I’m a hopelessly devoted child of the 90’s and so spend a substantial amount of time hankering for nostalgia from the era of dial-up internet, inflatable furniture and Winona Ryder.
Luckily I’m a sucker for the 90’s teen horror movies we all love... One of my favorites? Urban Legend.
Urban Legend unleashed the chilling fables that we all heard growing up onto the big screen in perfect slasher movie fashion.
As with most real urban legends, the details change as they pass through the impressionable grapevine of time and place, but the gist and moral tend to remain the same. Here are the urban legends explored in the movie…
1. Backseat Killer
One stormy night, a woman driving through a desolate countryside becomes panicked as she notices she is running low on gas. She is relieved to see a tiny rundown gas station in the close distance.
She pulls in and asks the gas attendant to fill up the tank. She is a little unnerved at his slightly odd appearance and behavior, so hands him her credit card and remains in the car.
The attendant fills up the car and shuffles quickly inside to process the payment. A few minutes later, he reemerges and explains that there was a problem with her card and that she needs to come inside. The woman becomes uneasy with the situation but when he insists that she come and attend to the payment, she agrees and goes inside.
When she nears the entrance of the garage, the attendant grabs her, drags her inside and locks the door behind him. Terrified, she struggles violently, teraing away from him and driving away.
It's only once she's escaped the attendant manages to shout, "There's someone in the backseat!"
Lesson: Always check the backseat before getting into your car. Also, providing you have checked your backseat, carry cash for gas because a creepy gas attendant asking you to come inside could be a whole other urban legend in itself.
2. Bloody Mary
Possibly one of the most popular urban legends ever told, Bloody Mary used to wreak havoc among the school kids when I was growing up. No slumber party was complete without daring someone to look into a mirror with the lights off and whimper 'Bloody Mary' three times.
The story goes, that doing so will summon the spirit of a witch that was executed and she will appear in the mirror behind you to exact her revenge.
Lesson: Don't execute witches. And definitely don't look in a mirror and say their name three times.
3. Hanging boyfriend
This terrifying tale involves a young couple that have driven to a quiet spot at night for some good old fashioned making out.
The boyfriend gets out of the car to use the bathroom but doesn’t come back for a long time. The girl decides to get out of the car and call him only to see a dark figure in the shadows. She jumps back into the car in a fright and starts crying uncontrollably, not knowing what to do.
All of a sudden she hears a very faint squeak... squeak... squeak... on the roof of the car. Terrified and hysterical she immediately starts the car and hits the gas. The car only moves a short distance before stopping because someone has tied a rope from the back bumper of the car to a nearby tree.
She gets out of the car and realizes that her boyfriend is hanging from the tree with the rope. The squeaky noises were his shoes scraping across the top of the car.
Lesson: Don't ever date, or drive into unpopulated areas where there are trees.
4. Aren't you glad you didn’t turn on the light
This sinister story was common knowledge on many college campuses. It tells the story of two girls that share a dorm room and have a big test the next day. One of the girls goes to a party the night before and the other stays behind to study.
When the party girl returns to the dorm room late at night, she creeps in quietly and goes straight to bed so not to wake her friend.
When she wakes up in the morning she finds that her friend had been brutally murdered during the night in the bed next to her and written on the wall in blood is the phrase, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light?”
Lesson: Always go to the party.
5. Flashlight Fatality
This story is about how a group of dangerous gang members drive down highways at night with their lights off. The first person who 'flashes' them to signal that their lights are off, becomes their prey.
The gang will then pursue the good samaritan at high speed, while flashing their headlights. The newest gang member must then gun him or her down without mercy in order to be initiated into the gang.
Lesson: Don't flash strangers.
6. The Hotdog
A friend of a friend (as it goes) had a grandmother who was going a little senile.
One day poor old Grandma gets caught in the rain while taking her little dog for a walk and although they scamper home as quickly as they can, they get completely drenched.
Granny decides to go upstairs to get dried off and rather than carry the wet dog with her she has the ingenious idea of drying her little doggy in the microwave!
She pops him in there with the timer set to five minutes and goes upstairs to change out of her wet clothes.
On returning to the kitchen she opens the microwave to find a doggy barbecue gory mess of an explosion.
Lesson: Don't put a dog or any living creature in a microwave.
7. The Kidney Heist
A girl is all dressed up and on a night out when a handsome stranger offers to buy her a drink. Little does she know, this heartthrob is not interested in outer beauty.
Her drink is laced with something that renders her unconscious and the next thing she remembers is waking up in a bath tub full of ice.
Turns out that the man of her dreams was in fact an organ thief that had removed one of her kidneys in order to sell it on the black market. How bloody romantic.
Apparently this legend became so rampant that the National Kidney Foundation asked victims to contact them if this actually happened! No news yet as to whether anyone ever did...
Lesson: Buy your own drinks, ladies.