Urban Legend Blu-Ray Reviews: Did You Hear The One About The Bonus Features?

Back in the ‘90s, Scream brought horror back big time. Because it’s hook was a clever meta take on the rules of horror movies, the late ‘90s horror wave also tried to have some hook. Urban Legend had a killer recreate urban legends.

The best kill is probably not an urban legend, when the dean gets impaled on the parking garage spikes. At least I’ve never heard that urban legend but it’s a great kill.

There’s a scene where a girl walks in on her friend being murdered but because the friend has so much sex, she thinks it’s just more sex and doesn’t stop the murder. That hasn’t aged well. It’s based on an urban legend but the urban legend is about a sleeping roommate, not slut shaming. Could you imagine what an Urban Legend movie would be in the social media age?

I sort of love how by the sequel they had already run out of urban legends. Although they never did the one with the dog and the peanut butter. I never saw the direct to video Urban Legend: Bloody Mary so maybe my favorite urban legend makes a cameo there. Or at least in the porno version.

But Urban Legend: Final Cut took place in a film school so that really appealed to me. I was only a year postgrad myself. It’s a tiny bit meta as a film student (Jennifer Morrison) makes a film about the urban legend killings of the first movie. There are still kills that aren’t part of her movie and they deliver on the kidney urban legend mentioned in the first movie.

The Blu-Ray looks exactly like Urban Legend did on the big screen. It’s widescreen and perfectly clear. So much of the first film is soaked in rain in the dark of night, and it all holds up in HD. The sequel looks just as good. They gave it the same treatment as the original.

With two and a half hours of extras on Urban Legend, a “play all” option would’ve been nice, at least for the behind the scenes interviews. But this represents a tribute to Phoenix Pictures as well as ‘90s horror and Urban Legends. We see clips of Jamie Blanks’ VHS shorts and student film (not the whole short though.) also his I Know What You Did Last Summer trailer but not the whole trailer. I guess we see the highlights, the note, the hook and the fisherman’s slicker.

They talk a lot about Rebecca Gayheart and her hair (including Gayheart herself) but downplay the Noxema commercial she was most famous. Robert England mentions it in passing. Gayheart brings it up later and I never realized Jared Leto was the guy in it.

Behind the scenes Brad Dourif does the Damballa chant for the crew! Wonder if he does that on every movie like billy Bob Thornton does Carl. Or at least on every horror movie.

There’s VHS footage of the test screening. I wish more movies saved footage of audiences reacting to the film. And I’d love to know which theater that is. That’s historic, a moment that will never occur again, the very first audience reacting. They also have a photo of opening weekend at the UA Westwood which no longer exists and other theaters the filmmakers visited.

Extended interviews let Christopher Young talk more about general film scoring, Robert Englund talk more about his whole career, Michael Rosenbaum doing Malkovich and Eastwood impressions, Danielle Harris about the state of the the film industry and theatrical exhibition, Gina Matthews about how they chose the urban legends…

The new commentary overlaps some of the above but gets to be scene specific and therefore includes anecdotes about some less flashy scenes. Author Peter Bracke keeps the filmmakers talking.

The VHS footage from set runs nearly an hour in three parts. It’s generally mundane B-roll of production in real time, with some actors goofing off and making faces while they wait. But imagine if every movie was this well documented. A lot of it is footage of the death scenes.

17 minutes of new interviews on Final Cut give the sequel a postmortem on where they went wrong, but with the best intentions. It’s only the filmmakers who were on both films. The only Final Cut cast member who did an interview was Jessica Cauffiel. Not even John Ottman comes to talk about it.