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Urban Legend (DVD)

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      23.05.2010 12:58
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      Same old, same old

      Following the death of a young girl who was hacked to death by a murderer hiding in the back of her car, Natalie, who knew the murdered girl, is at University, taking a course about urban legends. This includes the story of the University's own legend - that of a professor who killed six of his students. Natalie believes that her friend's death was related to one of the urban legends and, after another murder, comes to the conclusion that a serial killer is echoing urban legends. No-one believes her at first, but as the body count starts to grow, her friends, Paul and Brenda, begin to realise that there might just be some truth in what she says. Natalie, meanwhile, believes that the killer is after her- and it could just be related to something she did in the past. Can she and her friends stay safe? Or will the killer eventually catch up with Natalie.

      Directed by Jamie Blanks, this 1998 film is often brushed aside as just another slasher film - and that is for a good reason, it is just another slasher film. The only real difference with the story is that it is based around a series of common urban legends, rather than just the one legend that most slashers are based on. Nevertheless, if you like the odd scare, a bit of mystery and lots of gore, you can't go too far wrong with Urban Legend - provided that your expectations aren't too high.

      Alicia Witt plays the lead role of Natalie and she is perfectly competent in the role. The fact that she looks great doesn't hurt either. She perhaps overdoes the terror towards the beginning of the film, but, as it happens, it is called for and her reactions improve during the course of the film. There isn't much character development throughout the film, so she doesn't have much of an opportunity to show off anything other than how to look terrified, but then, this is a slasher and character development isn't really necessary. The same can be said for Rebecca Gayheart, who plays Brenda. She is a little more smug than Natalie and appears to have a bit more about her, but ultimately, her main characteristic is looking scared out of her mind.

      Tara Reid (American Pie) is one of the more familiar faces in the film as a friend of Natalie's. Her character isn't that different from the one in American Pie (although Urban Legend came first), so she doesn't really bring anything exciting to the table. Jared Leto, who is top billed, plays Paul, but is largely disappointing. He's smug and way too suave to be likable, although he's supposed to be playing the hero of the piece. He could have been interchanged with almost any good looking Hollywood actor and it wouldn't have made much difference. The only other role worth mentioning is Robert Englund as Natalie's Professor - it's not that he is particularly outstanding, it was just good to see him as someone else other than Freddie Krueger.

      If you're looking for scares, there are a few, although the build up to them is not as effective as it could be. At the beginning of the film when the girl is murdered by a mad axe man in the back, it is obvious from quite some time beforehand that this is what is going to happen, so it isn't really something that is going to make you jump. The same goes for the other murders; a little less preparation beforehand would have made everything much more scary - we even get to see pictures of a couple of the murders before they've happened. It is a budget horror, but that isn't much of an excuse for the pacing. There are a few false alarms, where the viewer is led to believe that something awful is about to happen and then it doesn't. These generally fall a bit flat, so don't add anything to the film as a whole. Thankfully, there are a couple of twists towards the end that keep the viewer's attention before the desire to give up becomes too strong.

      The fact that it is a budget horror comes out strongly with regard to the special effects. The gore really isn't that noticeable, because most of the deaths are seen from a distance, or are represented by pools of blood and a quick flash of the dead person's face. This shouldn't really be a criticism, except that it does make the characters even less of a person than they were before, so the viewer is left not really caring that someone has just died. Having said that, it is better than having to watch poor special effects. There is a classification of 18 on the film; this is perhaps a bit over the top, but certainly the content means that it is unfit for children under 15.

      There are a few special features, including the usual theatrical trailer and filmographies of the main actors and actresses. The behind-the-scenes featurette doesn't really give the insight into the film that I was hoping for. It is only a few minutes long and basically retells the story, with the odd clips of interviews with the actors. It's more of an advert for the movie than it is an explanation of what went on behind the scenes. Finally, there's an audio commentary for those who want to sit through the film while someone the director explains scene by scene why the film is presented in the way it is.

      I don't think anyone is going to watch this film expecting a masterpiece. However, if you're after something that doesn't involve a lot of thinking, with some blood and gore thrown in, then it's worth a watch. Just don't expect to see anything original and you won't be too disappointed. Just make sure that there aren't any children around while you are watching. Recommended to horror fans, three stars out of five.

      The DVD is available from play.com for £3.99.

      Classification: 18

      Running time: 99 minutes

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        09.11.2009 00:48
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        Modern slasher film to rival Scream

        In 1996 Wes Craven resurrected the slasher horror genre and gave it a whole new style with Scream . It was a priceless combination of horror, mystery and teen comedy that went on to not only spawn 2 (and an upcoming third) sequels but many other films in the same style feeding off its success. In 1997 we had I Know What You Did Last Summer and then in 1998 came the only copy cat that came close to rivalling Scream - Urban Legend .

        The film starts in the with a bit of spooky music and some rainy weather as a jeep drives along a road at night in the country. She stops at a pumping station and a freakish man with a Bobcat Goldthwait style speech impediment comes out to fill the tank. He starts to act weird and lures her into the garage by pretending her credit card has been rejected and the company are on the phone. He locks the door when she gets in and she naturally panics but his speech impediment prevents him from calming her down ("My wife is so fat!"). She hurries into her car and speeds off just as he manages to scream after her "There's someone in the backseat!" And so she meets her end.

        Then we have this high school/ big ass swanky (full of swank) American school where this girl had attended. Everyone is amazed by the recent murder especially the morbid, cool kid Parker (Michael Rosenbaum) who is planning to throw a big party in memory of a massacre that supposedly took place at their school many years before. Apparently a teacher had went through the dorms slashing the throats of the students at night and then killed himself but the story is not verified and Paul (Jared Leto) the school journalist insists that it's only an urban legend. Natalie (Alicia Witt) and Brenda (Rebecca Gayheart) are sceptical and for fun decide to go to the big building where the massacre apparently took place and resurrect the dead by saying "Bloody Mary" 3 times only to be scared by Damon (Joshua Jackson) the joker of the group.

        Anyway they all seem to attend this class which seems to be on urban legends apparently and taught by a guy who acts like he's teaching something really important. They ass about and Natalie seems a bit preoccupied. Damon decides to take her out to the woods in his car where they can talk only to end being murdered himself in a urban legend kinda way. Natalie panics and runs for security but when they come back to the woods, Damon's body is gone and due to his reputation they think he probably just pulled a prank on Natalie.

        Natalie's not so sure and she tries to convince Paul to believe her and after another mysterious and odd murder that the school try to cover up as suicide they think they're on to something and start investigating themselves. More murders ensue and Parker's party goes on anyway. It's revealed that some of the characters have hidden pasts and that there's something to all this urban legend nonsense.

        What I Thought

        I really enjoyed this film and it's a favourite of mine that I was - to be honest - excited about watching again as I hadnay seen it in a while.

        Not a tremendously directed or acted out film you're not going to watch this expecting cinematic art but it's entertaining. This faceless killer, wearing this parker coat that masks their face and killing people in these ways that we've all heard of before in some shape or form. It's a nice little mystery that keeps you guessing who the killer is and to be fair all you can do is guess because there's never an real clue that indicates the true killer. But I've seen this film before, the mystery element is gone for me and I still enjoy it.

        It's an imaginative sort of slasher film. One that draws from folklore etc and it's pretty brutal too. Pepsi and these fizzy sweets apparently make you insides explode, now this doesn't actually work but the killer finds another way. Basically he runs around killing people - horror enough.

        And just to cover the funny angle, not only is Joshua Jackson the class clown but they get a dog drunk in this film. Classic comedy. Not only that but the killer imaginatively kills this dog. A dog is part of his kill count. How many serial killers kill the pets as well? It is funny otherwise as well.
        Acting wise, who cares. But this film does have some big names in it. Most disgustingly Tara Reid, who I cannot abide but luckily she's sort of a bitch in it and she dies. She's the host of a call in radio show that has some very funny calls in. Parker played by Michael Rosenbaum went on to play that bald guy in Smallville . Paul the journalist was played by Jared Leto, the guy who wore too much eyeliner in Alexander and done a quite good remix of The Cure's The Only One on their Hypnagogic States EP and so on.

        You've basically got your stereotypes;
        The cool kid whose aggressive and bullying but who everyone loves - Parker
        The good student who works hard and is generally quiet. So good and studious that when a murder occurs the first place she goes is the library. (If a true stereotype she'd probably be a lot uglier than Alicia Witt) - Natalie
        The joker, who's always pulling pranks and who no-one takes seriously even when it's important - Damon
        The sort of shy girl, who's a reliable friend but always distracted by guys - Brenda
        The horny annoying girl - Tara Reid.
        The posh English, authoritarian headmaster
        The lecturer who dress like Sherlock Holmes and takes everything too seriously.

        I liked the end to this film. It's got its twist and it's also got a restart at the end. An opening for a sequel that is quite good.

        The film was directed by some dude who's directed little else. Didn't do anything miraculous with this film. Lightning and killing simultaneously - your standard fare.

        Of Importance

        This film is quite old, being made in the days of cassette tapes and pre-broadband internet.

        Don't judge a freak by his freakishness.

        It's implied in this film that the idea of someone being knocked out or drugged and then waking up with some of their organs missing is an urban legend. Well being the legalising student that I am, I happened to be reading the law on human trafficking the other day and it says somewhere in U.N. anti-trafficking treaty that kidnapping people for their organs comes under human trafficking. So it must be true unless the U.N. just legislates on the basis of rumours.

        If someone prefers the term eccentric to insane they're probably actually insane.

        When mad s*** is going down in a car, why not just put on the brakes? Why drive and fight?

        Who I'd Punch

        Tara Reid, in the neck until she gave up doing that annoying and fake croaky voice.

        Overall

        Mystery, horror, comedy, drunk dogs, pretty girls and general entertainment and considering the fact I love Scream and films like this - 4 starros. Maybe a 3 as far as people not so into the genre are concerned but it's my personal opinion. Get your own. It's the best in the trilogy so if you liked the other two you'll like this.

        Trailer

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ts6jSWYm0g0

        Written by Phelim McC. Don't steal it, it's booby-trapped.

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        01.09.2009 19:33
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        3 stars for the amazingly bad acting

        Urban Legend is a horror film that was released in 1998. The film is rated 18 due to lots of horror, blood and strong language and it is 95 minutes long. Urban Legend only had a budget of $14 million but went on to make over $72 million worldwide, making it a financial success, even though it received bad reviews.

        Plot
        At the beginning of the film, we meet Michelle Mancini. She's driving along and realises that she's nearly out of petrol and stops to get some. The station attendant takes Michelle's card but soon comes back to tell her that there is some kind of problem and she needs to go into the office to sort it out. The attendant is very wierd and creepy looking and when Michelle hears the dead tone on the phone, she soon gets scared and runs back to her car, not knowing what is waitng for her.

        Then we meet the main cast. A group of friends at Pendleton College are sat around listening to Parker tell them about an old urban legend about one of the campus halls. No one really takes any great notice of the story, as they all think that urban legends are just stories. The next day Natalie and Brenda attend a class all about urban legends and later that day, the campus learn of Michelle's death. While the students still believe that these stories are only myths, the friends are being killed off one by one by what they thought were only urban legends.

        Cast
        Joshua Jackson - Damon
        Robert England - Professor William Wexler
        Danielle Harris - Tosh
        Jared Leto - Paul
        Alicia Witt - Natalie
        Rebecca Gayheart - Brenda
        Tara Reid - Sasha
        Natasha Gregson Wagner - Michelle
        Michael Rosenbaum - Parker

        Special Features
        - Filmographies
        - Trailer
        - Behind the scenes
        - Filmmakers commentary

        My Opinion
        Urban Legend was released around the same time as Scream and was part of a run of teen slasher films. I was a big fan of these films at the time but Urban Legend didn't seem to have the same impact as Scream or I know what you did last summer, not that it was an exceptionally bad film.

        I thought this film was going to be really interesting because of the urban legend plot but while some of the stories were good, they were overdone and there was far too many in a film that is only an hour and half long. The film would have been a lot better for me if they had used some of the more shocking urban legends or spent more time on the build up of the ones used.

        Some of the urban legends used in the film are:
        - Killer in the backseat
        - Bloody Mary
        - The Kidney Heist
        - Drying a wet dog in the microwave
        - Boyfriend's dead body hanging from a tree while his girlfriend is waiting in the car

        How Alicia Witt managed to get nominated for awards for her performance in this film is totally beyond me. I thought she was awful. She came across as whiney and annoying the whole way through the film and I was hoping she would be killed off so it's a shame she was the main character.

        I only really liked two of the actors in this film and the rest of the cast were extremely forgettable. Rebecca Gayheart wasn't fantastic but she had something about her which made her very bitchy and conniving and that was what made her far more interesting than any of the other characters. I love Joshua Jackson in anything he is in, and that is mainly why I liked him in this film. He's fantastic as the cheeky/ mischievous guy but during the late 90's, he seemed to play the same kind of character all of the time which lets him down a little bit.

        The plot is pretty predictable and fails in the originality department but it was quite entertainment at times. Some of the scenes are a bit creepy and I did jump a few times but there is nothing exceptionally scary about Urban Legend. I was hoping for something amazing with this film but I was quite let down. The plot showed a lot of promise but it just didn't live up to my expectations.

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          24.07.2009 09:56
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          A decent 90's teen horror movie.

          While on her way home driving in torrential rain, student Michelle runs out of fuel at the worst possible moment, she just makes it to a petrol station where a strange looking man with a terrible stutter fills up her car. After previously handing over her credit card the man calls her into an office and says that the credit card company need a word with her, she reluctantly enters the office and finds a dead tone upon picking up the phone. The man locks the door and tries to stop her from leaving, Michelle manages to break free and speeds off in the car however she never makes it home.

          On the college campus where Michelle was a student, news of her death has yet to reach the students and teachers there. A group of students are talking about a story also known as an urban legend where a psychology teacher went crazy and slaughtered all the students nearby. Just when the students think this is all a myth they start being killed off one by one in the most grotesque manners which were once thought to only be urban legends... until now.

          Urban Legend is a teen slasher film that was released around the time of films like Scream and I know What You Did Last Summer, these have now become classic teen horrors however Urban Legend somehow managed to slip under the radar and I had never even heard of it until a few weeks ago when it was showing on Sky Movies.

          The reason that this film gradually faded into obscurity is because there's nothing original about it, it's almost as if it tries too hard with the plotline. Teenagers aren't going to be familiar with urban legends that are hundreds of years old therefore in a way they're alienating their core audience. Sometimes complicated films can work because the plotline is so strong and they manage to reign in a wide spectrum of viewers unfortunately Urban Legend tries to be too clever for it's own good which is why films like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer work, they're simple but highly effective.

          The story of this film I feel is quite farfetched and again is another chink in the armour for the production team, I feel that if this was just a simple run-of-the-mill teen slasher film it would have worked a lot better. I admire them for trying to do something different and it is a relatively entertaining film unfortunately it just doesn't quite hit the mark that Wes Craven managed to hit with his monster cult classic Scream.

          I'm a big fan of teen horrors and I feel they've come a long way over the years, since 1997 which was when Urban Legends was released teen horrors have become a lot more advanced, not just where special effects are concerned but modern horror as well. Films like Final Destination and Saw have defined the decade known as the naughties with their cleverly written storylines yet still maintaining the gore which is what most teenagers feed off when they watch a horror film. Urban Legend has not aged well, especially when you view the scenes of the college students in their local campus, it comes across more as a spoof movie with the heavy rain outside, it almost seems to be too clichéd to be believable.

          Having said that, I did enjoy this film more than I was expecting to, I assumed that this was going to be a film that I would switch off after 15 minutes and completely forget about but for all it's downfalls it's actually a very inventive film that hooked my attention right from the offset. The beginning is strong and it echoed the premise of Scream with the brutal murder of an innocent teenager at the start which sets the scene for the entire movie; to guess who the killer is. This premise worked well 10 years ago but now it has to be pretty clever to outwit someone because we've seen it all before.

          I like how this film plays with your sense of reality, even if you're not familiar with all the ways in which the teenagers are killed as I wasn't you know in the back of your head that these are real urban legends and maybe they did happen in real life way back when therefore what's to stop them happening again. This film reminds me of Se7en starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, the film focuses on a serial killer who kills people using the seven deadly sins (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride) although this was a far superior film with A-List actors who were highly capable of pulling off great performances Urban Legend tries it's best and almost pulls it off and if it wasn't for the few holes in the story this could have been a classic film.

          The final reveal at the end was very good and although I had an inkling about who the killer could possibly be I was never 100% sure. This again follows the premise of Scream with the big shocking reveal at the end, unfortunately this film is much too familiar which is part of it's downfall, it's like a cheap carbon copy of the far superior Scream. The ending was good though and although it may have been a bit too obvious for some people the director did well in trying to lead us away from the real culprit. The inclusion of Robert Englund who played Freddie Kruger was very clever, it plays with your mind because you never know if it's a double bluff or not. It's almost like it would be too easy and obvious if he were the killer or maybe it's a double bluff, you're never quite sure. He was definitely the best actor out of the predominantly young cast and I was disappointed that he wasn't in the film more, I suppose this gave him an air of mystery however he played a very intriguing character and it would have been nice to have seen more of him.

          The acting was distinctly average, the cast is led by Jared Leto who plays the geeky school paper editor. His acting wasn't bad however there was nothing stand out about it. The only other member of the cast I had heard of was Tara Reid who has a reputation for being an awful actress who hasn't had a hit film in years since the days of American Pie. Although the acting was questionable this was sort of what I was expecting, the acting is usually of a substandard in these sorts of films so it can be overlooked slightly.

          The special effects were decent enough, nothing compared to the SFX of today but it was a good effort for a film that was released around 12 years ago. The death scenes were scary at times but there was nothing that really stood out in my mind unfortunately.

          The whole film has somewhat of an amateur feel about it, it seems to be simply a carbon copy of similar yet far superior films and although there was the odd enjoyable and tense moment there was nothing stand-out about it. If you're looking for a good teen horror film try Final Destination or Scream.

          The DVD is available from play.com for £3.99.

          The special features include:
          Filmographies
          Theatrical Trailer
          Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
          Filmmaker's Commentary

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            25.06.2009 15:37
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            I'd advise reading the stories online, rather than wasting time with the movie

            I was drawn to the film "Urban Legend" by recently hearing an Urban Legend from a friend mine (which I have included at the end of this review!) When I started to watch the film, I was struck by how very 1950s like the incidental music was. Big orchestra, classic "creepy" melodies in a minor key and it being altogether too loud. The film starts fairly promisingly but the first "big scare" really isn't that big.

            In my opinion, the film heads steadily downhill. The last half hour or so are an all-too-familiar screaming contest, with crowds of unknowing college students standing by as the horrors unfold behind them. The basic plot of the film (and it is basic) is that a killer on a college camps has taken to killing innocent students in the style of various Urban Legends. So there's no real motive here.

            The characters are entirely flat and I found I was not attached to any of them. I feel this is a critical flaw in any horror film - if the audience doesn't care when characters die (which happens a lot) then what is there left to enjoy? Well, I'll answer my own question. Even if you don't really feel for any of the totally 2-D college kids in the film you can possibly enjoy the bizarre ways they are dispatched. But with little suspense, gore or depth "Urban Legend" ultimately disappoints.


            I was hoping that the following legend would be included in the film:
            A woman decides to purchase a pet snake. After several days of owning the animal, she notices that it hasn't eaten anything. She takes it to the vet to ask what is wrong with it. The vet told her not to worry, as snakes can go for long periods without eating anything at all. Reassured, the woman takes the snake home again. Weeks go by and the snake still leaves no evidence of having eaten anything. She returns to the vet. This time, the vet is quite disturbed. He asks if the snake has exhibited any other unusual behaviour. The woman can't think of anything at first, except that, at night, the snake likes to lie next to her in bed. The vet turns pale and advises the woman to have the animal put down immediately.
            The vet explains that the snake has chosen it's next meal and has been measuring itself up against its owner in preparation...

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              20.09.2007 14:22
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              very good

              The story is developed all' inside of a campus. It seems that to its inside it a dangerous murderous incappucciato is us that it exterminates the one boys to one. L' assassin however kills according to a quite precise logic and that is to say riproponendo in the reality of the "urban legends", that is to say classic legends that hand down from boy in boy how be true. For example an of these it consists in a girl that it waits in its car fiancé that it has gone out for a they be necessary and to a stroke it hears about the splashes on the canopy dell' car and it is noticed that is the gunman that beats the head of the boy repeatedly. For the boys of the campus l' nightmare just is begun. The film leaves really well a lot make to expect a true masterpiece. Nevertheless the film expires col pass some time and loses rhythm and atmosphere. The story quite is turned and technically does not present some slime but is the plot to become more dish and banal. The story has a sense of "already seen" and the final version falls in something of really unpleasant. Not there be able to be nothing of more deducted and lacking sense and, surely, also this contributes to make to expire more the film. Certainty with a different final version the rate of the film would have been been surely lifted. Besides it is true that the final version to surprise pleases but until a certain point in the sense that, uniting the you plug some film results nearly impossible I individualize l' assassin and, for a lot passionate, the attractive one of a film horror is actual to want to understand with the actual intelligence who finishes the varied brutality. A film American slasher without too much claimed (or better the demands at first c' were) from vision in company of friends for an evening all' sign of an enough horror flowing and pleasant but of secure little pledged. If it want to see a masterpiece of the cinema horror agrees to seek elsewhere.

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                15.08.2007 12:53
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                A REVIEW ABOUT THE MOVIE

                I'm sure we all know atleast one Urban Legend. Whether it be the one about the girl who slept with her arm out of her bed and waited for her dog to lick her hand to let her know everything was safe and well in the house, only to find one more morning her dog had been killed in the bathroom and a message in it's blood left saying "Humans can lick too"...or how about the one where if you say 'Bloody Mary' three times in a mirror, you will see the ghost of Mary Worth who some say murdered her own children, or how about the most common one of all, if you eat a pack of pop rocks (those crystals that pop in your in your mouth) and drink a fizzy drink at the same time and swallow....your stomach explodes. We all know atleast one.

                INFORMATION
                ------
                Directed by: Jamie Blanks

                Starring:
                Jared Leto -as- Paul Gardner
                Alicia Witt -as- Natalie Simon
                Rebecca Gayheart -as- Brenda Bates
                Michael Rosenbaum -as- Parker Riley
                Tara Reid -as- Sasha Thomas
                Joshua Jackson -as- Damon Brooks
                Loretta Devine -as- Reese Wilson
                Danielle Harris -as- Tosh
                Robert Englund - as- Professor William Wexler

                Released: 1998

                Running time: 99 min.

                PLOT
                ------
                This movie is about a killer who murders their victims based on common Urban Legends. There are about maybe 14 or 15 real Urban Legends used in this movie and they used in an excellent way.

                The movie starts immediately, it's one of those movies where it starts straight away with the opening credits still appearing on the screen. It begins with a young woman driving home in the dark. The whether is your typical for a teen horror movie, the rain thats beating on your windscreen and the odd flash of lightning and occasionally a big bump of thunder. At this moment in time, the woman we see is nameless, but we do eventually find out her name is Michelle Mancini.

                The typical thing happens, she runs out of gas, but just manages to pull into a really run down looking gas station and an even more run down looking man! He becomes known as the gas station attendant who has a speech problem....he stutters.

                The attendant fills her car up and goes inside with her credit card to charge her, but within minutes he comes rushing back and tells her, quite difficultly as his speech problem is very obvious, that there is a problem with her credit card and she must come inside to talk to her credit card company on the phone. She doesn't particularly want to go inside as he could do anything to her, afterall it is a gas station in the middle of no-where, so she takes her pepper spray with her. Upon entering the station, she goes for the phone only to hear the dreaded "beep beep beep beep beep"...the gas station attendant grabs her and he is clearly trying to tell her something, but she sprays him in the face and makes a run for her car.

                She quickly speeds off with the gas station attendant still trying to tell her something.....but what is it he's trying to desperately tell her??? I'm not going to spoil it for you, but it is possibly your worst nightmare and Michelle doesn't live to tell the tale.

                From here, we are later introduced to the main cast. They are just having a casual chat about certain Urban Legends in the coffee shop on campus where they all attend Pendleton University, known as the safest University in the country.

                It isn't long before the whole campus finds out about what happened to Michelle Mancini (the girl at the beginning of the movie), and they all go into a state of panic that somebody on their campus has been murdered. After another murder, somebody makes a suggestion that the killer could be basing their horrendous murders on Urban Legends.....

                DOES THIS IDEA WORK?
                ------
                Lets face it, now-a-days, if this movie was more modern, it would be seen as pathetic and over the top and completely unrealistic. But we have to face facts that this movie is nearly a decade old. It did work in it's day, it was a new idea. Instead of your bog standard teen slasher of a psychopath with no original ideas of how to kill their victim, this film went one better and decided to base the murders on something that is spoken about and believed in real life. You do get a sort of eery feel when you see the murders happen, knowing that there is an actual Urban Legend for that murder!

                WHOSE WHO?
                ------
                Jared Leto plays Paul Gardner, an on campus reporter looking to report anything juicy or gripping. He is the first to report that Michelle Mancini has been killed. Paul is lusted after by Brenda.

                Alicia Witt plays Natalie Simon, the main character who works with Paul to try and figure out whose been murdering their friends before they get killed themselves. She has a depressing goth as a room mate.

                Rebecca Gayheart plays Brenda Bates, the best friend of Natalie and the one who is lusting after Paul. At one point she thinks Paul and Natalie are getting too close for comfort and jumps to conclusions.

                Michael Rosenbaum plays Parker Riley, the party guy. This guy doesn't really care much about whats happening and he takes one day at a time. He throws a huge party to celebrate a massacre that happens years ago.

                Tara Reid plays Sasha Thomas, the host of the University radio station. Sasha is the girlfriend of Parker and also a friend of Natalies.

                Joshua Jackson plays Damon Brooks, the prankster and the all round joker who loves to freak people out, but also believes he is a ladies man and a complete stud.

                Loretta Devine plays Reese Wilson, the on campus security woman. She can be quite annoying as she is quite interferring and loves the fact she has the power of telling people what to do as she is the security for the campus.

                Danielle Harris plays Tosh, the goth room mate of Natalie. She is very depressed and has painted half the room black. At one point, she's asking for guys to hook up with her on campus via an online chat....but who she received as the guy who wants to hook up is really somebody she should be avoiding!

                Robert Englund plays Professor William Wexler, the only lecturer we see in this movie. He has abit of seriousness to him but he is also quite sarcastic with his students.

                WHAT IS THE ACTING LIKE?
                ------
                The acting is not bad at all. Even now, you can watch it and not think the acting is bad. Afterall, the cast is pretty good, what with Jared Leto, Joshua Jackson and Robert Englund who is no stranger to us as he was the genius that is Freddy Krueger.

                Admittedly it was weird seeing Robert Englund with his rubber mask and razor sharp gloves on. He plays the serious Professor, and sometimes it is hard to take him seriously as a lecturer, because you can't help but notice even without his rubber mask, he does look alot like Freddy. However, his acting is very good and pretty superior to the rest.

                Obvously there are cries for help in this movie and they are not pathetic like some teen slasher movies. Tara Reid actually makes believeable cries for help and plays the pretty girl clinging on to her life very well. I must say also that she looks alot different in this movie compard to now, she was not as skinny....more real looking.

                IS IT PREDICTABLE?
                ------
                Yes and no. Yes because you can pretty much tell when somebody is about to die by the big lead up to it. But no because when I first watched it, I was gobsmacked at who the killer was! If you have seen this movie and guessed who the killer was before the ending, then well done. I am by no means thick, but I truly believed it was not that person!

                You can predict whose going to survive, but you can with the majority of films out now-a-days.

                WHAT LETS THE FILM DOWN?
                ------
                Just the fact that it is a teen slasher movie. I was in my mid-teens when I first saw and thats probably why I enjoyed it so much, because it was aimed at my age-range. However, i'm almost in my early twenties now and admittedly it's not spectacular anymore, probably because i've seen it so many times, but mainly because it's pretty dated now and horror / thriller has been abit more modernised now.

                IS THERE A FOLLOW UP?
                ------
                Unfortunately there is. If it wasn't for the follow up, Urban Legend would be seen as something so much better. The second film 'Urban Legends 2:The Final Cut' is disastrous, but this can be said for most slasher film follow ups, it just shouldn't be done!

                Do not watch the second one before the first as it will put you off completely. Once a new idea has been done, then just leave it alone, don't try and make it better because with this idea, it just didn't work.

                They completely went out of their mind and decided to make a third installment titled 'Urban Legends 3:Bloody Mary'...why why why!? This film is the worst thing I have seen and I would just suggest to watch the first one and the first one only!

                OVERALL OPINION
                ------
                I would recommend this as a film to watch just once in your life. Yes you might find it abit dated and unrealistic now-a-days, but just think about how it would've been taken 9 years ago.

                It's a film that will always be sat on my DVD rack at home as i did really enjoy it's idea back in the day. It was on Channel 4 afew weekends ago and I sat and watched it and I didn't enjoy it as much as I did afew years ago, but thats only because I have seen more and more horror films since then that are more modern and tense.

                This is not a brutal or haunting film. It will freak you out a little bit and leave you with afew chills, and maybe it will shock you in the end if you don't guess, like me.

                All I can say is to just give it a go. It's not disapointing and I will probably continue to see it as one of the best slasher movies I have seen.

                EXTRA INFORMATION
                ------
                This film is ageing now so as you would expect, the prices to buy this movie are not on the expensive side.

                Amazon - £2.29 used and new
                Play - £4.99

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                  16.12.2001 21:32
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                  At least there is one good thing to be said about the breed of slasher movies which have sprung up since Wes Craven’s Scream parody revived the genre - at least they make SOME attempt to make the plots a little more interesting than they used to be. The 80s were more than happy to take a rigid, omnipotent serial killer in a mask and have him slash his way through a bunch of promiscuous teenagers in increasingly more violent, gory and inventive ways...at least until the various censorship boards became tired of the so called video nasty and slapped them down rather harshly. That pretty much sounded the death knell for slasher movies, there were a few more abysmal offerings such as Jason Takes Manhattan(Friday 13th Part ermm...5000?) which, now deprived of showing ever more violent scenes, really had nothing else to offer. The 90s slasher movie tries to be a little more clever than this and weaves in the killings around an actual(Heaven forbid!) plot, and gone is the promiscuity thing too...well, sort of. Urban Legends focuses upon ermm urban legends with the killer here working through a teenage group again but this time with each killing being a re-enactment of a well known urban legend. We have all heard of things like the ‘stolen kidney myth’ and umm, well others which I can’t think of right now because I tend to ignore them completely but you know them when you hear them which definitely adds a wider appeal to this movie. For once, a slasher movie has something of an interesting premise...interesting on paper anyway. This time our prerequisite female heroine comes in the form of Natalie(Alicia Witt), a college student who becomes convinced that all her friends are being murdered by a killer who copies the urban legends of the country when comitting his murders. She believes that she is being stalked by a killer who is preying on her friends after her best friend is killer, then her room mate...but everyone else just looks upon it
                  as freak coincidence. Her group of friends are the usual slasher movie charicatures - the smart guy, the joker, the babe, etc. who all line up for the killer’s blade...or whatever else he/she decides to use. Natalie knows that she must stop this herself because no one else believes her and ultimately it is to be her who will become the next statistic... The problem with this kind of movie is that it looks great on paper but always falls down in the final analysis. First time director jamie Banks should perhaps be commended for managing to keep the suspense and tension flowing for as long as he does..shortly before he is hung, drawn and quartered for the abysmal red-herring strewn final quarter. Banks uses just about every known horror cliche in the book ad borrows liberally from other movies in the genre but manages to hold it together well for at least three quarters of the film, offering up a few scares and a number of tense and creepy moments for you viewing ‘pleasure’. You have the car not starting, the dead phone lines, the uneccessary shock music tactics, the killer is the person you would least expect and of course the obligatory nod at other classics of the genre including a scene ‘borrowed’ straight out of Halloween and the inclusion of Robert Englund(Freddy Kreuger himself) as a professor of urban legends and the prime suspect. Still, unoriginal and derivitive it may be, but for the most part it works... ...until inexplicably it turns into a disaster zone in the final quarter. I have no clue what Jamie Banks was trying to do here unless it really was to cause his movie to self-destruct - if so, he did a damn fine job. The final half hour is a jumbled mess of preposterous plot twists, hideous over-acting from the lightweight cast and ridiculous attempts to fool the viewer as to the identity of the killer. Halfway through this final mess and I really couldn’t give a damn who the killer was I just wanted i
                  t all to end, which is a real shame when the rest of the movie was pretty good. Anyone who has seen the ending to Scary Movie which lampoons the kind of red herring endings this type of movie tries to throw at us should look at Urban Legends for an even better parody. Scarily, it is highly unlikely that Banks actually wanted his ending to come across as a parody - the rest of the movie was all very serious so why start lampooning yourself towards the end? Its a deeply disappointing pay-off and one which crushes any hope of a decent rating for this movie. As to the quality of acting...I think you probably know what to expect in a slasher movie by now. Rubbish wouldn't be too harsh a criticsm of any of them and this is no exception. Banks assembles a cast of pretty faces who learnt their trade on American television shows such as Beverly Hills 90210 and each performance echoes this unfortunately. Admittedly they aren't given that much to work with,especially in the hammy final half hour, but please...we've all had enough of directors casting pretty faces who can scream in these movies...to say its getting a little dull would be the understatement of the year. Not that you could expect a decent bunch of actors to even drea of taking such charicatured parts but even so...it would be nice to see it happen maybe once in my lifetime. Urban Legend could have been better, in fact it should have been better and for an hour it looked as though it might be. There was never any hint of it offering anything new to the genre but it did look as though it was about to give us an enjoyable hack and slash romp nonetheless until it all goes wrong. Its impossible to recommend it under such circumstances, far better to watch Scream if you want to see a parody of the genre rather than a movie which does it completely by accident and falls flat on its face in the process.

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                    30.07.2001 03:52
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                    • "sequel inevitable"

                    Firstly I am a brand new member to DOOYOO,and any comments on how this could be improved would be good. Urban Legend is a sharp horror that will ensure you check the back seats of your car before each journey. This tale of a murderer that kills their victims in the style of urban legands is well worth a watch. It is not as good as other modern day horrors such as Scream but it is well acted and has a good script. The ending leaves it all open for a terrifying sequal. A film full of frights and suprises I would recommend that you catch this one if you can, BUT I would not buy it on video. I hope you enjoy watching it and see if you can guess the killers identity amongst all the twists and turns in the plot!!!!

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                      21.07.2001 04:59
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                      Scream has been the film to change the face of modern horror for the worst, and this is yet another example of it. Urban legend starts of with a girl driving home, she stops for gas and gets freaked out by the attendant (Brad Dourif aka Chucky) So when he tries to lock her in the shop she runs, unbeknown to her he was just trying to warn her of the person in the back seat. Sound familar, it's an urban legend. Next day at school everyone is talking about the death. Natalie (Alicia Witt) knew the girl and goes into the woods with her friend to talk about it. He then gets caught by the murderer and hung above the car, another urban legend. No one believes Natalie who suspects that there is an urban legend serial killer on the loose and more people start to get killed, like urban legends, by the freak in the duffel coat. Will Natalie discover the true killer and stop them? Firstly, this is a good idea for a film, it also has some inventive deaths, but half way through the film seems to drift away from the legend theme and descends into the world of teen slashers. Since when has having your ankle slashed then having your head embailed on spikes been an urban legend. We are confronted with the worst the horror genre has to offer in this annoying little piece of work. The plot has holes big enough to drive a bus through and it is much too long. The beginning promises a good film but it just doesn't deliever. This is one of the worst scream offspring to have leapt onto our cinema screens. The film is predictable amd we are confronted again with a patient killer who is happy to wait years to exact revenge. So if you are a teenager who adores scream and doesn't watch any horror unless recommended in the latest issue of J17 watch this. If you actually have taste. Dont!

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                        21.07.2001 04:52
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                        Scream has been the film to change the face of modern horror for the worst, and this is yet another example of it. Urban legend starts of with a girl driving home, she stops for gas and gets freaked out by the attendant (Brad Dourif aka Chucky) So when he tries to lock her in the shop she runs, unbeknown to her he was just trying to warn her of the person in the back seat. Sound familar, it's an urban legend. Next day at school everyone is talking about the death. Natalie (Alicia Witt) knew the girl and goes into the woods with her friend to talk about it. He then gets caught by the murderer and hung above the car, another urban legend. No one believes Natalie who suspects that there is an urban legend serial killer on the loose and more people start to get killed, like urban legends, by the freak in the duffel coat. Will Natalie discover the true killer and stop them? Firstly, this is a good idea for a film, it also has some inventive deaths, but half way through the film seems to drift away from the legend theme and descends into the world of teen slashers. Since when has having your ankle slashed then having your head embailed on spikes been an urban legend. We are confronted with the worst the horror genre has to offer in this annoying little piece of work. The plot has holes big enough to drive a bus through and it is much too long. The beginning promises a good film but it just doesn't deliever. This is one of the worst scream offspring to have leapt onto our cinema screens. The film is predictable amd we are confronted again with a patient killer who is happy to wait years to exact revenge. So if you are a teenager who adores scream and doesn't watch any horror unless recommended in the latest issue of J17 watch this. If you actually have taste. Dont!

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                          26.05.2001 02:19
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                          Yet another teen slasher film rears its ugly head, and this time there is a dosage of originality added to the somewhat dumbed down gore and Scream-style in-jokes and humour. A killer is going round an American Campus killing unsuspecting teenagers, in the stlye of 'Urban Legends'. The opening scenes see a girl having her head chopped off by an axeman in the back of her car and the boyfriend being hanged in a wood, with his feet dangling above the car in which his girlfriend sits. Its all very ingenious, although some rather stange 'Legends' appear, ever heard of a woman who finds a dog in her microwave? While this may seem a good plot for a slasher film, and a refreshing change from masked morons wandering around killing for the hell of it, Urban Legend soons fades into predictability. Despite the fact that it looks more professional than most of these films, has a decent cast (including Joshua Jackson-Pacey-from Dawsons Creek) and the odd clever in-joke (mostly due to the fact that Robert Englund-Freddie in the Nightmare on Elm Street films-stars as a professor teaching 'Urban Legends'), it just is not scary and suspenseful enough to be really enjoyed. I think I jumped once throughout the film, and fans of gore (not referring to me) may be disappointed as well. When the killer is revealed it may be a nice surprise for a while, but when you think about it afterwards you may begin to realise how unrealistic it was. What these films really need, is an original plot, which this managed to achieve, a bit of originality with the killings, which this does not, and a director able to scare you! I don't get a kick out of watching teenagers slaughtered (well Americans ones maybe) but if they made some likable characters and added some tension then it would be bearable. Sadly, what looked like a great idea on paper, does not fulfil on its potential on the screen. However this is not the worst of these ty
                          pes of films around, and fans of the genre may like it. In-Joke Watch: when Joshua Jackson turns on the radio in his car, a blast of 'I don't want to wait' the theme to Dawson's Creek plays out. He turns it off quickly with a cry of 'Oh God' In Proffessor Wexler's office (Robert Englund) there is a doll of Freddie Kruger, the 'hero' of the Nightmare on Elm Street films.

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                            13.04.2001 05:17

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                            Dont see this film save your money you have been warned typical hollywood drool!!!!!! The effects are good but the story line is extremely bad and myself and my partner were very disappointed as we had been told it was very good those who enjoy this im sorry but those who havent seen it should defianatly steer clear better films seen on the good old bbc sorry producer but not hitting the mark maybe i just dont like this type of film

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                            13.04.2001 05:04
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                            ....another teen horror film that cashed in on the wave of Screams popularity ? Urban Legend is a film that really arrived as the inferior horror films were starting to come out. As a result it wasn't a huge hit in the states or over here but made its money back and spawned a useless sequal. The film is nicely shot with a good amount of ambience but it's really not scary and more nasty. The cast is pretty woeful with some annoying "teens" that you really would love to see picked off quickly. Basically there is a killer on campus who is commiting murders based on Urban Legends. Who could it be ? Maybe it's the creepy professor played by Freddy himself Robert Englund- no too obvious or maybe it's the laid back collage paper reporter. Well the one we do know is that the killer stalks their victims dressed in an eskimo coat that renders them completely laughable and dumb. Still it's good fun and not the worst horror flick made. Viewers should have a good time and appreciate some of the scenes for having some imagination. The dvd is presented in 2.35:1 anamoprhic widescreen. The picture quailty is good and really keeps all the dark colours balanced. The R1 version also has a panm and scan version included. Sound wise it's Dolby Digital 5.1 and as you'd expect when the terror and chasing kicks in the speakers come alive with musical score and ambience. This is an early dvd release so the extras are slim but whats here is actually quite good. First up is a brief 'making of' featurette. Unlike most you've seen this actually has a lot of rough behind the scenes footage from filming as well as scoring sessions. It's all commented on by the director, writer and a cast member and finishes with a deleted sex scene that is pretty lame and deserved to be cut. The other worthwhile extra is an audio commentary that features Director Jamie Blanks, Writer Silvi
                            o Horta and Actor Micheal Rosenbaum. This commentary is quite entertaining and tells a lot about certain scenes but also proves one of my theories. Die hard fans of all horror films shouldn't direct them as they don't understand what makes a horror film really great. Blanks seems really pleased with the gore and carnage and doesn't really get that tension and character make the film. Rounding out the dvd is the trailer and some cast biographies. This is a dvd that isn't a must have but although I'm not a great fan of the film I still like to keep it in my collection as it is entertaining in some instances and unintentionally good for a laugh in some cases.

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                              24.02.2001 18:04
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                              With the film "the urban legend" you have a stereotypical teen slasher movie, that very much depends whether you will like it or not on how you like the genre. If you are a fan of the scream trilogy, or other similar films, then you will certainly like this. It has little originality but in a film of this kind, that does not really matter. They are all pretty much alike, and this is no different. The film has few well known stars, although the low profile cast does a pretty good job of making this film a worthy viewing. As a big fan of pretty much all teen slasher movies, I enjoyed this movie very much and look forward to seeing the sequel . The film tells the story of a New England college student named Natalie who finds herself at the center of a series of sadistic murders, seemingly inspired by the urban legends. In a quest to find the truth about a 25 year old story of a student massacre at the hands of an abnormal professor. As the anniversary of this legend approaches Natalie finds herself the focus of the crazed killers intentions in the ultimate Urban legend-the story of her own horrific murder. Released in 1998,this film is now widely available on both VHS and DVD, and owning the region one DVD, I am quite impressed with what I have. The film is presented in Anamorphic widescreen and has a full Dolby digital surround sound track. Further to this there are also some pretty nifty extras, which are as follows: · Interactive menus · Filmmakers’ commentary · Makings of featurette · Trailer(S) · Double sided DVD, with both widescreen and full screen presentations. As you can see, they are not exactly the most extensive range of extra features, but they are adequate to say the least. Again to repeat a point I have already made, your enjoyment of this film and the whole DVD as a package, will depend upon your liking of this type of movie. With a running time of 100 minutes, this
                              film rarely loses track and as with most of these movies keeps you guessing right up until the conclusion of the film-I certainly never guessed the ending. There are a few gruesome scenes and also a few shocks, but nothing that we have not seen before. I certainly enjoyed this film, and would recommend anyone check this out at least once, because you'd may just want to see it again... I am definitely going to get the sequel "Urban legend-the final cut ".

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                          • Product Details

                            An attractive young woman is driving her car on a dark country road and singing along to the radio. She's running out of gas and so she pulls into a gas station (run by a jittery, stuttering Brad Dourif) but then flees what seems to be an attack, only to find the real threat in her backseat: a hooded killer with an axe who takes her head off with a well-aimed swing. You've heard the story before? Not surprising, given that it's one of the more famous urban legends borrowed for Urban Legend, a post-Scream exercise in self-referential horror. The students at an ivy-covered New England college are turning up dead, the victims of a serial killer who murders in the fashion of the "apocryphal" modern myths. It's all for the benefit of good girl with a dark secret Alicia Witt, the sole witness to most of the killings. Doe-eyed Rebecca Gayheart, as her gullible best friend, and Jared Leto, the ambitious campus journalist who tracks down the secret that hangs over the school, lead a cast of pretty young women, hunky guys and campus characters, notably the suspicious professor Robert Englund, a genre legend in his own right as the star of seven Nightmare on Elm Street films. Take away the cheeky remarks and self-awareness and it's a throwback to the 1970s' rash of teen slasher movies, where sexually active teens are sliced, diced and otherwise slaughtered in elaborate and ingenious ways. The increasingly preposterous film is no Scream but the modestly stylish production has its moments. --Sean Axmaker