Urban Legend

December 10, 2015 at 1:41 am (7 Heads, Urban Legend) (, , , , , , )

Urban Legend – 1998 – United States

At the old, gothic, perpetually rainy Pendleton University in New Hampshire, students are murdered in elaborate rituals imitating urban legends. To prevent bad publicity, campus administrators conceal the murders. A student attempts to stop the killer after she discovers her friends are being targeted.

Urban Legend offers plentiful references to urban legends. The Killer in the Backseat, Bloody Mary, The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs, Soda and Pop Rocks, The Boyfriend’s Death, The Flashing Headlights Gang Initiation, Aren’t You Glad You Didn’t Turn on the Light?, The Kidney Thieves, and (most ludicrously) The Microwaved Pet all make an appearance. These are just the tip of the iceberg. The characters discuss lesser known urban legends in practically every scene. The legend of The Hook is notably absent, probably because it figured so prominently in I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997).

Outside of its novel premise, Urban Legend is another slasher film for teenage audiences. It is a competent effort, but it fits a little too comfortably in its genre. Dumb sex-obsessed students party and are bumped off in gruesome ways. There are elements of a whodunit. Is the killer the quirky folklore professor, the ambitious reporter, the creepy janitor, or none of the above? The twist ending is surprising, but illogical.

Robert Englund (of A Nightmare on Elm Street fame), and Brad Dourif (of Child’s Play fame) have minor roles. Clips from Foxy Brown (1974) are shown. There is also a reference to the Little Mikey television ad for Life cereal.

Rating: 7/10 Shrunken Heads. A dog drinks from a beer bong.

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