Blu-ray Review: Urban Legend (Collector’s Edition)



Success breeds success and in the case of film studios, one movie’s success means they immediately want to make their own version. When Scream became a massive hit for Christmas in 1996, every production company and studio wanted their own version of the hottest formula to rack in Scream bucks. The formula was simple: cast a bunch of rising stars with a few icons, have an unknown killer slaughter most of them and cover the script in a sense of self-knowing humor the kids will dig. Urban Legend arrived in time for the start of classes in 1998 and took audiences to school in the tales we swear happened to someone we knew’s friend. Urban Legends: Collector’s Edition celebrates the 20th anniversary of the film that featured a future Oscar winner.

Michelle Mancini (Two Girls and a Guy‘s Natasha Gregson Wagner) is driving back to college when the gas light pops up on the dashboard. She hits the next gas station even though she’s a bit creeped out by the attendant (Child’s Play‘s Brad Dourif). The guy claims her credit card isn’t working and see needs to come inside the building to talk to the company. But when she picks up the phone, it’s not what she expects. She escapes from the office in dramatic fashion and gets into the car. The gas station attendant screams out a warning, but it is too late. She never makes it to her dorm room. Back at the college, the kids are taking a class in Urban Legends being taught by Professor Wexler (Nightmare on Elm Street‘s Robert Englund). He demonstrates the legend that if you eat Pop Rocks and drink soda, you’ll die just like Mikey from the Life cereal commercials. Natalie Simon (Twin Peaks‘ Alicia Witt) and (Jawbreakers‘ Rebecca Gayheart) are concerned about what happened to their dead classmate. Sasha Thomas (Sharnado‘s Tara Reid) is curious because she has a talkshow on the campus radio station and needs hot topics beside the usual classmates hooking up talk. Damon Brooks (Dawson’s Creek‘s Joshua Jackson) takes Natalie out to the woods to help her get over Michelle’s death only to encounter the killer. There’s a bit of creativity as the killer uses the escape to eliminate one of the students. The person who becomes the girls’ biggest suspect is Paul Gardner (Suicide Squad‘s Jared Leto), the student newspaper reporter who looks like he wants to make a name for himself before he graduates.

Urban Legend does its best to make those stories come real for the students. The killer roaming around with the double bladed axe doesn’t overwhelm the action. Loretta Devine (Grey’s Anatomy) plays the campus security cop who might be onto something with the necessary comic relief between the tension moments. Leto (Oscar winner) keeps his character sketchy enough that the audience can’t tell if he’s the real Urban Legend killer. The film became a hit during the Scream era when America couldn’t get enough of college kids getting slaughtered on screen.

The video is 2.40:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out the items that were hiding in the dark on the VHS tape. The audio is DTS-HD MA 5.1. The killer creeps up from all sides. The movie is subtitled.

Audio Commentaries include on with Director Jamie Blanks, Producer Michael McDonnell, Assistant Edgar Pablos that’s moderated By author Peter M. Bracke. The second commentary has director Jamie Blanks, writer Silvio Horta, And actor Michael Rosenbaum chatting about the action.

Theatrical Trailer (2:28) introduces the urban legand as the new version of folklore.

Urban Legacy (147 minutes) is an eight-part documentary on The Making Of Urban Legend (147 Minutes) includes interviews With director Jamie Blanks, writer Silvio Horta, executive producers Brad Luff Aand Nick Osborne, Producers Neal Moritz, Gina Matthews, And 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, And Danielle Harris, assistant Edgar Pablos, author Peter M. Bracke, and more… They cover pretty much everything from the pitch sessions to the release.

Behind-The-Scenes Footage (54:00) gives a sense of the gas station scene and Tara Reid dangling.

Extended Interviews From The Eight-Part Documentary (33:46) are more moments that didn’t quite fit in the documentary narrative.

Archival Making Of Featurette (10:09) has the director explain the behind the scenes shots. They had two cranes on the set for a scene.

Gag Reel (2:14) shows how to ruin a romantic moment and a few crack ups.

Deleted Scene (2:40) is a candle light seduction with Tara Reid at the frat house.

TV Spots (1:36) was how you got teased while watching MTV.

Scream Factory presents Urban Legend: Collector’s Edition. Directed by Jamie Blanks. Screenplay by: Silvio Horta. Starring: Jared Leto, Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart, Robert Englund & Tara Reid. Rated: Rated R. Running Time: 99 minutes. Boxset Contents: 1 movie on 2 Blu-ray discs. Released: November 20, 2018.

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