Candyman (1992)


Director Bernard Rose
Writer Clive Barker (novel)
Starring :Tony Todd, Virginia Madsen, Xander Berkeley, Kasi Lemmons, Ted Raimi, Michael Culkin, Vanessa Williams, Rusty Schwimmer. USA. 1h

This was one of those movies we used to talk about as high school kids, only the most badass dared to watch it and only a select group of those bad asses dare to perform the Candyman Ritual. I have to admit that I have NEVER done it and I never will.

Based on a short story by Clive Barker called the Forbidden, this visually stunning movie tells a very faithful rendition of the hook handed Candyman, an urban legend with a little more truth than anyone would like to admit to.  A beautiful Chicago doctoral student Helen (Virginia Madsen) is researching the urban myth in the area which he holds most influence, Cabrini Green. With her friend and assistant Bernadette (Kasi Lemmons) go into the gang run projects to discover more about Candyman, after running into some helpful characters Anne-Marie and her baby boy, Helen soon find herself captured up in the legend which is becoming more and more real around her as Candyman makes himself and his hook for a hand known to anyone who is involved in Helen’s life.

As well as being visually horrific and darkly enchanting, Candyman is also an impressive social experiment. The film isn’t particularly dark in it’s appearance (but it certainly makes up for it in it’s details), I have always imagined a Se7enseque style remake and I hate remakes but I just personally feel that it could absorb  that dark insipid touch. But still the bright daylight situations where the Candyman creeps in and out of reality at his own will, makes the film all that more “real”.  The most enticing factor about Candyman is the legend and the dare, it’s not often we get a “bad guy” that we can conjure up at will, normally the victims are hand picked or randomly selected but this sugar daddy of pain can be summoned and there were so many sleep overs where my friends and I dared each other to summon Candyman, and I always chickened out… I’m not ashamed to say it, I read the story, and you only have to say the name three time!!! But sadly he never showed up…

Direction Bernard Rose isn’t known for many classics like this, he did give us Snuff Movie (2005) which if it’s the one I’m thinking of was total schit but on the other hand he crafted a charming if not slightly confusing Mr Nice (2010) with the quirky Welshman Rhys Ifans, so he is capable of great things but his talent isn’t sustained.

Candyman is gory, there is a particular toilet scene that you will actually smell coming and the effects will linger, Tony Todd went through a lot of training while practicing with a mouthful of bees and with his hulkish size, booming voice and hypnotic movements he was the absolute perfect candidate for Mr Sweet’s, his eternal lover, Helen who was actually hypnotised for some of her scenes, also played her part well, and who could resist her beauty. One of the most magical roles is that of Professor Philip Purcell (Michael Culkin), no relation to who know who) a larger than life lecturer who had studied Candyman before and educated Helen and Bernadette about his tragic history, the scene itself lacked some visual examples but Michaels cultured tones and eloquent narrative is rich enough to paint the picture.

It’s not hard to see why so many horror fans adore this blend of fiction set in the real world, and it’s always great to see a story so powerful that it actually becomes it’s on legend, while explaining how these legends occur, very curious and I’ll cover this later in an article I’ve been pencilling in for some time now. It has a great mix of blood, guts, tragedy and blends in one of the most tragic romances ever.

Rating 7/10

R – Candyman 2 (1995), Candyman 3 (1999), Warlock (1989), Evil Dead (1981), Hellraiser (1987), 13 Ghosts (2001),

L – Urban Legend Movies, Toilet Flicks
A – What’s Behind the Mirror, Have you ever tried calling Candyman and other urban legends in films.
5B – Tony Todd, Clive Barker,
Vs – Candyman Vs BeetleJuice



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