A folklorist researching an 'urban legend' becomes caught up in his task. The film tells its fictional story in documentary style, featuring interviews with real folklore scholars.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Professor Pulling
Bill Ellis ...
Himself - Professor, Penn State University
Carl Lindahl ...
Himself - Professor, University of Houston
Hélène Patarot ...
The Mama-San (as Helene Patarot)
Heathcote Williams ...
Monica Slotte ...
Bengt af Klintberg ...
Marie Selander ...
Paul Ross ...
Michael Goss ...
Himself - Folklorist (as Mick Goss)
Rita Davies ...
Mara Cattermole-Schmenner
Bob Sherman ...
Janet Langlois ...
Herself - Washington State University


A folklorist researching an 'urban legend' becomes caught up in his task. The film tells its fictional story in documentary style, featuring interviews with real folklore scholars.

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Release Date:

17 December 1994 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Weird Shit Happens  »

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User Reviews

"Urban Legends are Disgusting!!!"
4 September 2001 | by (East Kilbride, Scotland) – See all my reviews

'W.S.H' unfolded on the premise that - as the chief protagonist yells in a wood in the first scene - "Urban legends are disgusting!". Indeed, the many dramatised 'ULs' that follow emphasise the point; A major(fictional)cake company is almost brought to its knees by the fact that a male worker has been putting his own brand of cream into their 'Mary Jane Banana Cream Pies'; the protagonist, a reporter and UL researcher is hired by the company chairman to investigate - apparently blissfully unaware that he too is endangered by another form of food contamination (a meal he consumed early in the film contained squid eggs which hatch and gestate within him.)

Legends are retold by voxpop participants at intermittent points in the film. We hear the famous one about the couple whose 'Batman and Robin' love-game lands them in hospital. We then hear a variation on the latter, where a man is tied, face down and naked, to a bed by a girl who has brought him home to her place, only to have two gay men - dressed as Batman and Robin - step out of a cupboard in the room and have their way with him.

We also see supposedly genuine securicam footage of a fast-food restaurant worker relieving himself into the staff coffee-pot. The film's finale sees the baby squid emerge from the reporter's mouth in a spray of ink and blood. Other common, modern and twisted myths are mentioned and dramatised. The film was originally aired by the BBC - on their BBC2 channel - in October 1992 as part of a 'Weird Night'. Other highlights of this theme-night included a slightly unsettling, though factual, 'Fortean Review of the Year', narrated by Scots actor Tom Conti - a spooky high-point being a brief overview of the Gloria Ramirez case - and a sad,lump-in-the-throat-inducing documentary on the last ever performances of the last ever carnival-freak-show in the US. The 'Fire' episode from the first X-Files series was also screened that night.

'WSH' has not been repeated on the BBC since 'Weird Night' - it has not even been granted, but merits, a video release. It was, is a far superior exposition of urban mythology than the two recent slasher movies in the 'Urban Legend' franchise. Weird s**t certainly does happen, so maybe we can expect the BBC to actually repeat a programme that deserves to be re-screened.

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