Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005)
Main cast: Kate Mara (Samantha Owens), Robert Vito (David Owens), Tina Lifford (Grace Taylor), Ed Marinaro (Bill Owens), Michael Coe (Buck Jacoby), Lillith Fields (Mary Banner/Bloody Mary), Nancy Everhard (Pam Owens), Audra Lea Keener (Heather Thompson), and Don Shanks (Coach Jacoby)
Director: Mary Lambert


Urban Legends: Bloody Mary has nothing to do with the actual Urban Legends franchise. The people behind the movie figure that it will move faster off the Blockbuster shelves if they put Urban Legends in the title. Mary Lambert directed the awful Pet Sematary movies and the campy fun movie The In Crowd, and Urban Legends: Bloody Mary is somewhere in-between those two kinds of movies. For a straight-to-video movie, it surprisingly lacks T&A except in a scene where a character is watching an adult movie, which would disappoint some people. But at the same time, it is a watchable movie with decent acting and a death scene that actually makes me laugh.

Samantha Owens and her two friends are in trouble with the football team of her school when Samantha writes in the school paper of how football players often get credits just because they show up at football practice, a special treatment that she feels is unfair to other students. One night when these three ladies have a slumber party and talk about the Bloody Mary urban legend - if you peel an apple before a mirror and says Bloody Mary three times, she'll show up and it's time to party. Samantha sleepily mentions Bloody Mary three times as she falls asleep. The wind blows ominously outside. Next thing everyone knows, the three ladies are missing. They show up the day after, claiming to have no memory of what happened. Actually, they do: they wake up in the basement of an abandoned building (thankfully not raped or harmed in any way) and Samantha suspects that the football players are behind this prank. It's a harmless if embarrassing prank, surely, until these players start to drop dead one by one in ways popularized by urban legends and Samantha actually becomes the main suspect of the angry football players!

With her brother David's reluctant help (there goes any chances of sex scenes so sorry, horndogs, you have to look elsewhere), Sam learns that thirty years ago, the same pranks happened to three women. However, one of them, Mary Banner, didn't drink the drugged punch her football player prom date offered her. When she runs, the date chases her to the high school basement where she falls and hurts her head. Thinking that she is dead (she isn't - she's just unconscious), the date dumps her body in a chest and locks it, sealing the doom of Mary. It seems like Mary is now out for revenge and the football players and some of their hangers-on that die are related to the same people that caused the death of Mary thirty years ago. Can Sam solve the mystery and help poor Mary find her peace?

The character of Grace Taylor, the sole surviving victim of the prank thirty years ago, steals the show as a perpetually-high woman with big hair (looking exactly like Melanie B of the Spice Girls, only twenty years older) with an attitude. However, Sam is an intelligent heroine on her own right and she carries the movie well. The movie has plenty of high school clichés so it is not surprising that the jocks are nasty and the nerds are cool. Even the scares in this movie are rather clichéd and the question of which person in Sam's acquaintance used to be Mary's boyfriend is easy to predict, but the movie nonetheless moves along at a lively pace, delivering appropriate thrilling moments on cue and, failing that, delivering some funny scenes that work, such as the scene where one football player learns too late never to answer nature's call on an electric fence. At the end of the day, this movie does well at what it is supposed to do - entertain me - and therefore I find it a pleasant find among the video rack. It is certainly better than the previous sequel. Think of it as a better kind of B-grade movie that will entertain very well as long as you don't expect too much from a straight-to-video low budget horror film.

Rating: 81


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