10 Films Based on Urban Legends
Everyone on the planet has heard about monster alligators that get flushed into the New York sewer system. This 1980s flick takes place in Chicago and is actually pretty darn good considering its low budget and predictable plot. After a few kills and an attempted rousting from its sewer lair, the 36 foot monster comes crashing up through the street in a scene that actually took me off-guard and made it memorable enough to hit the number five spot on the list. The ending, as you can guess, shows a baby alligator, freshly flushed from some other toilet in the city, no doubt the result of news coverage of the star of this fast moving movie. Alligator is one Urban Legend that was worth the ticket price. (Back then, tickets were only four bucks)
4. Child’s Play
The maniacal Good Guy doll Chucky is a doll with a serial killer’s soul trapped inside. He has to find a kid to transfer his life force into and for some reason, Andy is the only kid that will do. Chucky is a great series of movies because of his wisecracking, off the cuff jokes and propensity for murder. The killer Charles Lee Ray, (Brad Dourif) keeps getting put back together or recycled into a new body at the end (or beginning) of each grisly installment. The movie really takes off in the last two sequels as he is joined by the always-sexy Jennifer Tilly in the body of a girl doll. The coolest scene is doll on doll sex to produce their son or daughter, the kid cannot decide, and has the plastic characteristics of neither. There is a remake of the original Chucky movie in the works and due out next year.
3. When a Stranger Calls
Who hasn’t heard the Urban Legend about a murderous caller who harasses a teenage babysitter and turns out to be calling her from a phone line within the house. The last remake of the movie is very stylishly done with plenty of suspense and top-notch acting. Critics, however, chewed the movie up and then spit it out as nasty calling it a poorly done remake of a great film. The 1979 original stars Carol Kane and is considered the better of the two. I personally think that the suspense was great and the cheap thrills, while rare, were worth the price of the ticket. I believe When A Stranger Calls is the perfect date movie; not so scary as to give your date a complex but scary enough for her to want to be close to you the entire time.
2. The Mothman Prophecies
This psychological thriller is based on the urban legend and true events of a small town in West Virginia. The movie follows a Washington reporter/writer who investigates a series of sightings of a mysterious moth man. The moth-like or bird-like creature appears to be linked to a local TNT factory and seems to be trying to warn people of an impending disaster. Richard Gere and Laura Linney excellently portray believable characters. The twist is that in the movie and in real life, the danger is not the TNT factory but a nearby bridge. The movie culminates with the collapse of the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
Perhaps the scariest movie ever made about an Urban Legend, Candyman has more going for it than just being frightening. This movie is very stylishly done and the acting, while not Oscar material is first rate. The legend in the movie goes that if you say the name five times in succession into a mirror he will appear and kill you. This is very much like the legend of Bloody Mary. The movie is taken from the short story “The Forbidden” by Clive Barker. Tony Todd, who plays the Candyman, has also appeared briefly in the Final Destination movies as the mysterious mortician with more advice than knowledge on what death’s plan might be. Candyman spawned two sequels, Candyman 2 Farewell to the Flesh and Candyman 3 Day of the Dead.