Great Watching: Candyman (1992)

Well I’m saying today this one of the greatest wickedest bloody old Horror movie ever made but off course, it’s underrated as hell! Have you seen it yet? Sorry to say, I do love Horror movies because sometimes they’re a bit of a joke! As a teenager growing up in small country town when I got to whatever age it was? I would got to the VHS store and hire them all, my family hated them and didn’t share my love for them but I didn’t mind. I don’t know when it was when I watched this one last? But I’ve checked it out again and blogging it today, if you’re interested? Here goes, it might get a bit long!

I’m going into details in the next bit so if you not seen it, spoilers are below but I’m kind-of thinking you’ve already seen it? Which might NOT be the case! I guess, it can be file under “natural” Horror with all these bees which goes back to Hitchcock’s The Birds etc. This Horror film can be also file under ghost stories/urban myths and explaining little more? This title lead character, real life name was Daniel Robitaille or who’s always called the movie’s “villain” has powers of hypnosis, trance, mind control plus supernatural ability of invisibility. But throwing a cat in with pigeons at the very start of my take or view of it and how I see it in my own blog post about this movie today is that Helen is the real “villain” in this film! Think about it makes more sense to me because everything she does is or could be seen as plan evil or at least for her own self-centered purposes or is it just me? I’ve heard it before more than a few times so can’t be only one who thinks that but that means, I’m also saying the cops are kind-of right which would the first time for that to happen in any movie ever made in the history of filmmaking. I guess, she redeems herself a little by saving the baby just before her own death but off course, then takes over Candyman’s powers and comes back to kill her own idiot husband. From say just a female POV it has to be the most satisfyingly ending to the story then any other Horror movie or better that just the female lead escaping with her life intacted like most or a lot of them or then again, maybe it’s not? By doing that they’re dismissing the African-America lead and making more about this white woman, I’ve just called the baddy. Both African-Americas and females never have, let’s say a very easy time in any or all Horror movies. Off course, then it’s very easy said and has before a lot this movie is just plan racist and just continuous Hollywood’s normals in America with white woman as the so-called good person and black man as the so-called baddy plus then it’s also a caution tale of the interracially relationship. I’ll like to pointing out all the most famous Horror movies bad guys are all a white cast and those all have endless sequels and why can’t African-America have there own Horror lead and then celebrate that fact? Most of the time they’re just the ones being killed off and for that matter women get killed too a lot in Horror movies. I guess, if you don’t count any of the few back stories: the 1800’s Candyman’s own death and Ruthie May more recently murder and what happens in the toilet block. After the Rottweiler dog the first human killing is a African-American woman so it does happen in this movie too. Off course, it’s been pointed before Candyman is very good looking black man with no face deformities unlike almost all the other bad guys in Horror movies but what about the rest of his body? His bloody hook for a hand and finally when he put back his coat, he’s still disembowel which where all the bees are coming from, their beehive is inside of him. The next killings are all white: psychic ward doctor, Helen herself and then her husband but should really be counting Candyman himself because he’s killed yet again in a bonfire with all the bees flying out of the fire. No bees die in the making of this movie, just joking they most likely did. Anyway my point has about who gets killed next are mostly the supposedly smart white people but does it matter who die when? Because they’re going to be some kind-of death toll of the cast members in any Horror movie. I remember, watching it with someone a longtime ago, she was way more upset/pissed off about the beheaded dog than anything else that happened in the whole of Candyman. Counting up the surviving or real living main characters are three blacks with Anne-Marie with her baby and Jake then only one white as Stacey which was Helen’s husband’s new girlfriend somehow doesn’t get killed, she should be the first to go. As a teenager embedding the back story into America’s history of slavery and lynching did make it much more cooler and interesting Horror movie to me back then. Since then I do understand the criticism for just using it and not fully understand it. Even if they’re just using it in a movie genre which reminding everyone again, that’s just suppose to be scary or mostly braindead entertainment and nothing more, not really taken serious and including all this in something that’s just mindless entertainment is still really wicked cool in my own opinion. Even if you’re a dumbass watching it would made you think about it at least a little bit, maybe? On the re-watch I noticed the main back story of the man himself is kind-of told twice, once earlier in the film around a yuppie dinner table and then closer to the end in the form of paintings on the walls in part of the abandoned building. A flashback was filmed, I remember vaguely but must be in one of the two squeals made, maybe I think it was the first one? Anyway included on the walls is the face of Helen as his girlfriend or the daughter of the man who got him killed in the first place in the 1800’s. “It was always you, Helen” is a line repeatedly said by Candyman in the movie so somehow his girlfriend from 1800’s has come back to life in the 1990’s like reincarnated as Helen or something? Maybe, just looks a hell of alike this person from his past so reminding him of his old girlfriend which explains why he doesn’t just kill her but everyone around her, which is a very big huge why up to that point but all this was never really fully explained in anymore details, you know? That’s focusing a lot or very quickly explaining the race issue in this movie. I guess, it is very problematic but for early 90’s movie which people were back then way less education about these things and I think, they do a not a bad job tackling it, maybe or was it just totally wrong doing parts or all of that? What do you think?

It’s Candyman (Tony Todd) and all his bees!

Talking about something else next, being made in the early 90’s everything is not just CGI. I’m now talking about all the bloody bees, they’re real bees in it! Supposedly they used bees at the life span of 12 hours so they looked like adult bees but don’t have the stringers yet. Even with that I read once that lead actor Tony Todd did get bitten but worked it into his contact he got bonus pay of $1,000 extra or something every time, just for the unconvinced of the bee stings. Todd used a total mouth guard made special so the bees could crawl/fly out of his month in that famous scene too. Guessing the rappers Wu-Tang Clan has to be fans of Candyman but I don’t remember them using any samples in their music but maybe they have and I’ve just forgotten? Then the setting of ghetto in Chicago housing projects called Cabrini–Green is interesting because everyone is scarred of them in real life so making it the location of a Horror movie is clever move. Filming did take place for a few days at the real locations which the buildings themselves was soon after started to be ripped down by the city. Off course, now I’m back talking about the race issue and I guess, you could say all Helen does is just white privilege too. If the movie was a real life Helen would been murder the first time going into such a place so that’s end of story and be no movie at all! But it’s not a motherfuckin’ documentary as my youngest sister once say watching some movie with the whole family, now that’s became a long running family joke. Then again maybe, I’ve convinced myself in writing this post I’ve been deluded, Candyman has stereotypes and just racist, dumbass movie anyway after typing out all that above? What do you think again? Can a movie do or be both things at the same time or not? I guess, ask again, what do you think?

Let’s move on and say something about the acting and directing next: I think, both the main male and female actors who are Tony Todd as the Candyman and Virginia Madsen as Helen both do really great epic jobs in their leads, it’s not bad acting like in some Horror movies or even campy. Director who also wrote the screenplay was Bernard Rose did also a great job but all three I can’t really say what else they did? Maybe, should look that up or something? I know Rose is a white British guy so that could go into not fully understand how complex it is using all these race issues are? Thinking about it how better could they have done it in the early 90’s? Movies really can’t drive too deep into anything anyway, have a limited time frame to set everything up mostly with a begin, middle and end in less than two hours so how much more detail could they have done Candyman in 1992? What could they changed? Oh well, I guess maybe a few things which then only would have made it even better movie? Re-watching it in the 21st century and thinking about all this, or sometimes not in those cases but just in general it’s dated very well comparing I’ll say, is way better than most other old Horror movies overall I’ve re-watched lately in the last year or so! Also notices how almost all of it is in daylight hours not nighttime like almost all or a lot of Horror films which is another cool thing about it. I remember, it was rated R back in the 90’s but copy these days which I found on old fashion DVD as “Cinema Cult” for just $10. Anyway seems to have M rated now, thinking about it again, maybe Australia did give it a less high rating M and it was in America gave it R. So if I looked I think, I could find something online somewhere explaining all this but does anyone really care about that? OK, I’ve found out even if I just saying who cares. A bootleg cut of a working print can be found which includes Helen in the toilet block getting more brutally beaten by the gang of youths, bleeding profusely from her head wound and being kicked around on the floor more which might sound bad to say but that might have made that a little more better because nothing really happens to her other than being hit in the head once, maybe should have been somewhere in-between to not be too graphic but a little more realistic. A German VHS version has a different much gorier version of the psychologist death and UK’s version shortens scenes of blood spurting towards Helen’s face too. It seems another European version was cut by 12 minutes but the DVD restored it to 94 minutes from the original 86 minute version. My $10 copy is 95 mins. so I guess, that’s the uncut Australian version?

My movie post I did last month I did named my most favorite scene so once again! Best bit of Candyman just has be the “Bees In Toilet” which I noticed on the re-watching is pretty early on so if you somehow don’t count that back story/flashback which is totally impossible really because it’s the most shocking insane bit of the whole movie! The next bit is just smart/dumb Helen who goes walking around dirty and filthy toilet block which is only a tiny part but hasn’t got any bloody gore plus has zero dialogue but I always found this bit pretty funny too, you know? Here’s it on YouTube even ending before getting knocked out by the gang so cutting at finding all the “Bees In Toilet”:

What I know about source material, originally was a short story by master horror author Clive Barker he off course moved into movie making himself and his greatest would be Hellraiser of 1987. Candyman was based on something called “The Forbidden” from his Books of Blood series of 1984-85. Setting in the book was in Liverpool, England and you didn’t even say his name fives into a mirror, the mere thought of him not being real would be enough to draw him forth. Describing his flesh was multicolored and waxy and his scent was like candy-floss but the iconic hook and bees are introduced in the short story but it was movie makers moving him to Chicago, America. Off course you can see him in a film so adding the race plus film added his name, place of origin and his full backstory. Only a couple a sequels were made of this epic character which very small compared to most more well-known Horror movies or villains’ or the series of endless movie squeals/remakes/reboots. That was Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh of 1995 and Candyman: Day of the Dead of 1999 which off course like most Horror sequels they’re not as good!

The reboot of the same name Candyman is coming in 2021, released in a few months times. I was thinking it was directed by Jordan Peele who did a couple of the greatest new or I think the most original Horror movies in the last few years, Get Out of 2017 and Us of 2019 but he’s got something to do with it but isn’t the director, co-producer and co-screenplay writer I think? The director of this new Candyman is Nia DaCosta, it’s her debut feature film after making a short three mins. film of Candyman in 2020. I guess, that’s the main reason I’m re-watching this old Candyman film and blogging it today. We’ll see if they get it right or make it better and fix the problems from this 90’s movie or maybe not at all and fuck it up even more? It drops in about six months time but with everything C-19 that might change, I think it was actually suppose to have be out last year, I might even go and see it in the cinema too? Here’s what I can find on YouTube of that short which seems to be a puppet animated prequel recounting visually without any words the origin tale of the Candyman legend/myth:

Off course, I just have to say something about the music in 92’s Candyman. The killer score was done by the wonderful amazing Phillip Glass which has to be easy the best soundtrack to any Horror movie and yet another reason I love it. Here’s his soundtrack on Spotify:

So to finish today I’ll say or let’s call it the old movie of this month (Feb. 2021) because last month (Jan. 2021) I did a post about another old movie too, The Straight Story linked here which followers/readers/viewers seem to dig! So let’s see if after these couple of posts about these two films, if I can do another one next month? Once a month post on an old movie, we’ll see? Both those are so far, from the 90’s but that wasn’t deliberate really, you know? But I guess, I’ve said before here on my blog I do love a tiny little bit of 90’s stuff! So that was very long post but please do tell me what you think about Candyman right now, if you wanna?

It’s Tony Todd as Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman showing his bloody hook and the beehive guts!

Cheers! 🙂

6 Comments

  1. I feel like I probably watched this back in the day. I was a huge horror buff and read a bunch of Clive Barker’s books. But I don’t have any recollection of it. I’m sure I loved it but don’t watch too much horror these days.

    Liked by 1 person

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