slasher

Shaun vs. Urban Legend (1998)

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Someone is taking those stories that happened to a friend of a friend of yours and making sure they really happen as a killer uses popular, and gross, urban legends to take out their unsuspecting victims.


What you don’t believe can kill you.  But what if I believe it sucks?

Directed by Jamie Blanks

Starring Jared Leto, Rebecca Gayheart, and Alicia Witt

If Scream were considered a smart slasher, Urban Legend is the complete opposite.  Mimicking Scream in many ways, from direction style to hiring young actors from popular TV dramas, the movie is a poor and stupid imitation of a 90s classic.  I hope you like hearing the movie’s title because it’s mentioned a hundred times.  After a college student is killed via “urban legend” axe to the neck, the whole campus is on high alert and coming up with all the nasty urban legends they’ve heard about that could happen to them.  Later on, even one of the professors decides to dedicate a whole class to these stories. Did you forget what this movie was about?  You’ll be reminded.  Constantly.

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Boo! Be afraid of the parka!

I thought the idea of a killer using certain urban legends to dispatch their victims was unique but that’s the only thing this movie brings that’s remotely different from like-minded slashers of its time.  The story is silly but tolerable up until the killer’s reveal in the finale which left me puzzled to remember the details regarding their motive for murdering so many people.  It’s a lame reveal  that certainly doesn’t make the time invested in the movie worth the wait.

The killer is even sillier than the hook-wielding fisherman from I Know What You Did Last Summer.  This time around we have a parka-wearing axe fiend which is at least better than the sequel’s killer dressed as a fencer but still pretty bad.  At least some of the kills are decent but they’re certainly no saving grace for this turd of a movie. 

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That’s an impressive amount of space in the back seat.

The cast looks like they came off the set of a Scream sequel..  Maybe thinking they had a turkey on their hands, the filmmakers brought in horror veteran actors Brad Dourif (Child’s Play’s Chucky) and Robert Englund (the one and only Freddy Krueger) but their roles are brief.  Joshua Jackson’s role as the campus clown is entertaining for what it’s worth but he’s dispatched early on in the film leaving us with Scream rejects.  We even have the guy who knows ALL the urban legends apparently and still meets his end via the pop rocks and Coke story. 

Aside from the premise, the movie only aspires to be like another more popular movie of its time only with a slightly different spin to it and fails to entertain as any decent slasher should.  Avoid this movie and while you’re at it, avoid the sequels too cause they suck just as much.

TL;DR

Story: 6 – Beautiful TV actors killed off in bizarre ways based on urban legends you may not have heard of.  Great idea, bad result.

Blood: 4 – Yeah there’s a couple of cool scenes but sometimes they’re not based on legends that I’ve heard of (someone run over by their own car…ok) or the killer takes liberties with the stories (pop rocks and bathroom chemicals isn’t how I remember it.)  The dog in the microwave is gross though.

Nudity: 0 – Who could possibly want that in a movie? /sarcasm

Overall: 2 – Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Trivia

-The Dawson’s Creek theme is heard playing when Joshua Jackson is in his car early on in the movie.  Jackson is one of the more well-known actors from that show.

-The original script was set in the winter to explain the killer wearing a parka.  The weather was much warmer than expected so the winter setting was dropped but they kept the costume the same.

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