A Deadly Legend
Nonsensical, low-budget, gory horror movie.
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A Deadly Legend
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
Intense but the best movie
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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?
- On DVD or streaming: July 24, 2020
- Cast: Kristen Anne Ferraro, Lori Petty, Corbin Bernsen
- Director: Pamela Moriarty
- Studio: Gravitas Ventures
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: December 7, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
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More scares than gore, but still too much for young kids.
Masterful, mature horror movie deals with teen sex.
Color Out of Space
Excellent, unsettling sci-fi horror based on Lovecraft tale.
The Curse of La Llorona
Scary supernatural horror movie has style but lacks oomph.
For kids who love scares
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