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By Michael Dequina | July 9, 2000

There is no convincing reason why Urban Legends: Final Cut should exist. The 1998 film with which it bears only the loosest of connections was hardly a model of the slasher genre–in fact, it was among the worst of the rash of youth horror flicks that were released in the wake of Scream–and in terms of box office, it was only a mid-level performer at best. But I suppose the fact that the film wasn’t a complete financial bust was reason enough to produce a slapped-together follow-up designed to simply make a quick buck off of the teen audience.
This fact was not completely lost on composer/editor/director John Ottman, who in his insightful and entertaining commentary reveals how he had to constantly remind himself what kind of movie he was making. There are a few instances where he wanted to amp up the drama or do some fancy camera or editing maneuver, but in the end he quashed those more ambitious, perhaps even pretentious, instincts to respect the all-important (especially for this genre) bottom line. Ottman’s commentary is also rather educational, relating the lessons he learned on this, his feature directing debut; aspiring auteurs will find much of value here on working under the constraints of a tight budget and an equally limiting genre.
Some artifacts of Ottman’s more ambitious inclinations are in evidence in the collection of deleted scenes, which are viewable with or without his commentary. Most of these scenes were wise trims, though an alternate version of one scene, including some scrapped but nifty flashback cutting, should have made the final cut (no pun intended). More previously unseen footage is included in the outtake/gag reel; unfortunately, though, a lot of these bloopers are of the “you had to be there” variety.
The rest of the supplements to the film, which is presented in both widescreen and full-frame formats, are more standard. Talent bios and complete production notes are included, as are trailers for both Urban Legend films and both “I Know What You Did Last Summer” films. The obligatory making-of featurette is taken from the electronic press kit, but even by those standards, it’s a fairly shallow–not to mention a very brief–glance behind the scenes.
Specifications: Full-frame and 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen; English 5.1 Surround; French Dolby Surround; English and French subtitles; English closed captioning.

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