The killer's outfit is based on the fact that the film was originally planned to be set in the middle of winter. When the weather was too warm, it was decided to drop the winter aspect of the storyline, rather than fake snow in all the outdoor scenes, and dress all of the extras in winter outfits, but they kept the killer's costume.
When Paul and Natalie walk into the hidden room in Professor William Wexler's office, a puppet of Freddy Krueger can be seen just before they see the axe. Robert Englund, who played Professor William Wexler, played Freddy Krueger in the "A Nightmare on Elm Street" film franchise.
The SUV driven in the beginning, was originally supposed to be a Land Rover. It was changed to the Ford Expedition (the largest 4x4 available at the time), because the filmmakers discovered they couldn't swing an axe inside of a Land Rover.
Brenda is seen wearing a blue ribbon around her neck at the end of the film, as this is a minor reference to another urban legend about a girl whose head falls off if she removes the ribbon around her neck.
Joshua Jackson (Damon Brooks) cranks his car before he takes Natalie to "that" spot in the woods. When it cranks, the radio plays Paula Cole's "I Don't Want to Wait" from Dawson's Creek (1998) also starring Jackson.
Filmed at the same university as "Killer Party" (1986), another campus-set slasher. Incidentally, both films feature a costume party at a fraternity, characters being targeted by a masked killer, and an urban legend about murder at an abandoned dormitory.
The last name of Natasha Gregson Wagner's character is "Mancini". Don Mancini is the name of the writer of all of the "Child's Play/Chucky" films, and the other actor that is featured in the beginning of the film, Brad Dourif, does the voice of Chucky.
The film's conception was inspired by the huge success of "Scream" (1996), and whereas that film was a self-aware satire of horror film tropes, this one is a self-aware satire on urban legends. The film's negative reception was a result of many critics finding the film to have been an imitation of "Scream".
This film co-starred two of Hollywood's most iconic mass murderers. Brad Dourif, who portrays Chucky in the "Child's Play/Chucky" film franchise, and Robert Englund, who played Freddy Krueger in the "A Nightmare on Elm Street" film franchise.
Danielle Harris (Tosh) was a smoker at the time and thrilled to be allowed to smoke while working. She quickly realized that shooting scenes while smoking meant that she was going to have to smoke cigarettes for hours all day while they shot. She eventually got sick of it and quit smoking.
At the end when students are recounting the events and one comments "Yeah and Brenda was the girl from the Noxema commercial " - Rebecca Gayheart (Brenda) WAS the Noxema girl in the commercials at that time.
Urban legends which are referenced include: Referenced A caller to Sasha's radio show states that she replaced her roommate's birth control pills with baby aspirin. A caller to Sasha's radio show asks about having her stomach pumped after performing oral sex and ingesting semen. A couple suffering from penis captivus call in to Sasha's radio show. Professor Wexler discusses the babysitter and the man upstairs legend during his lecture, and Brenda claims it happened in her hometown. Parker suggests placing spider eggs in Bubble Yum as the killer's next move.
At the end of the film, students along with a surviving Brenda from an unnamed college recount the film'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." Rebecca Gayheart, who played Brenda in the film, did indeed appear in several commercials for Noxzema.
It is revealed that Brenda committed the murders to avenge the death of her fiancé, who was killed in a car accident. In real life, actress Rebecca Gayheart, who portrayed Brenda, pleaded no contest when she was charged with vehicular manslaughter after she struck and killed a 9-year-old boy with her car. Mirroring the repercussions Natalie faces after the incident, Gayheart was given three years probation.
As this film was heavily influenced by the "Scream" franchise, several scenes in the film are reminiscent of the first two films. The scene where Parker is taunting the killer over the phone about the urban legend he thinks is being recreated is lifted from the first "Scream" (1996), both film's killers even use a voice synthesizer. Sasha's death scene where she is being chased in the radio station is directly lifted from "Scream 2" (1997). Reese Wilson's character is also partly influenced by Dewey Riley, a cop character, from the series. This lead to the film being accused of ripping off the "Scream" films.
Michelle is murdered by the killer in the backseat. This legend is also referenced by various people looking at the backseat or talking about it. Coverage of Michelle's murder in the university newspaper is covered up by the dean, referencing the "University cover-up of campus murder," and the subsequent fears of the students reference the "Hatchet man" legend, which has an unnamed killer targeting college campuses at random. The origins of the latter have been traced to serial killer Richard Speck. Brenda and Natalie attempt to invoke Bloody Mary at the entrance to Stanley Hall. Professor Wexler suggests eating Pop Rocks and drinking soda at the same time. The death of Little Mikey from this is mentioned by Brenda. The killer later re-enacts this legend on Parker, substituting soda with cleaning chemicals. Damon is hanging from a tree while Natalie is waiting in the car below. Gangs driving with their headlights turned off, pursuing the first driver to flash them and running him off the road, is mentioned by Sasha in the library. It is later revealed that Natalie and Michelle did this, killing a young man; it is subsequently re-enacted by the killer on Natalie and the janitor and finally revealed as central to the killer's motive. Natalie finds her roommate strangled to death next to her with the note "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the light?" The "ankle slasher under the car" legend is re-enacted on Dean Adams. A guest at the fraternity party claims that the song "Love Rollercoaster" contains a real murder scream; meanwhile, Sasha screams for her life on air during her radio broadcast. Parker finds the remains of his dog in the microwave, resembling the "Old Lady dries wet dog in microwave" legend. Brenda attempts to re-enact the "kidney heist" (organ theft) on Natalie.