I definitely consider myself a kid of the 90s as I was one of those geeks that just couldn’t get enough of anything Scream. Every time a sequel came out, it was the hottest secret in Hollywood as to who the killer was. I can’t think of the last time that kind of excitement towards a horror movie was out in the air. It reignited the slasher genre and we were flooded with teen horror movies and I was in heaven. Yes, not every one was great, but I paid for a ticket and would sometimes find that special gem. A common thread through these movies was the audience having to figure out who the killer was. URBAN LEGEND followed a similar plot to Scream, but had a revelation that left me in awe as a middle schooler.
Featuring a cast of the hottest young stars at the time along with some horror icons like Robert Englund and Brad Dourif, URBAN LEGEND was tongue in cheek and still delivered on fun, gruesome kills. Natalie (Alicia Witt) is the seemingly all innocent good girl when a murder draws the attention of a college campus. Natalie and her friends suspect the murder and other mysterious going ons are inspired by famous urban legends and could possibly be linked to a school massacre involving one of their teachers. The characters are fun and likable, even when they’re assholes which helps engage the audience.
URBAN LEGEND is not a perfect movie by any means. The biggest issue is why no one is noticing a person walking around with an ax while wearing a parka around campus. I like to think of it as part of the movie’s sense of humor and director Jamie Blanks has a lot of fun with his set pieces. Loretta Divine steals every scene as the Foxy Brown-loving rent a cop who has her own suspicions about what’s going on campus. Tara Reid probably gives her best performance as a sex talk radio host who is also charming and gets a memorable yet grim chase sequence during the second half.
Scream Factory has outdone themselves with this release and I’m not just kissing ass. This collector’s edition comes with a two and a half hour documentary reflecting on every step of the behind the scenes action. Even better is that the majority of the cast and crew came back to give their input on their experiences which are all positive. It truly feels like everyone had the time of their lives making this movie which shows on screen. In a newly recorded commentary, Blanks reveals how the new interviews happened and the surprising enthusiasm everyone showed by wanting to be a part of this release. My personal favorite interviews are with Rebecca Gayheart as she gets to evolve the most in the film and even goes into how big of a deal her curly hair had to be for certain sequences of the film. One of the best segments on the two disc set is a detailed account of how the opening scene was shot and was utilized to producers to prove that the first time director knew what he was doing. The significance this film had to so many careers was fascinating to hear.
This release is a must own for those 90s kids who snuck into the R-rated movies to watch our favorite TV stars on the big screen run and scream. You can order your copy now at Shoutfactory.com.
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