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Urban Legend (1998)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  25 September 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 45,785 users   Metascore: 35/100
Reviews: 424 user | 101 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A college student suspects a series of bizarre deaths are connected to certain urban legends.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gord Martineau ...
Kay Hawtrey ...
Library Attendant
Angela Vint ...
Bitchy Girl


After a bravura opening sequence featuring Natasha Gregson Wagner getting slaughtered by the killer with an ax hiding in the backseat of her car, Urban Legend tells the story of a group of pretty college students at a remote New England university. The focus of the story is Natalie, a beautiful, academically-gifted student at the fictional Pendleton University. Natalie and her friends are all involved in the Folklore class being taught by Professor Wexler. Wexler regales his class with urban legends, which include Pendleton's own urban legend about a Psych professor who murdered six students at Stanley Hall 25 years ago. Natalie is the first one to suspect there's a killer on campus, especially after she has ties to all of the victims. First, it's her high school friend, a guy she's in the woods with at night, her roommate... No one, including her friends, Wexler, Dean Adams and security guard, of course, believes her until it's too late and everyone begins to die according to famous ... Written by K. Wilson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Just because it didn't happen, doesn't mean it can't See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for horror violence/gore, language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 September 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Urban Legends  »

Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,515,444 (USA) (25 September 1998)


£1,146,110 (UK) (19 March 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the end of the movie, students from an unnamed college recount the movie's events as an urban legend. They joke about the tale's validity, and one says, "And I bet Brenda was the girl from the Noxzema commercials." Actress Rebecca Gayheart, who plays Brenda in the film, did indeed appear in several commercials for Noxzema. See more »


In the opening sequence, near the end the woman is driving away and the vehicle is moving at high speed along the road, yet when the axe crashes through the window, the vehicle is sitting still. This is impossible; a stop that abrupt would have sent anyone not wearing a seat belt through the windshield and regardless, it would have taken some time for the car to come to a complete stop anyway. See more »


Professor William Wexler: Had those before?
Brenda: Yeah. They're Pop Rocks; they crackle in your mouth.
Professor William Wexler: Eat some... thirsty?... What's wrong? Something you might have heard about mixing Pop Rocks and Soda?
Brenda: Well, supposedly, your stomach and your intestines and everything bursts.
See more »


Referenced in Joy Ride (2001) See more »


I Don't Want to Wait
Written & Performed by Paula Cole
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Derivative addition to the Scream cycle, with a good solution to the mystery.
4 December 2003 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

Yet another film to capitalise on the hunger for cynical, humorous slasher movies with whodunnit asides in the late '90s (started by Wes Craven's Scream), Urban Legend is a fairly entertaining but wholly derivative example of the genre. The "murderer-at-large-on-a-college-campus" formula was quite popular during the original period of slasher movies in the early '80s (movies like Pieces and Happy Birthday To Me spring to mind). This update is more polished, more logical and generally more watchable.

Violent murders begin to take place a college in North America. Many of the murders are based on urban legends (popular spook-stories bandied about by word-of-mouth). First to go is a young girl driving her car through a rainswept night. An axeman leaps up from the back seat and chops her to pieces, in a terrific opening sequence which will have you checking the back seat of your car for the next month or two. From then on, it's generally a downhill ride as more and more of the college staff and students are picked off by a hooded killer. A kid goes for a pee in the woods and is hanged for his trouble; a teenged DJ is hacked apart in her studio; the college principle is run down by a car; the resident wise-ass has an unhealthy variety of toxic products poured down his throat. You get the idea, I'm sure.

Many films of this type are awful Where Urban Legend remains tolerable lies in its all-round competence. The scary moments are quite well filmed and are genuinely nerve-jangling at times. The mystery, though contrived, manages to keep you guessing as the finger of suspicion falls upon virtually every character at some point. I must admit that the killer's identity is so well disguised that it caught me out (even though I usually figure out whodunnit in films of this type). Urban Legend is no classic, nor is it particularly fresh, but it does what it does decently enough. It certainly beats the hell out of the excrutiating low-budget exploitation items from the early '80s upon which it is based.

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Any GOOD movies with female serial killers/psychos/socio paths? emaxwell1313
Remake rorrocalling
What was the class being taught? danfaz94
most stupid part of the movie alvaro2908
Who did you think the killer is? takooisi-1
So good...but the sequels davidreynolds22
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