A college student suspects a series of bizarre deaths are connected to certain urban legends.
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The 90’s isn’t exactly remembered for being a great decade for Horror films, after “Scream” was released a plethora of teen Slasher features were released (oh joy!), admittedly they weren’t all that bad. As a lover of urban legend tales this film was always the stand out for me, add with that the addition of a couple of Horror stars and you’re onto a winner.
As a teenager myself in the 90’s it was hard to avoid the amount of Horror films being made with the aim towards my age group but I must say that even though I tended to avoid most of them this feature was actually one that I went out of my way to watch. I had read so many books on urban legends and such that a Horror film based around it all was a big draw for me.
The casting is exactly what you’d expect from this sort of film, a bunch of attractive 20+ year olds playing younger people but admittedly they all do a decent enough job (though I can’t stand Jared Leto, I have my reasons) and lead actress Alicia Witt makes it look all too easy , a brilliant performance in a film that didn’t really need that level. The rest of the cast also do a great job of keeping us interested.
As mentioned before the film features a couple of Horror stars, Icon Robert Englund, ‘Chucky’ star Brad Dourif and Scream Queen Danielle Harris (who I hear really doesn’t like to talk about this feature). The film itself is actually quite fun and keeps you guessing as it goes on and is really suspenseful and the mystery keeps your attention throughout the film.
“Urban Legend” is more fun than it deserves to be, go back and give it another watch you might be surprised.
Miscellaneous facts about the film:
Sarah Michelle Gellar accepted the role of Sasha but had to back out due to schedule conflicts with Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997).
When Paul and Natalie walk into the hidden room in Wexler’s office, a puppet of Freddy Krueger can be seen just before they see the axe. Robert Englund, who plays Wexler, played Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).
The killers 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 the extras in winter outfits, but they kept the killers costume.
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 the TV show Dawson’s Creek (1998) also starring Jackson.
At the end of the movie, students from an unnamed college recount the movie’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.” Actress Rebecca Gayheart, who plays Brenda in the film, did indeed appear in several commercials for Noxzema.
The car driven in the beginning was originally supposed to be a Land Rover. It was changed to the Ford Expedition (the largest 4×4 available at the time) because the filmmakers discovered they couldn’t swing an axe inside a Land Rover.
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe was originally offered the role of Sasha, but turned it down to take part in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998).
Reese Witherspoon turned down the role of Natilie Simon.
The last name of Natasha Gregson Wagner’s character is ‘Mancini’. Don Mancini is the name of the writer of all the “Child’s Play” films, and the other actor that is featured in the beginning of the film, Brad Dourif, does the voice of Chucky.
The book sitting on the desk in Professor Wexler’s desk in his class is “The Vanishing Hitchhiker,” which is one of the seminal texts on urban legends.
Melissa Joan Hart turned down the role of Natalie Simon.
The uncredited character played by Brad Dourif, Gas Station Attendant Michael McDonnell who is suspected to be the murderer, was named after Urban Legend-producer Michael McDonnell.
In addition to this film The Skulls (2000) and Gossip (2000) (both starring Joshua Jackson) were also filmed at the University of Toronto.
Brad Dourif, the actor who plays the stuttering gas station attendant at the beginning of the film, played the role of Billy Bibbit, who also had a speech impediment, in the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975).
The movie’s fictional location is Melbourne, New Hampshire. Melbourne is the name of the director’s home city in Australia.
If you look behind Natalie and Parker in the auditorium, you will see the writer Silvio Horta acting as a college student.
The author of “The Encyclopedia of Urban Legends” is Charles Breen. The doctor on Tosh’s bottle of lithium is a doctor Charles Breen. Charles William Breen is the production designer
Apparently, according to the license plate on the front of the Dean’s car, the Dean lives in Maine.
One of the first films to feature the blue Pepsi cans, which were introduced to the U.S. in 1998.
In one scene they show the front page of a newspaper, and the writer of that story is credited to “John MacNeil”. John MacNeil was the assistant art director on this film.
The newspaper article that Brenda shows Natalie near the end of the film (about her boyfriend’s death) is said to have been written by (Benno Tutter). Tutter worked on the Art Production of this film.
Brad Dourif who plays the gas station attendant was considered for the part of the Joker in Batman (1989) Jared leto who play’s Paul in this ended up playing the Joker 18 year’s later on Suicide Squad (2016).
Reese Wilson was a lesbian in an earlier draft of the script.
Tosh was conceived as a much bitchier character in an earlier draft of the screenplay.
This film was shot over the course of fifty-three days.
The news reporter announcing the beheading of Michele Mancini on TV is named David McAree. David McAree is the first assistant director of the movie.
Co-stars Alicia Witt and Loretta Devine share the same birthday August 21.
Professor William Wexler had bipolar disorder in an earlier draft of the script.
The Latin motto of the university, which is featured on its emblem in some scenes, translates as: “The Best Friend Did It”.
The last name of the killer is listed as Bates. This is the same last name of the killer in both the “Psycho” movies.
Before the reveal of the movie’s killer, the killer was in fact played by Matt Birman during the murder scenes.