Movie Review: URBAN LEGEND (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

URBAN LEGEND was directed by Jamie Blanks from a screenplay by Silvio Horta and stars Jared Leto, Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart, Joshua Jackson, Loretta Devine, Tara Reid, and Michael Rosenbaum, with Julian Richings, Brad Dourif, Danielle Harris and Robert Englund.

When New England college student Natalie (Alicia Witt) finds herself at the center of a series of sadistic murders seemingly inspired by urban legends, she resolves to find the truth about her school’s own legend: a twenty-five-year-old story of a student massacre at the hands of an abnormal Psych professor. As the fraternities prepare to celebrate the macabre anniversary, Natalie discovers that she is the focus of the crazed killer’s intentions in the ultimate urban legend – the unfolding story of her own horrific murder.

This 1998 teen slasher takes place at Pendleton University and centers around Natalie who’s friend Michelle is viciously murdered in her car at the beginning of the movie. That poor gas station attendant (Brad Dourif) tried to warn her! After this first shocking murder takes place, Natalie’s circle of friends; Damon (Joshua Jackson), Paul (Jared Leto), Brenda (Rebecca Gayheart), Parker (Michael Rosenbaum), Sasha (Tara Reid) and Tosh (Danielle Harris) all become targets of this mysterious killer who ends up taking them out one at a time by using several different urban legends. Natalie finds out about a school massacre that happened back in the early 70s and ends up asking the creepy janitor (Julian Richings) about it which leads her to Professor Wexler (Robert Englund) who is linked to the tragic event from the past.

There are several suspects who might be behind this new batch of murders but standing in the shadows is Reese Wilson (Loretta Devine), the campus security officer, who is determined to find out who the killer is and stop them. What happens is, Natalie finally comes face-to-face with the mysterious figure who’s been killing off her friends and the connection between the two is ultimately revealed that shows why all of this is happening in the first place. Yes, there is a motive behind these murders! Just when Natalie thinks she’s a goner, she gets a little assistance from Reese and Paul who show up at the last second to help and in the end the killer’s murder spree is finally stopped. Something else about this killer is that it takes a few times before they go down for good but just when you think they’re down for the count – there’s that awesome after credits scene.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/0-card. The front features the fantastic new artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some original artwork and movie credits so you have your choice of which side you’d like to use for the front cover. Each disc features artwork that matches the front cover and alternate cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, I had a blast revisting Urban Legend that followed the same basic teen slasher formula like 1996’s Scream and 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer. Just like its two predecessors, Urban Legend featured a hot young cast, an alternative rock soundtrack and a shocking opening scene that set the tone for the movie. I love urban legends (like most horror fans do) and the fact that we finally got a movie (and two sequels) that focused on these myths is what made this movie one of my personal favorites. The story was interesting and the cast of up-and-coming familiar faces and horror icons did a great job with their characters. A major standout is the fact that the movie did use three notable horror icons in three separate scenes but these aren’t just plain cameos because they all play an important part to the story and what’s going on here. Urban Legend is a smart slasher that features a killer with a motive (and a twist) but it goes through several suspects before the mysterious figure is revealed. As suspenseful as the movie is it also has a sense of humor to it and Jamie Blanks captures it all just right. Urban Legend will be available on a 2-disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray set on November 20th. Remember to watch all the way through the end credits!

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 99 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras include some new audio commentary, vintage audio commentary, an 8-part making of documentary, theatrical trailer, some new behind-the-scenes footage, a vintage making of featurette, four TV spots, deleted scene and a gag reel.

DISC ONE

  • NEW audio commentary with director Jamie Blanks, producer Michael McDonnell, assistant Edgar Pablos, moderated by author Peter M. Bracke
  • Audio Commentary with director Jamie Blanks, writer Silvio Horta and actor Michael Rosenbaum
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:28)
DISC TWO
  • NEW Urban Legacy – an eight-part documentary on the making of URBAN LEGEND (147 minutes) including interviews with director Jamie Blanks, writer Silvio Horta, executive producers Brad Luff, Nick Osborne, producers Neal Moritz, Gina Matthews, Michael McDonnell, chairman and CEO of Phoenix Pictures Mike Medavoy, production designer Charles Breen, director of photography James Chressanthis, editor Jay Cassidy, composer Christopher Young, actors Alicia Witt, Michael Rosenbaum, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Robert Englund, Loretta Devine, Rebecca Gayheart, Tara Reid, Danielle Harris, assistant Edgar Pablos author Peter M. Bracke and more…
  • NEW Behind-the-Scenes footage
  1. Part 1 (17:00)
  2. Part 2 (16:20)
  3. Part 3 (20:40)
  • NEW Extended interviews from the eight-part documentary
  1. Part 1 (39:44)
  2. Part 2 (33:46)
  • Archival Making of Featurette (10:09)
  • Gag Reel (02:14)
  • Deleted Scene (02:40)
  • TV Spots (01:36)

 

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