Spotlight – Tony Todd

Best known for his role in the cult classic Candyman that is still inspiring new directors to this day, the inspiring story from Clive Barker was really brought to life by the the 6’ 5”  gentle giant, Toddy Todd who, while not leading as many films as any fan would like, when he does appear in a movie , not matter how short to long his role, really makes an impact in any film and continues to support a thriving horror community.

06. Murder Set Pieces (2004)

Video Store Guy

Notable one of the more modern Video Nasty’s, Murder Set Pieces was a wildly banned horror. Directed by Nick Palumbo it features a deranged photographer (Sven Garrett) travels and documents his serial killer lifestyle. While he’s out slashing prostitutes and trying to bed underage girls he pops into an adult video store looking for a particular snuff movie named Nutbag (a reference to Palumno’s earlier movie) , Tony Todd happens to be the Clerk and the confrontation blows up in epic proportions! Tony is one of a few notable names however it’s generally slated for being disgusting, vile and disturbing, and this is why I love it so much!

05 The Crow (1994)

Grange

When you think back to the Gothic graphic novel turned into cinematic magic, you often will think of the crow and it’s faces, Micael Wincott and the fated Brendon Lee, but Tony Todd held his own against the backdrop of the deadly underground king pins. His empowering presence and cool style helps him blend into this seedy underworld of crime and murder in the ultimate edgy novoue noir.

04.Hatchet (2006)

-Reverend Zombie

This cultured horror made for the fans by a really enthusiastic director Adam Green, a group of friends head out to have fun for Mardis Gras. One of the group isn’t into boobs, beads and beer and entices his friends to go on a haunted swamp tour but they unfortunately run into the territory of Victor Crowley, a man who was originally failed to be an urban legend but the group find out that the legend of a deformed and deranged serial killer might have some truth as they are slashed, hacked and picked off one by one. Tony’s role is minor but so very effective. He plays street trader trying to drive up business for the mystery tour, but despite his brief moments, dressed in a get up similar to Baron Samedi he’s a silver lining of the movie for sure. It would be amazing to see him play some Hoodoo/Voodoo characters in horror films, it might be a touch old school Blaxploitation but if there was ever a remake of Sugar Hill.. just saying..

03.Final Destination (2000)

Mortician

Final Destination‘s unique selling point was its ability to set up detailed and mischievous cinema deaths. When a group of young Americans are pulled from a flight to Paris by a paranoid friend who dreams of the planes demise, the plane doe indeed crash, his vision saved their lives but not for long. As they were destined to die. Fate has a cruel way to catching up with them and making sure they die this time. The movie was a huge success for it’s sick humorous and epically violent death scenes but for me was a really beautiful scene in the beginning of the movie when a slick Tony Todd explains about the mechanics of the movie. He manages to give off a certain chill.. It’s quite magical.

“It’s very interesting that most of the roles I’ve gotten are grim, when I’m actually a very well-adjusted man and had a happy upbringing. I guess there are some dark shadows somewhere in there, but I’m a big kid”

-Tony Todd

02.Night of the Living Dead (1990)

-Ben

After the groundbreaking success of Romeo’s original classic, he returned to give his well wishes for an (then) up to date remake, with a slightly bigger budget and advancements in horror special effects there was a chance at a more gripping, gory story to speak to a new generation. The film was always going to be in safe hands as it was directed by Tom Savini and TT was chosen to play the iconic Ben, a lone black man thrust into a nightmare situation and forced to hold up in a broken down farmhouse, against a hoard of zombies with a group of strangers. The original movie held something special for a lot of fans and this homage to the original really did an amazing job just updating what happened before rather than trying to write write the movie and change too much it just made it more palatable for a different generation. Respectful, suspenseful and a wonderful remake and great choice in lead actor. Todds massive size and gentle voice is exactly what was needed.

01.Candyman (1992)

The Candyman

Written by Clive Barker and Directed by the creative Bernard Rose, the dawning of Candyman was a huge step in bringing black leads into horror once again for another generation, this time in the  guise is of a misunderstood urban legend, a story we’d describe as horror romance, we find a woman searching for the key  behind local urban legends, only to find out that she’s personally attached to one of the biggest mysteries, Candyman. Todd plays the ghoul, a spectre called into our reality by what is previewed to be a childish game, whispering his name into a mirror 5 times (3 times in the book) will usher him into your life which he will then take. Todd had to learn how to hold bees in his mouth and suffered many strings from juvenile bees throughout the filming but his chilling voice and giant persona really captured the hearts of many horror fans.

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