While nowadays they're all labeled "Scream ripoffs," most of the late '90s slashers actually came along after 1997's I Know What You Did Last Summer became a giant hit, almost a year after Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson (who also wrote Summer) gave new life to the sub-genre. Thus, just as 1981 was loaded with slashers that were made in the wake of Friday the 13th's post-Halloween success, 1998 gave us a slew of new would-be horror heroes that diced their way through a cast of attractive folks, many plucked from WB or FOX series, each hoping to measure up to the success of Summer, if not Scream itself.
Of those, my favorite then and now was Urban Legend, which was released in the fall of 1998 and proved to be a sizable hit, out-grossing most of the horror competition from that crowded field (including Bride of Chucky, the first intentionally funny entry in that series). And if you ask me, the success was no fluke - it's a solid slasher that holds up, thanks to a minimum of the Williamson-wannabe writing that has dated so many others from that time (like H20, which is nearly unbearable nowadays) and stylish direction from Jamie Blanks, which I've already gushed over on this very site. The cast is also pretty charming: Michael Rosenbaum, Alicia Witt and Joshua Jackson are always welcome, and even Tara Reid and Jared Leto are more fun than you'd expect if you only think of their more recent work.
And that is why I have chosen to show it for this month's "Horror Movie A Day Presents" screening at the New Beverly. I don't expect to pack the place, but if I can convince one naysayer that it's actually a worthwhile addition to the slasher canon, or make a few new fans (I'm always surprised - and super happy - when people show up for my midnight screenings having never seen the film before), it'll be worth the effort of putting it on. Plus, seeing a well shot film in glorious 35mm is always a treat, and if my previous Sony screenings are any indication, the print will be gorgeous.
As always, the screening will be held at the New Beverly Cinema, located at 7165 Beverly Blvd in Los Angeles, 90036, two blocks west of La Brea. Street parking is widely available; Formosa is your best bet (double check the signs if heading onto other streets - some are permit only). Tickets are 8 bucks cash at the door or online at BrownPaperTickets. The screening is at 11:59pm this Saturday, June 16th, and if there's any Q&A (trying to nab a guest, cross your fingers!) it will be before the movie. Either way I'll have a few DVDs to give out and my usual pre-movie ramble, so I guarantee a fun time.
See you there!
P.S. The above poster was designed by an artist named Jacopo Tenani, who has also designed a pretty sweet "RIP HMAD" poster for when I retire the site next year. After some folks expressed interest in having a poster version, we put together an Indiegogo drive to raise the funds to print them - but we set it up so it's basically a pre-order; as long as enough of you want them, you'll get it! So click that link if you're interested in obtaining a rare, Mondo-style poster celebrating my insane daily habit!