Killer Legends (2014) – By Kirsten Walsh

“Many people believe the scariest urban legends are just modern day folklore; campfire tales of axe-wielding boogeyman, haunted mental institutions and witches in the woods- the storylines of our favorites horror movies, but often beneath the surface of these harrowing myths lies a horrific truth that’s scarier than any fiction. Through a chilling blend of investigative journalism, and what folklorists call Lengendtripping, filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills embark on a dark journey as they investigate four of our most terrifying urban legends and the real- life crimes that may have inspired them.

Peeling back the layers of storytelling, from interviews with shocked detectives to traumatized victims, our filmmakers discover a truth more horrifying than they had ever imagined. This is an attempt to understand not just what we all fear, but more importantly… why we continue to believe.”

“Killer Legends” plays on the tales and stories that almost every child has heard late at night when a sibling or friend is trying to scare them. Stories that have been whispered and told numerous times, to the point where they are more of a joke than a nightmare. Director Joshua Zeman, whose credits include “Cropsey”, throws himself in front of the camera, leading the audience on a wicked trail of eeriness and revelation.

The film includes four sequences, “The Hook”, “The Candyman”, “The Babysitter”, and “The Clowns”. Each sequence includes a retelling of the reference story, followed by scenes from the popular films that were inspired by the case. After that, the filmmakers reveal the story behind the legend and speculate on what actually happened. In most of the stories, mystery surrounds the actual events, and speculation is all that is available, even for investigative filmmakers. Realism exists through the whole film, but it is blended with cinematic fiction, to the point where the viewer watching an informational piece, not meant to really pull a viewer to the side of believing what is being told.

The cinematography is well done for a documentary, and is complimented by the use of images and clips both from real newspapers and events and films. The music switches from story to story, going along very well with the different locations and segments. An issue commonly scene in documentary films is the sound, and with “Killer Legends”, there is no issue.
All in all, the film is a great informational piece for horror filmmakers, those interested in serial killers or urban legends, or those just looking for a spooky story to tell.

Would I watch this film again? Heck yes. There are some great stories in the film!

The film is available to watch on iTunes and also on Amazon!