“Every town has its legends. Every neighborhood has its boogeymen. ”
Origin/Director: USA/Joshua Zeman
Viewings Tally: This was my first viewing! I saw and enjoyed Joshua Zeman’s Cropsey in 2009 and was intrigued by the urban myth he grew up with on Staten Island during the 80s.
Synopsis: Delving into our collective nightmares, this horror-documentary investigates the origins of our most terrifying urban legends and the true stories that may have inspired them. [Letterboxd]
Reely Bernie’s Take: So interesting how the ghost stories I heard as a kid – “The Hookman of Lover’s Lane,” “The Candy Man,” and “The Babysitter and the Stranger Upstairs” – are researched and practically validated by the humble doc duo of Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills. Some cases aren’t as strong as others, but urban legends are fascinating because no hard truth is found in the fog of ambiguity that covers the campfire story in the first place. And, that is what makes an urban legend breathe: mystery, exaggeration, lies, and horrific truth.
Zeman and Mills do the right thing by not trying to prove or debunk the legends. Rather, through interviews of local residents, stock footage, and eerie revisitations of haunted sites, they magnify the myths’ importance in lore and intrigue.
At times amateurish and reaching, the viewer forgives the two thrill seekers for having an abundant passion for the subject and persistence to dig deeper. Four myths are covered in 20-minute episodes.
Killer Legends is available and free to view on Amazon Prime if you can forgive the six intervallic, 1-minute ads.
The Shot that Won’t Let Go:
Final Score: 3 boogymen under the bed out of 5
Have you seen this one? If so, please share your thoughts!
Happy (Early) Reely Bernie Horror Fest,