8 Urban Legends That Would Make Great Movies
Please Lord, not another exorcism movie! The world has seen enough ‘Paranormal Activity,’ too. We know how Hollywood-types love to take stuff that’s already out there and make it into movies, rather than come up with their own stories, so we thought we’d offer up these urban legends as idea fodder. Yes, they will all be better than ‘Urban Legend.’ Promise.
Mr. Rogers, Marine Corps Sniper
Legend has it that the mild-mannered TV educator was either a Marine Corps sniper or an ex-Navy SEAL who boasted of his numerous kills in between takes. While this myth was eventually debunked, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t make for an amazing movie. By day, he’s a kindly cardigan-wearing man with a train set. By night, he’s out for justice. Vigilante justice. With a really big gun. And also several puppets. This summer, the ‘Land of Make Believe’ gets real.
Melbourne’s Very Own Rambo Granny
The story goes that an 81-year-old Aussie named Ava Estelle was so enraged over the rape of her 18-year-old granddaughter Debbie that she decided to hunt down the two low-life offenders. After a week of preparation, the gun-toting granny tracked her prey to a rundown hotel, knocked on their door, blasted their manhood off with a shotgun, then turned herself in to the authorities.
As much as we like this story, it sadly turned out to be a Weekly World News fabrication, but it still lives on in those annoying email chain letters great-aunts send around. Plus, who wouldn’t want to watch a movie about a vigilante Granny who avenges her granddaughter? Helen Mirren would be perfect for the part!
What do you do when a 45-foot whale beaches itself on the shore and you can’t remove the carcass? Why, you blow it up, of course! In 1970, a sperm whale washed itself up just south of the town of Florence, Oregon. Since it’s pretty difficult to get rid of the body, the Department of Transportation decided to use a half-ton of dynamite to try and pulverize the carcass into smaller bits for the animals to devour. This brilliant idea didn’t go as well as they hoped; the result was exploding whale parts and one of them was big enough to smash a car. Hopefully in this day and age, we’ve come up with better ways to dispose of a whale carcass.
The story was believed to be an urban legend for a time, until humorist Dave Barry reported on it and footage surfaced around the Web. (Google it if you want to see an exploding Free Willy carcass, you freak.) If Hollywood ever decided to re-write this story into a movie, they could focus on the life and death of the whale, and have the child of one of the workers who blew up the carcass bond with the animal before its demise. Now that would be a tear-jerker!
Man Calls Prostitute, Finds Out It’s His Own Daughter
In a twist on the classic cautionary tales of old, a man finds himself on a business trip and decides to have a bit of illicit fun. He calls in a prostitute, only to discover that it is his very own daughter. In 2002, an Israeli businessman was at the Eilat resort and decided on his first night there to phone a call girl. He flipped out when his daughter appeared in his room. Needless to say, his wife filed for divorce and high-tailed it out of that marriage ASAP.
This would be an excellent dark indie drama for the Sundance crowd — especially since they seem to love stories about the lives of very dysfunctional families. Just think of all the gasps that would come from audience members when they found out the twist — it would be much more enjoyable than an M. Night Shyamalan movie.
Kids Ingesting Hand Sanitizer to Get Drunk
While many helicopter parents shudder at the myriad ways their children get into mischief, one of the weirder urban legends out there is the idea that some alcohol-deprived teens are so desperate for a fix that they down hand sanitizer, which is usually made up of 64% alcohol and a mixture of other nasty chemicals. In 2007, a four-year-old from Oklahoma City had to be rushed to the hospital after suffering serious complications from ingesting hand sanitizer.
While this is more of a Lifetime movie plot, Hollywood could always re-vamp it and make it a horror movie too: teen ingests hand sanitizer and their tortured (and germ-free) ghost is now targeting their peers from beyond the grave. Another great twist would be if an unpopular girl at school was tricked into drinking it and is now out for revenge. Think of it like ‘Carrie’ meets Purell. We’ll take our million dollar check now, Hollywood.
Dance of the Dead
A young soldier in New Mexico died in battle against the Apaches. Then his bloody, scalp-less ghost came back to his haunt his finacee on her wedding night and DANCED HER TO DEATH!!!! It’s a Western with ghosts and dancing, you guys. A Western. With Ghosts. And Dancing. It’s the perfect horror movie plot — just add cowboys!
Remember that time when all those people died from eating old pancakes? What if instead of dying … they turned into zombie slaves who only wanted to feed their grandkids old pancakes until the whole world was just pancake-eating zombies?!!!! What? It could totally work. Cast Taylor Lautner as one of the grandkids. People still like him, right?
Abraham Lincoln, Facebook Inventor
Remember that hoax about Abraham Lincoln trying to patent old-timey Facebook? It’s ‘The Social Network’ meets ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.’ He needs to get the network up so that slaves can communicate about the underground railroad without encountering the VAMPIRES who use it as a place to discuss where they’re having their next techno party. Plus lots of patented Aaron Sorkin “walk & talks.”