IMDb > Urban Legend (1998)
Urban Legend
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Urban Legend (1998) More at IMDbPro »

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Urban Legend -- A college coed suspects that murders around her campus are connected to Urban Legends.

Overview

User Rating:
5.5/10   50,518 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 30% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer (WGA):
Silvio Horta (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Urban Legend on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 September 1998 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Get Ready To Face Your Worst Fears. See more »
Plot:
A college student suspects a series of bizarre deaths are connected to certain urban legends. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
If you liked the Scream and Last Summer movies make sure you don't miss this atmospheric thriller See more (433 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Jared Leto ... Paul Gardener

Alicia Witt ... Natalie Simon

Rebecca Gayheart ... Brenda Bates

Michael Rosenbaum ... Parker Riley

Loretta Devine ... Reese Wilson

Joshua Jackson ... Damon Brooks

Tara Reid ... Sasha Thomas

John Neville ... Dean Adams

Julian Richings ... Weird Janitor

Robert Englund ... Professor William Wexler

Danielle Harris ... Tosh Guaneri

Natasha Gregson Wagner ... Michelle Mancini
Gord Martineau ... David McAree
Kay Hawtrey ... Library Attendant
Angela Vint ... Bitchy Girl
J.C. Kenny ... Weather Woman

Vince Corazza ... David Evans (as Vince Corrazza)
Balázs Koós ... Nerdy Guy

Stephanie Anne Mills ... Felicia (as Stephanie Mills)

Danny Comden ... Blake
Nancy McAlear ... Jenny
Shawn Mathieson ... Hippie Guy

Clé Bennett ... Dorky Guy
Danielle Brett ... Trendy Girl

Roberta Angelica ... Swimming Woman

Matt Birman ... Killer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vanessa J. Daniel ... College student (uncredited)

Brad Dourif ... Michael McDonnell, gas station attendant (uncredited)

Silvio Horta ... College Student (uncredited)
Shalen Hutchings ... Extra (uncredited)
Lili Salman ... College student (uncredited)

Morgan Strebler ... College Student (uncredited)

Directed by
Jamie Blanks 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Silvio Horta (written by)

Produced by
Brad Luff .... executive producer
Gina Matthews .... producer
Michael McDonnell .... producer
Mike Medavoy .... CEO of Phoenix Pictures
Neal H. Moritz .... producer
Brian Leslie Parker .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Christopher Young 
 
Cinematography by
James Chressanthis 
 
Film Editing by
Jay Cassidy 
 
Casting by
Jon Comerford 
John Papsidera 
Lisa Parasyn 
 
Production Design by
Charles William Breen  (as Charles Breen)
 
Art Direction by
Benno Tutter 
 
Set Decoration by
Carolyn 'Cal' Loucks 
 
Costume Design by
Mary Claire Hannan 
 
Makeup Department
Sid Armour .... makeup artist
Nicole Demers .... assistant makeup artist
Leslie Ann Sebert .... makeup department head
 
Production Management
William H. Brown .... post-production supervisor (as Bill Brown)
Brian Leslie Parker .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sarah Campbell .... third assistant director
David McAree .... first assistant director
Michael McDonnell .... second unit director
Lorin Raine .... trainee assistant director
Jonathan Wright .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Carlos Caneca .... lead set dresser
Rossana DeCampo .... key scenic artist
David DeMarinis .... set dresser
Ron Dickie .... property master
Joanna Tracey Heaton .... art department coordinator
John MacNeil .... assistant art director
Jeffrey A. Melvin .... assistant property master
Igor Stephen Rados .... consultant: set design (segment: s)
Corinna Schmitt-Porsia .... assistant production coordinator
Jason Shultz .... storyboard artist
 
Sound Department
David W. Alstadter .... foley mixer
Christopher Assells .... sound editor
Karen Baker Landers .... supervising sound editor (as Karen M. Baker)
Bryan Bowen .... sound editor
Mark D. Fleming .... sound re-recording mixer: effects pre-dubs
Per Hallberg .... sound mixer
Per Hallberg .... supervising sound editor
Colin Jones .... boom operator
Mark L. Mangino .... sound editor
Tom Mather .... production sound mixer
Christian P. Minkler .... re-recording mixer
James Moriana .... foley artist (as Jimmy Moriana)
Philip D. Morrill .... assistant sound editor
Tony Negrete .... first assistant sound editor
Geoffrey G. Rubay .... sound effects editor
Melissa Sherwood Hofmann .... re-recording mixer
Mary Ruth Smith .... sound editor
Greg Steele .... adr mixer
Lauren Stephens .... dialogue editor
Lauren Stephens .... sound editor
Jeffrey Wilhoit .... foley artist (as Jeff Wilhoit)
Jeffrey Wilhoit .... supervising sound editor
Greg Zimmerman .... assistant sound editor
Drew Webster .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Daniel Gibson .... special effects key (as Dan Gibson)
Gary Kleinsteuber .... special effects first assistant
Brad Larkin .... special effects technician
Martin Malivoire .... special effects supervisor
Mark Rice .... special effects assistant
Peter Sissakis .... special effects technician
Dean Stewart .... special effects office administrator
 
Visual Effects by
Rob Blue .... digital artist
Brennan Prevatt .... digital compositor
Mark Savela .... visual effects producer
 
Stunts
Marco Bianco .... stunts
Matt Birman .... stunt coordinator
Shelley Cook .... stunts
Rick Forsayeth .... stunts
Brian Jagersky .... stunts
Erin Jarvis .... stunts
Jamie Jones .... stunts
Danny Lima .... stunts
C.J. Lusby .... stunts (as C.J. Fidler)
Dwayne McLean .... stunts
Regan Moore .... stunt rigger
Sue Parker .... stunts
Ken Quinn .... stunts
Alison Reid .... stunts
Paul Rutledge .... stunts
Tye Tyukodi .... stunts
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Allen .... gaffer
Paul Begin .... assistant camera
Laurence Bortnick .... second assistant camera
Rocky Brown .... crane grip
Roger Finlay .... camera operator: "b" camera
Carl Flood .... electrician
Michael Flood .... electrician
Mark W. Hindle .... video playback operator
Mark Hryma .... camera operator: Wescam camera
Ernie Kestler .... additional camera operator
Steve Kolodziej .... 24 frame video operator
Bruce Macaulay .... still photographer
John Medland .... still photographer
Christopher Nethercoat .... key rigging grip
Ted Overton .... first assistant camera: second camera
Peter Rosenfeld .... Steadicam operator
Peter Rosenfeld .... camera operator: "a" camera
John Trapman .... camera operator: Wescam camera
Greg Whiteside .... 24 frame video operator
Mark D. Acheson .... grip (uncredited)
A. David Burleigh .... video playback assistant (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Zameret Kleiman .... extras casting
Joanna Polley .... extras casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gloria Iglesias .... wardrobe production assistant
Sara Schilt .... assistant costume designer
 
Editorial Department
Lara Johnston .... assistant film editor: Canada
Dale Jones .... avid technical advisor/editor
Andrew Loschin .... first assistant film editor
Derrick Mitchell .... first assistant editor
Eric Rigney .... avid technician
Jim Schulte .... assistant editor
 
Location Management
Peter Boboras .... location manager
Chris Martin .... assistant location manager
 
Music Department
Pete Anthony .... conductor
Pete Anthony .... orchestrator
Frank Bennett .... orchestrator
Benedikt Brydern .... score coordinator
Elin Carlson .... chorus
Kevin Connolly .... musician
Sandy DeCrescent .... orchestra contractor
Monique Donnelly .... singer
Robert Fernandez .... scoring mixer
M.B. Gordy .... musician: Percussion
Tod Holcomb .... music editor
Jon Kull .... orchestrator
Elliot Lurie .... music supervisor
Larry Mah .... score mixer
William V. Malpede .... scoring coordinator
Jonathan Price .... score coordinator
Patrick Russ .... orchestrator
Marni Sanders .... copyist
Steven L. Smith .... music preparation
Richard Whitfield .... music editor
Gernot Wolfgang .... scoring assistant
Christopher Young .... orchestrator
 
Transportation Department
Lori Ann Bellefontaine .... driver
 
Other crew
Vicki Dee Rock .... production executive
Stephanie Keating .... unit publicist
Andrew Magarian .... acting coach
Ray McMillan .... front projectionist
Edgar Pablos .... assistant: Mr. Blanks
Susan Phillips .... production coordinator
Simone Stock .... assistant: Mr. McDonnell
Dave Tommasini .... helicopter pilot
Steve Woodley .... head animal trainer
Elaine Yarish .... script supervisor
Mark Zimoski .... synthesizer programmer
Robert Gardiner .... production assistant (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Rule" - Japan (English title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for horror violence/gore, language and sexual content
Runtime:
99 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
If you look behind Natalie and Parker in the auditorium, you will see the writer Silvio Horta acting as a college student.See more »
Goofs:
Plot holes: After the killer falls through the window at the end of the film, Natalie and Paul are seen immediately driving away. However, if they had truly just unmasked a serial killer, they would be taken to a police station in order to provide witness statements. In addition to this, no-one seems to acknowledge that the killer has fled the scene after falling out the window.See more »
Quotes:
Natalie:Someone's taking all of these urban legends, and making them reality.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Spook Show BabySee more »

FAQ

When was Wexler killed and how?
What legends were used on the victims?
What happened to Natalie and Paul at the end?
See more »
27 out of 48 people found the following review useful.
If you liked the Scream and Last Summer movies make sure you don't miss this atmospheric thriller, 15 December 2003
Author: timefreezer7 from Greece

A local college is being terrorized by brutal murders. The mysterious killer targets a certain group of friends who initially do not realize, or even ignore, the upcoming danger and fall prey to his clutches. They leave their rooms unlocked or go alone in the forest at night. The killer's main victim seems to be Natalie (Alicia Witt) a very typical gal, at least on the surface. The killer stalks her and harasses her continuously and Natalie not only tries to convince everyone about the danger in vain, but has to deal with melanic issues from her past. People soon start dropping like flies and Natalie and her friends are helpless before they all meet their fate. Many years before the incidents the college was rumored to have been plagued by an insane professor who flipped and invaded the students' dormitory killing many fraternity members at one single night. One of the few survivors is proven to be a sociopath weird janitor who is not willing to share his traumatic memories in order to help solving the mystery of this new killing spree. The murderer is much more than a freaked loser copycat who simply wants to rekindle the horror on the 25th anniversary of the alleged massacre, but has an obscure agenda.

Maybe all these plot elements sound stereotyped and nothing special. The premise of a horror movie localized in a college is as old as it gets and has been done to death (no pun intended). Nevertheless there is a special originality in this film. The killer's modus operandi follows a unique pattern of an urban legend methodology. You probably all know what an urban legend is. Folklore stories which are always laying on the verge of reality and myth. Usually they are scary crimes and everyone seems to know or have heard or have read a similar crime although no one seems to have actually enlisted specific names. Stories like these are usually typical frightening tales. One example is the poisoned candy children are frequently treated on Halloween by insane people. Another example is the seemingly normal father who mysteriously brutally slaughtered his entire family over one night, preferably by axe, and disappeared never to be heard of again. The screenwriter plays cleverly with all the cliches and the fears of the dark. The urban legends provide fertile ground for some genuinely original and shocking death scenes.

Urban Legend, despite an intriguing premise, cannot hide its origin. It is a typical 90's horror film mixed with a whodunit subplot, recognizable TV faces and plenty of gore. The film succeeds in being a memorable and above average effort but if you are set to watch it you are bound to find all the stupid overused themes a teeny bopper provides (without nudity though: that is the determinant between 80's and 90's). There are plot holes the size of a volcano crater. For example the police officers are so dim witted that they regard a clearly obvious strangulation which would probably have left distinct bruises on the victim's neck as a suicide. Moreover why, oh why don't they send officers during the climactic tragic events after all those murders. I can accept the fact that the phone lines were dead but couldn't someone just go and ask for help? When they do arrive it is far too late. The cast was also over-crowded and it was obvious that the protagonists were nothing more than screen fillers. It is too bad since their acting skills, which seemed promising, were withheld. For example Jared Leto and Michael Rosenbaum are Paul and Parker respectively. Although the film starts off interestingly with equal screen time, Natalie soon wins the absolute focus and their roles are so small that they end up being extras. Things are even worse for Brenda (Rebecca Gayheart) and Sasha (Tara Reid) who also had shrunken roles and are wandering pretty faces waiting in line to be sliced and diced. Although the suspects are many, the final revelation of the killer is weak, the motives even weaker and of course we have the inevitable cat-lived nature of the killer-who-refuses-to-die escorted by the predictable cliffhanger epilogue with the "TO BE SEQUELED" sign.

An extra detrimental element is the presence of Alicia Witt in an especially important role. Her acting is not awful but it is definitely misguided and fails. Witt is way too calm to convince as a realistic character. After a certain point it is clear that her psychopath stalker has not only killed her friends, but is after her, and she doesn't even show a trace of panic. She DOES try of course to warn the bonehead authorities and she does a little research on the urban legends. The bad thing is that even in the gruesome finale she doesn't seem to fear the maniac even a little bit and even worse she is not the willing-to-fight heroine that Sidney Prescott in Scream was. Now I don't want to be misunderstood, I wasn't looking for Jamie Lee Curtis's overblown vocal pipes but she could have more human reactions, especially after the deaths of her friends. It's as though Natalie had read the victim list and knew that she had a contractual commitment to survive until the end. The only one of the main characters with some substance is Joshua Jackson as Damon. This guy is a derivative from other horror films and strikes as a cardboard cutout: a prankster who teases his friends and is slightly horny. At least Damon has a certain and sensible persona and Jackson is adequate. The funniest aspect of the film is that the cameos are far more successful and memorable than the leads!! Danielle Harris in a short role is the quite trendy Gothic young diva who is the incarnation of the Lust sin, the aged John Neville is the strict and by the rules Dean of the University and Brad Dourif gives an excellent performance in a role which I won't reveal. The best of them is Robert Englund as the clever and a bit creepy Professor who teaches folklore and introduces his students to the urban legends. Professor Wexler seems to be the chief suspect for this horrific situation and although there are sporadic hints throughout the film which point to other directions, Englund virtually dominates the screen even with his absence!!! Of course I won't omit Loretta Devine as Reese the guardian of the University who is very funny and adds the necessary comic relief. Who could have thought? A woman and indeed a black one as the cop/protector. It is another attempt to break a few cliches. Well done casting directors.

Apart from some good performances Urban Legend has many other assets. The opening sequence alone was enough to keep me hooked on as I realized I would watch a great film. The rainy frames and the professional shooting with the distant take angles is enough to pose the threatening tone and warn us about what is to follow. The introductory scene is a stand alone masterpiece. The killer here doesn't have a costume but hides under a winter jacket with a cowl and this gives a realistic touch and a difficulty in pinpointing the culprit since many people have the same type of jacket. The best part of Urban Legend is the setting and the cinematography. The university buildings are bulky and old enough to support a medieval atmosphere which excites our imagination. Further, these baroque aged buildings give a much more scary climate and ensure that no matter how much they run, the protagonists will never get away since the corridors are so long that probably no one is going to hear them scream. But the greatest virtue is the photography which was dreary and gave a sense of a documentary style. The best example to describe the stigma the director tried to pull off are the library scenes. The leads are in a situation reminiscent of the Name of the Rose (lacking the religious undertones of course!!!) and are trapped in an infernal game they cannot escape. The whole point of view of the movie is clearly cinematic and the imaging techniques are much supportive. As I aforementioned the death scenes are fascinating and catapult the adrenaline to heights. Although the character development is bare you feel sorry for the victims (well, OK, for most of them). One surprise follows another as the body count increases.

It comes as a great disappointment therefore that after a chilling 90 minutes period, the last 30 minutes go downhill. The action is very weak, the suspense retreats and we are left with overacting, inept and predictable "plot twists," inadequate explanations and a rather disappointing climax . I mean how could anyone not wonder why the maniac wouldn't just kill Natalie and get over with this revenging mission instead of doing this wild carnage. So be warned: the last half hour is extremely disappointing. Thus, if you are a horror fan who wants an entertaining thriller Urban Legend is a good shot. Despite some letdowns Urban Legend is yet another landmark in 90's horror genre.

URBAN LEGEND - 8 / 10

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