the main suspects throughout the film. Interesting inclusion here since unlike what he was famous for this film never spawned a “Jason” or even a “Ghostface.” Kinda botched the monster/killer really.
What?! For any horror film you have to look to the motif. Jason has his mask and machete. Freddy his knives and striped shirt/fedora combo. Mike Myers has the mask. And Urban Legends has the… weird winter coat that everyone seems to own? It’s super lame and the closest thing they got to a distinctive weapon was an ax. Yawn.
Where?! New Hampshire! Where were you when we were doing What Goes Up for that one on mapl.de.map? This is delightfully set in the Granite State and I loved it for it. It’s very clear, but doesn’t play a huge role in the plot other than the note that the types of urban legends that are discussed in the film often start with “At a college in the Northeast…” B+
When?! We do get an exact date on this one as the date of the big party. It’s April 23rd or thereabouts… oddly clear in the film and yet noted no where on the internet (and while crazy, I won’t be renting the movie again to get the exact date). Trust me, though, it was not really all that important of a date other than the fact that it was exact… oh so very exact. B.
This movie is traaaaaash. The acting is terrible and the writing seems like they fished a dusty old slasher script out of a drawer and rewrote the bare minimum to make it a “super cool meta” Scream knockoff. The best that you can say is that they seemed to be having fun while they made it and it’s way better than the sequel. I really didn’t like this movie, but after watching the second one I was getting a bit nostalgic for all the great times I had loving, learning, and learning to love again with my dear friend Urban Legend. But don’t be tricked! This movie is terrible. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! We watched not one, but two Urban Legends. Did I ever tell you about the time I was driving home and then it turned out there was an escaped serial killer in the back seat? True story, he chopped my head clean off. Let’s get into it!
P’s View on the Preview – This one has been kicking around for a while (not least of which because it stars Pacey from Dawson’s Creek), and it is nice to complete another slasher franchise, albeit only two films, in the course of BMT. The only thing I think I ever really knew about it is it’s a knockoff of Scream. And the preview … yeah, it seems like that was the consensus at the time, that this is a knockoff of Scream and therefore bad. Well guess what? As long as I’m spooky scared, I’ll be happy. What were my expectations? A knockoff of Scream. The trailer also looks super late 90s, so I was hoping for a bit of amazing 90s fashion. If it is at all scary I think its a success.
The Good – Uhhhhhhhhhhh. Hm. I think there is a place for the true blue teen slasher film. I like the setting of the college campus, and even recently that ends up as a solid setting for a slasher film (and likely the reason Happy Death Day uses it as a setting as well). I think despite the film becoming a bit of a muddle in production, I really liked the look of the killer with the big winter coat. Something about killers and winter storms (a la Whiteout) works real well for me. Additionally, unlike the sequel they at least drew on some real urban legends, so some of those were good to see on film at least. And finally, I think this is probably the best I’ve seen Tara Reid in a film, she was surprisingly good considering she became somewhat of a punchline soon after. Best Bit: The killer’s design.
The Bad – The film is maybe the least scary slasher I’ve ever seen. And they completely telegraph the killer’s identity to boot. It is like an episode of Psych (or choose some equivalent generic murder mystery show), the main character has a dark secret, she killed a high school boy by accident in an urban legend prack gone wrong. Do you see it? Can you guess who the killer is? That’s right, the high school boy’s girlfriend! And of the cast only one person fits the description and voila, you have your killer 45 minutes into the film. As one would expect, the acting is really bad, and it isn’t well served by the muddled production, plus most of the characters are just garbage humans, making them hard to root for. Fatal Flaw: Predictable and not scary.
The BMT – I think as a twosome the Urban Legend franchise has a lot going for it in BMT history. You have the one-two punch of knocking off both Scream and Scream 2. You have a great concept completely ruined by half-assed production. And you have maybe the least scary two slasher films I’ve seen in a long while. Throw in the sequel being a twin flm and you’re cooking with fire! Did it meet my expectations? For enjoyment? No, the film is not scary and sucks. For a bad film? I guess … it is really bad. Like I-want-to-paint-a-portrait-of-this-film bad. So there is a lot of BMT-ness, just not a lot of “hey watch this movie, it’s hilarious”-ness.
Roast-radamus – Very nice Product Placement (What?) for Pepsi. Just wait until you see this section for the sequel, can anyone say trouble in paradise? Solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for the fictional college town of Melbourne, New Hampshire. And a pretty awful Worst Twist (How?) for oooooh nooo my BFF turns out to be a psycho ex-girlfriend of the person I accidentally killed! I think this is closest to Bad in the end.
StreetCreditReport.com – It doesn’t make a huge impact on lists. Honestly, I’m not exactly sure, seems like at least some critics would just hate slashers in general. This probably makes so expanded lists for worst 90s slashers. But overall the credit is fully from that Scream knockoff genre that popped up in the late 90s. This series, unlike I Know What You Did Last Summer, is unabashedly a Scream carbon copy, all the way down to a meta narrative playing off of slashers in general. And in the end if you are at all a fan of the Scream franchise this is worth checking out in that context.
I’ll have to leave that here since the Bring a Friend and Twin Analyses will be for the main film watched this week in Urban Legends: Final Cut.