10 Films Based on Urban Legends

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Urban Legends are the stories we were regaled with as children about horrible things that are purported to be true. No one knows where these rumors begin or how they grow into such popular legend, which only lends to their believability and fascination. These Urban Legends are excellent fodder for moviemakers who know how to make a quick buck and lucky for us, some of them are very entertaining. Here is the Top Ten List of Films based on Urban Legends. Read and enjoy but be careful, some of these may be true! If you really want to find out take a candle into the bathroom tonight and, with the lights out, say Candyman five times into the mirror.

 

10. The Wraith

1986

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The Wraith is an overlooked gem starring Charlie Sheen, John Cassavetes, and Randy Quaid, among others. This is one of those films that you see on your local independent station on Saturday afternoons and think, “hmmm, I forgot about that one.” Urban legends about immortal cars and their ghost drivers have been around since the 50’s and almost always involve revenge. Perhaps the most famous of these films waits for you in the number nine spot with the motor running.

9. Christine

1983

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Stephen King knows what it takes to bring an Urban Legend to life and does so quite eerily with Christine. Nerdy Arnie is a lonely kid who only has one friend, that is, until he meets Christine. Unfortunately, Christine is a very jealous car. Although owning Christine has given Arnie more confidence and purpose, she is a vindictive bitch who has killed before. When Arnie and his newfound confidence score a girlfriend, Christine starts killing again, and again, and…well, you get the picture. How cool is it that Christine is a 1958 Plymouth Fury? It is very cool. John Carpenter directs.

8. Maximum Overdrive

1986

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Another Car movie (sort of) and another one of Martin Sheen’s kids get in on the fun as Maximum Overdrive rounds off our first 3 spots as we count our way down the list. The Character portrayed by Emilio Estevez finds himself trapped in a diner along with several other travelers as the earth’s movement through the tail of a comet brings machines to life. Their vehicles literally try to kill them but not before demanding that they pump a little fuel for them. Don’t you hate it when that happens? This was Stephen’s first attempt at directing. We can only hope it will be his last.

7. Urban Legend

1998

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The original Urban Legend is about a killer that uses urban legends as his M.O. and hits the list at a trot, the second and third installments slip further and further from the original premise. It is okay though because the acting is pretty good and there is plenty of blood and sometimes too much plot. The original has the killer following the pattern of legends that we all heard as kids and is pretty creepy. The very first kill is the stuttering gas station attendant who we believe to be harassing a girl but in reality, he was trying to warn her there is someone in her back seat. The next victim is the boyfriend hung from a tree with his fingers scraping the top of the car with the girl in it. Several other legends are carried out in gruesome detail. If you like urban legends then you’ll love Urban Legend.

6. Popcorn

1991

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Popcorn is pop corny. This would include the corny tag line of the movie poster, “Buy a bag; Go home in a box.” Being corny actually works in this films favor and it turns out to be very entertaining. I have to wonder why anyone would want to go to college, as being a college student seems to be pretty hazardous to your health, at least, if you gauge it by slasher movie standards. In this flick, college students hold a horror film festival. Unfortunately for them, the theater they choose is being stalked by a killer. The bodies pile up one by one until a few of the more resilient students maneuver their way around a plot with more obvious twists than a pair of pretzels playing twister, and figure out what’s going on.

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