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Urban Legacy Review (2018)

My History With the Film:

In 2018, Scream Factory released a Collector’s Edition of 1998’s Urban Legend, one of my favorite post-Scream slashers. I’m always excited when Scream Factory releases a film from the 90’s, and even more so with this Collector’s Edition because they brought a slew of new special features including a newly recorded commentary track and an eight part documentary called Urban Legacy. Clocking around 2.5 hours, Urban Legacy chronicles the creation of the film from pre-production to release. Needless to say, this was no sloppy promo reel documentary, but a full fledge documentary recorded in 2018 for a film that many would argue doesn’t deserve such a tribute. Well, I disagree, and the documentary was the sole reason for me purchasing this blu-ray, so the moment I got some free time I decided to dive in and see what Urban Legacy was all about.

The documentary is broken down into eight parts: The Story Behind Urban Legend, Assembling the Team, A Cast of Legends, There’s Someone in the Back Seat, Stories from the Set, Campus Carnage, A Legendary Composer, A Lasting Legacy, and Extended Interviews.

What I Liked About It:
-The majority of the cast was interviewed including: Tara Reid, Michael Rosenbaum (arguably the highlight of the documentary), Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart, Robert Englund, Danielle Harris, Loretta Devine, and Natasha Gregson Wagner. Everyone seemed enthusiastic about their participation in the film (and the documentary) and it’s inspiring to see how this film helped launch many of their careers.

-Jamie Blanks was obviously very forthcoming and helpful when putting together this documentary and his attention to detail really helps move the story along. It was also nice to see bits of his student film Silent Number and his mock trailer for I Know What You Did Last Summer. I really wish both of them would have been included on the DVD as bonus features. Luckily his film school posted Silent Number on YouTube for everyone to enjoy, however I was unable to locate a copy of his mock trailer for I Know What You Did Last Summer.


-It was nice to hear that Scream was definitely an influence and the producers knew they were attempting to ride on the coattails of its success. They make no qualms about trying to break a mold or do something different. The entire production was centered on making a good horror film that wasn’t gory and was something everyone could relate to and could hopefully bring in the same audience that went and saw Scream.

-There is some fantastic behind the scenes footage that is shared by Jamie Blank’s assistant Edgar Pablos. He recorded some footage of the cast commending Joshua Jackson and a great moment with Brad Dourif doing the Chucky chant and then just screwing with the cast members.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-There is no play all button for this documentary. I know that isn’t the fault of the documentary itself, but it was poor disc menu design. It really sucks being kicked backed to the menu every ten minutes and it broke the flow of the documentary.

-The quality of the interviews varies quite a bit. This is usually forgivable when using archived footage, but everything in this interview was new. There was no consistency and I’m guessing the interviews were just filmed wherever possible and convenient for the cast. The interview with director Jamie Blanks was the most jarring as it seemed as if it was recorded with a much cheaper camera at a bad angle which I found interesting since he is a director and I’d assume he’d know better. I almost wonder if he set up a cellphone to record his interview for himself.
-The beginning of the documentary drags quite a bit and we hear from a lot of producers, executives, and assistants that discuss how the film came to be. It’s interesting for about five minutes, but after that it’s just Hollywood big wigs patting themselves on the back a bit too much.

-I would have been interested to hear some comments from Jared Leto, Joshua Jackson, and Brad Dourif. Unfortunately they were not interviewed, although the cast and crew had nothing but great things to say about all three, especially Joshua Jackson.

The fact that this documentary exists is amazing. Never in my wildest imagination did I expect to see a documentary about Urban Legend and even though it’s flawed, it’s definitely worth a watch if you are a fan of 90’s horror, horror filmmaking, or Urban Legend. I enjoyed the documentary and while I doubt I’ll ever watch it again, it was a fun way to learn more about one of my favorite 90’s horror flicks.

I’d rate Urban Legacy as a three out of five and say it’s a rental.

Published inHorrorMovies

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