Today, I’m talking about one of my favorite horror franchises, Candyman. The movies are based on the short story “The Forbidden” by Clive Barker, which is in volume five of the Books of Blood (a.k.a. In The Flesh), so it’s no wonder I’m a fan. I figured I should share my thoughts on these films before the Jordan Peele film hits the scene.
They will say that I’ve shed innocent blood. What’s blood for if not for shedding?
Candyman (1992) begins the journey into this dark world set in a housing project in Chicago called Cabrini-Green. Helen Lyle is researching urban legends and comes across Candyman. During her research, she goes to Cabrini-Green, where she finds terrific graffiti and a tenant who isn’t afraid to talk to them.
Philip Glass’ soundtrack gives a nice edge to the film, though it doesn’t need much help in that department. The film revolves around racial tensions, bringing a rare “villain,” who is black. Some say he’s the first, but I keep thinking of Blackula in that position. I love the lighting effects they use when Purcell tells the story of Candyman; it reminds me of Dracula (1931), staring Bela Lugosi. When Helen encounters Candyman for the first time, it’s sinister, menacing, terrifying, and beautiful. His seductions are amazing, whispering in her about dying. I get chills thinking about it.
Be my victim.
I don’t think I could’ve picked a better actor to portray Candyman than Tony Todd. He’s entrancing to watch (in everything I’ve seen him in), and that is how Candyman works, so he’s perfect. Another thing that is resplendent in this film is the street art and murals.
If you haven’t seen Candyman, you need to (it’s on Netflix). I give it 4.5 out of 5 Stars.
Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995) is the second in the series. One of the many things I’ve never understood with this sequel is how he is now in the South, since in the original Purcell said Candyman was killed there at Cabrini-Green, and everything is set in Chicago – I know he added to his book with additional info, but it seems to be a big a stretch. Most of the story is intact, so I guess if a few details are changed it’s OK.
Swallow your horror and let it nourish you. Come with me and sing the song of misery. Share my world!
Annie doesn’t expect anything to happen when she calls Candyman, but still slightly believes the legend is real. Of course, he’s real, foolish woman. As with the first, Philip Glass did the soundtrack for this installment, but I don’t like it as much. It’s just too much choir chanting and became an annoyance for me after a while.
I came for you.
I give Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh 4 out of 5 Stars.
Candyman: Day of the Dead (1999) is the third in the franchise, and in 1999 we thought it was the end of it. I’m relieved and excited that it’s not. This film has a similar vibe to other movies created around this time, and it stars Nikki Sixx’s ex-wife Donna D'Errico, Playboy centerfold, and star of the original Baywatch for a few seasons. It surprises me on how much her acting had improved from those days.
I’ve shown you death, yet still, you doubt me. In death lies your destiny.
The jump in location is disconcerting since we’re now in California, but I get it, families move around. What I don’t understand is that Caroline McKeever is related to Daniel Robitaille, as was Annie in the previous, yet they don’t know each other or just don’t communicate. I guess this isn’t a tight family.
I absolutely love the opening scene with Caroline dreaming of a white bathroom with bloody words written on the wall. It justly sets the tone of the rest of the movie. The racial slurs and animosity are stronger in this one, which is good because I always thought the first two didn’t focus on the point of the story, this actually shows more of the gritty truth of the world.
Join me in death.
The pace in all three is quick, with barely any dull moments, which I like. Get to it. Don’t make me wait for the gore or excitement. This chapter shows more of Candyman’s history, and I enjoy how the three films have painted a rich story about him. The caveat is that not all of the details match from movie to movie, but I’m not really upset about it. For me, it was like not everyone knew the same details, but when each tells their story they fit together.
Yep, I’m a Candyman: Day of the Dead fan and give it 4 out of 5 Stars.