Parker Riley appears as a supporting character and a murder victim in the 1998 slasher film Urban Legend. He is portrayed by actor Michael Rosenbaum.
Character Summary[edit | edit source]
Parker Riley is a 25-year-old student at Pendleton University and a member of the Omega Sigma Phi fraternity. He is a wild partier and urban legend enthusiast. Parker is dating Sasha Thomas and good friends with Damon Brooks, Natalie Simon, and Brenda Bates.
Parker is attacked and killed at the party his fraternity throws in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Stanley Hall Massacre. His body is later discovered by Natalie in the abandoned Stanley Hall building. He is the 6th victim of the Urban Legend killer, Brenda.
Like Damon Brooks, Tosh Guaneri, and Dean Adams, before him and Sasha after, Brenda's motive for killing Parker is solely for being acquainted with Natalie Simon. Natalie and Michelle Mancini had inadvertently killed Brenda's fiancée years earlier using an urban legend, and Brenda is taking revenge by killing all of Natalie's friends using urban legends. Parker's death is reminiscent of the "Pop Rocks and Soda" urban legend where someone's stomach bursts after ingesting both at the same time.
Parker is introduced at the coffee lounge with Natalie and Brenda as he tells the story about the Stanley Hall Massacre that occurred nearly 25 years prior. He embellishes the story for effect, while Natalie and Brenda are partially disgusted and partially amused that he would throw a party in its honor. When Paul discredits the story Parker insults Paul.
Later, Parker attends a Folkflore class with Damon, Natalie, and Brenda. The professor lectures the class on urban legends, specifically the ones about the man calling a babysitter from inside the house, and how pop rocks and soda will cause the person's stomach to burst. Damon plays a prank on the class when he pretends to suffer from a burst stomach, much to Parker's enjoyment.
Afterwards, Parker and Sasha join the rest of the group in watching the news about the death of Michelle Mancini. Parker seems upset by the news, but him and Sasha are quick to laugh at a joke made by Damon at the victim's expense.
When Natalie tells her story about Damon's death to Parker, Sasha and Brenda, Parker refuses to believe that Damon is dead. When he realizes the story is similar to an urban legend, he's convinced that Damon played a prank on Natalie and tries his best to debunk anything she says. Sasha and Brenda are quick to side with Parker's story.
At the frat party, Parker is seen forcing his dog, Hootie, to drink beer from a bong. Everyone cheers along when Hootie finishes the beer and Parker kisses his abused dog. Later, Paul approaches Parker and requests that he end the party due to the serious threat from the killer. Parker, who is drunk and quite antagonistic toward Paul, decides to humiliate Paul instead. He insinuates that Paul is desperate for a good story and is killing people as a way to get ahead in his fledgling journalism career. Paul leaves the party, and Parker returns to partying.
Sasha is embarrassed by Parker's antics and asks him why he always acts like a jerk and that she's leaving the party to go to the radio station. Parker casually brushes off his behavior by telling her he was just messing around. Still upset with him, he runs his hand through her hair and proudly exclaims that she's his girl. She reluctantly smiles and blows him a kiss before she leaves, with Parker proudly exclaiming once again that she's his girl. Unbeknownst to Parker, they will never see each other again as both will be brutally killed later that evening.
Moments later he receives a call from someone inside the house who claims that he's going to die that night. Amused, Parker tells the anonymous caller that he knows about the urban legend about the babysitter and the man upstairs, and that the caller has it wrong because he's not babysitting any kids. The caller then says that Parker has it wrong, and this legend is the one about the old lady who dries her wet dog in the microwave. Horrified, Parker rushes to the kitchen to see the microwave ding. He opens the door and finds Hootie's dead body.
He rushes to an upstairs bathroom to vomit, but the killer appears and knocks him unconscious. He wakes up tied to the toilet. The killer then forces a funnel into his mouth and pours Pop Rocks and Draino down it. Parker struggles and chokes, but the chemicals tear apart his throat and stomach. The killer walks away with Parker still tied to the toilet, dead.
Sometime shortly after, Brenda moves his body from the party and into Stanley Hall. Parker's dead body is later discovered by Natalie in Stanley Hall, along with Dean Adams and Damon.
Parker dies without realizing that his friend Brenda is the killer, and that his best friend Damon was murdered and wasn't just a prank. Shortly after his own death, his girlfriend, Sasha, is also brutally murdered at the radio station.
Character Type[edit | edit source]
In slasher movies there's always a character who is antagonistic toward the final girl, without being an outright villain. They're the loudmouth and the party guy. They sometimes have a girlfriend, but they always engage in sexual activity at one point. Their death is usually treated as a big moment that the audience eagerly anticipates.
In Urban Legend Parker constantly tries to prove Natalie wrong, and he humiliates Paul and abuses his beloved dog. He throws a party on the anniversary of a horrific tragedy and acts belligerently drunk. He spends much of his time with his girlfriend, Sasha, a sex-loving radio host. During his big party, he receives a call that mimics the babysitter urban legend. In a twist, it turns out to be a separate urban legend about a dog in a microwave. His eventual death is the Pop Rocks and soda legend, making his death a big set-piece involving 3 separate urban legends rolled into one. His eventual demise involving shutting him up with drain cleaner is an ironic touch as well for a character who has a big mouth.
Death[edit | edit source]
Parker's urban legend death is enhanced, as Brenda uses the Pop Rocks and soda legend but instead of the soda she uses drain cleaner to ensure he's poisoned and his stomach bursts.