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Urban Legend (1998)

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

Director:

Jamie Blanks

Writer:

Silvio Horta
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Popularity
4,667 ( 98)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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. No one, including her friends, Wexler, Dean Adams and security guard, of course, believes her until it's too late. Now she finds that she and her friends are part of the killer's ultimate urban legend. Written by K. Wilson [edited for spoilers]

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Urban legends can kill See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | France | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Urban Legends See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,515,444, 27 September 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$38,072,438

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$34,455,157
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bloody writing on the wall, "Aren't You Glad You Didn't Turn on the Light?" was used in the episode "Hook Man" during the first season of "Supernatural". See more »

Goofs

When the girl is trying to escape from the gas station attendant at the gas station, she drives off with the pump still in the gas tank. The next shot of her vehicle shows a rear shot of the SUV and the gas cap is screwed back into the gas tank. See more »

Quotes

Sasha: Parker, why do you always have to be such a jerk?
Parker: I was just messing around.
Sasha: Look, I'm gonna go to the radio station, okay?
Parker: Hey. Who's my girl? Who's my girl?
Parker: [Sasha blows him a kiss before leaving the party] That's my girl!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version of the film shown on the USA network keeps onscreen violence to a minimum. All violence is shown very quickly, while the sound effects during killings have been removed entirely, and any shots of a dead body have been trimmed to show only a flash of what the body looks like. See more »

Connections

References Foxy Brown (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Every Day
Performed by Adam Hamilton
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Good premise wasted in tepid horror film
29 September 1998 | by chainsaw-8See all my reviews

The days of low-budget slasher films appear to be back with Urban Legend, a mildly entertaining but mostly lame variation on Scream with an attractive cast of young TV stars.

The plot centers on a series of campus murders in the mold of urban legends, most of which will be familiar even to the younger audience this is pandering to. What little suspense there is comes from the anticipation of these scenes, since the surrounding story is almost as ridiculous as the film itself.

If the screenwriters had concentrated less on incorporating the whodunit aspect into the plot and more on the legends themselves, they might have had something here. Experienced viewers will spot the killer's identity (and motive) early on, and those that don't will be fooled only because the conclusion is so completely ludicrous, not to mention mostly impossible.

Of course, most of this would be easily overlooked if Urban Legend was scary, but time and again, director Jamie Banks telegraphs the surprises far ahead, and doesn't know how to time the shocks. Over and over we get the sudden burst of loud music followed by a character running into another character, but it doesn't work. And that gets annoying after the third or fourth try. Occasionally Banks does get something eerie going, but the style is more suited to an action flick.

Of the cast, most of the actors more or less get by despite a less-than-clever script, though it's disheartening to see a talented young actor like Jared Leto wasting his time with a nothing role as the reporter. Horror favorites Robert Englund and Brad Douriff pop up in cameos, adding a nice touch to their brief scenes.

What we're left with is an intriguing idea undone by cliche after cliche. The legends are potent enough to hold your attention to the end, and horror fans will find a few gruesome goodies to amuse themselves. And even though the script needs to be about three times again as clever as it is, there is a great in-joke at the end about one of the actresses and a commercial.

That clever scene might have been the first scene of a clever movie. It's the last scene of this one.


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