A Deadly Legend

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
A Deadly Legend Movie Poster Image
Nonsensical, low-budget, gory horror movie.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No real messages here, except perhaps lesson about not building on cursed land. (The story might translate into a lesson about valuing money over human life.)

Positive Role Models & Representations

Has several non-White characters, but unfortunately when people start dying, they're among the first to go. Insensitive scene in which a police officer handcuffs an innocent Black man.


Character impaled with ax. Guns and shooting; character shot through stomach. Nose bitten off. Scythe in character's neck, blood sprays on camera lens. Character killed with shovel, and then a pick. Character impaled. Character dragged under water, presumably drowned. Bleeding throat. Nail gun shoots nails into character's hand and foot. Cut hand, blood shown. Character hangs by chain. Ax thrown at character. Characters beaten, blood flying. Dead bodies. Character touches cursed candy; in pain, passing out. Character foams at mouth. Reference to a drunk, abusive man hitting a woman.


Couple in bed together, presumably after sex ("that was amazing!"). Man shirtless. Both opposite-sex and same-sex kissing.


Sporadic uses of "s--t," "a--hole," "ass," "bitch," "damn," "crap," and "freakin'." Also "Jesus" and "Christ" used as exclamation. Middle-finger gesture.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Two characters drink a comically large amount of beer with no consequences. Social drinking. Cigarette smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Deadly Legend is a horror movie about an ancient curse and the people who unleash it by trying to open a summer camp. Expect lots of blood and gore: People are impaled with axes, picks, and other objects; characters are shot; someone is dragged under the water in a lake; characters are beaten; there are dead bodies; and more. Both same- and opposite-sex couples kiss, and a scene shows two characters lying in bed, presumably after sex. The man is shirtless (no other nudity), and the woman says "that was amazing!" Language isn't frequent but includes uses of "s--t," "ass," and "bitch." Two characters drink a very large amount of beer with no real consequences, and there's social drinking and cigarette smoking. It's pretty bad, truthfully, but it might be a "so bad, it's good" movie for teens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDaniel L. July 31, 2020

Intense but the best movie

PG-13: intense disturbing violence, language and brief sex.

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What's the story?

In A DEADLY LEGEND, Joan (Kristen Anne Ferraro) buys some land and hopes to open a summer camp. Unfortunately, the land is said to be cursed, marked by an ancient stone seal under a mound. When Mike (Eric Wolf) bulldozes it and accidentally cuts his hand over the seal, a terrible evil is unleashed. A woman (Jean Tree) is pulled under the lake and disappears, only to come back as a warrior witch. And Mike becomes something like a vengeful zombie, randomly killing. Fortunately, two young women, Amy (Daniella DeCaro) and Krissy (Andee Buccheri), have a mysterious connection to the supernatural. Can they find out what happened centuries earlier and put a stop to the evil?

Is it any good?

Simply trying to synopsize this "everything but the kitchen sink" low-budget horror movie is enough to indicate just how nonsensical it really is. But it's also poorly written nonsense. A Deadly Legend constantly relies on bad expositional dialogue that no actual human would ever use. It's the kind of movie in which characters are constantly saying each other's names out loud (how often do people do that in real life?) and in which cellphones don't work. And while it does have a multicultural cast, it also falls back on the old cliché of killing the non-White characters first.

Three familiar faces appear in smaller roles (and, of course, are featured prominently in the advertising). Judd Hirsch plays old crank Carl, who runs an antique shop and warns against building on the cursed land. Corbin Bernsen is Matthias, who knows all about the old legend and provides more exposition. And Lori Petty is Wanda, who spends the entire movie either drinking beer or looking for more beer. Truthfully, some of this stuff is (perhaps unintentionally?) pretty funny, and with all of the gratuitous gore, there's a (small) chance that A Deadly Legend could someday qualify as a "so bad, it's good" classic.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about A Deadly Legend's violence. How did it affect you? Is the extreme gore shocking? Does it make you laugh, or squirm? Why?

  • Is the movie scary? What's the appeal of scary movies?

  • How does the movie portray drinking? Is it glamorized? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

  • How are the movie's non-White characters portrayed? Are there clichés? Are there stereotypes?

  • Is there a lesson to be learned here about valuing money and business (i.e., building the summer camp) over human life (unleashing the curse)? How does this lesson apply in real life?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love scares

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