Our names will be written on a thousand walls. Our crimes told and retold by our faithful believers. We shall die together in front of their very eyes and give them something to be haunted by. Come with me and be immortal.-Candyman
Based on a short story by homo-horror meister Clive Barker, Candyman is one of the most underrated films of the early 90s. With various other franchises from the golden era petering out (Jason Goes to Hell, Freddy’s Dead etc) and the post modern classics still only a pipe dream (Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer), Candyman often gets lost and forgotten.For those who are not familiar with the film, here is how I explained it to my mom when she called part way through watching it last night:
MOM: How are you?
ME: I am good… eating an entire pumpkin pie and watching Candyman!
MOM: Fatty… Is that a scary movie?
ME: Yes. It’s an AMAZING scary movie…!
MOM: Is that the one with the clown? IT I think? Where the clown drags the little girl under the bed?
ME: No… That’s Poltergeist… IT is the one where the clown is actually a fear-spider-monster…
MOM: I never saw that one…
ME: Candyman is about a grad student named Helen who is doing her thesis on urban legends. She begins studying Candyman. The legend goes you say his name 5 times in the mirror and he appears and guts you with a hook shoved in the bloody stump where his hand used to be.
MOM: That’s fucked up…
Helen’s search for Candyman leads her to Cabrini Green a housing project in the ghetto. What she finds is so much more then what she ever could have imagined. Eventually here quest leads to the mythical Candyman, the victim of a heinous crime who begins to appear to Helen leaving a trail of blood and gore in his wake.
Candyman is all kinds of epic. It has one of the best horror scores of all time by MOTHER EFFING Phillip Glass! It stars Virginia Masden! It features amazing Kubrick-esque shots of Chicago! All of the exterior shots of Cabrini Green are of actual housing projects in the Ghetto! All of the extras in these scenes are actual early 90s gang members who agreed to be in the movie after the film crew showed up and the men refused to leave their turf?! Most importantly it has one of the greatest horror icons of all time (I say icon and not villain because really Helen’s husband Trevor is the real villain in all of this). Candyman (played by genre vet and Shakespearean actor Tony Todd) still makes me mess my underthings… His deep booming voice, gentlemanly mannerisms and terrifying and ominous screen presence still send chills down my spine.
If you haven’t seen Candyman get your ass to the videostore (or torrent site cause it is 2012 but go rent it and support your local videostore…). It is the perfect movie for a chilly October viewing in the dark with a couple candles and lots of sweets.