Urban Legend (1998)
Director: Jamie Blanks
A serial killer is murdering a bunch of disposable teens at a college campus. But this slash man is a tad special, his kills are set up to emulate popular urban legends. Will Jared Leto save the day with his impeccable hair?
A direct result of Scream’s success. Is it good? Well, it's very "Scream" like without the wit or intelligence. All the slasher trademarks are here: The guy that walks miles away from the car to take a leak, the killer’s token costume (a winter coat with a puffy hood), the creepy custodian that knows things, the horny teens that get dispatched, a whodunit that will baffle your brain and a killer that never dies. I had big problems with the killer’s costume. It seems that everybody and their bitch owned one of those ugly hooded winter coats. There’s even a girl who shows up at the school’s pool with the hood on…isn’t the weather hot there? I mean everybody else is wearing light clothing! My second problem with the film is the revealing of the killer. He/she not only goes through the typical "I’m the killer and that’s why I did it" monologue but he/she also had his/her hair done differently for the unveiling and resorts to a slide show to explain his/her motive (I’m f--king serious).
Apart from that, Urban Legend delivers a creative premise, some kool deaths, some light suspense, a hot Danielle Harris getting the goods doggy style bit, a nice stalk sequence, rare moments of wit (Dawson Creek in joke, and Noxzema in joke), some good directing and a kick arse opening murder. Too bad that in the end the film is dragged down by its stupidity. Haven’t I seen this movie before?
Some ok stuff, my favs being the "Drano" boy and the microwave dog. The violence is more implied than shown…
Jared Leto (Paul) does good, I’m happy he broke free of the teen genre. He’s a good actor and I’d rather see him in Fight Club or American Psycho than teen flicks. Alicia Witt (Nat) does OK as the Neve Campbell wannabe but her tops are not loose enough. Two kind of people exist in this world: People that like Rebecca Gayheart’s (Brenda) acting and people that don’t…I don’t. Joshua Jackson (Damon) shows up long enough to slap a few laughs in the flick and Tara Reid (Sasha) to show her ample cleavage bobble has she runs. We also get Danielle Harris (Tosh) acting like a beeyatch, having sex with too much makeup, Robert Englund (William) acting till the next Freddy sequel and Loretta Devine (Reese) playing a character that will either warm up to you or annoy you. She annoyed me.
T & A
Did you hear about the lack of nudity in recent slasher offerings?
Blanks does good here. He has a handle on suspense, shows off with the camera, uses sound and silences brilliantly and has enough style for me to notice. I’m sure he’ll go places.
Some Rob Zombie, Sneaker Pimps…the tunes are good.
Maybe I’m a tad jaded. After Scream, Summer and every other cheap knockoff, Urban Legend doesn’t offer much originality. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an entertaining flick but it feels very deja vu and the ending drags it way down. If Scream is out at your video store and if you’re not in the mood for a lesbian porno…Urban Legend might be a suitable date for the evening. I said might…there’s always Vaseline…
If you look behind Natalie and Parker in the auditorium, you will see the writer Silvio Horta acting as a college student.
When Paul and Natalie walk into the hidden room in Wexler's office, a puppet of Freddy Krueger can be seen just before they see the axe. Robert Englund, who plays Wexler, played Freddy Krueger in Nightmare On Elm Street.
Brad Dourif has a wacky cameo.