Halloween

The Greatest Horror Movie Moments!
by: Dr. Boogie

Candyman

It's hard to believe that we've been celebrating Halloween on the site for this long without mentioning Candyman. It's a fantastic movie, and Tony Todd as the title character is absolute dynamite. Plus, there's a brief cameo by Ted Raimi right in the beginning.

The basic idea is that an enterprising grad student named Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) is writing a thesis on urban legends when she comes across the story of the Candyman, a slave who ran afoul of a group of angry crackers in the south. They didn't care for him getting a white woman pregnant, so they sawed off his right hand and replaced with a hook. Then, to add injury to injury, they covered him in honey and let a swarm of bees sting him to death.

Skeptical of the Candyman's existence, Helen chants his name into a mirror the required five times, and then all bets are off. Now, the Candyman is killing people around Helen, and worse yet, it looks an awful lot like Helen is the one doing the killing. This is thanks in no small part to Helen's willingness to apply her fingerprints to just about every meat cleaver and butcher knife she can find. Anyway, all this killing and self-incrimination leads to Helen being committed until a doctor can decide if she's fit to stand trial.

You're wearing a sweater and a sportcoat and I'M crazy?

The doctor is a little skeptical of Helen's claims, particularly because security footage of the moment when the Candyman appeared to taunt her only shows her screaming at the ceiling. Helen is a little confused about this herself, but she knows exactly how she can prove she's not a crazy serial killer: summon the Candyman via a nearby mirror. Because that worked out so well for her the first time.

She looked in the mirror and said "file cabinet" five times.
"Candyman... Candyman... Candyman... Candyman... Candyman."

Nothing happens. Looks like Helen was just a murderous psychopath all along.

Indigestion?

The wild women, the rippin' and the tearin'.

Whoops! Guess it just takes a while for the C-man to get warmed up. And boy did he warm up with this guy - ripping that big ol' hook straight up the doctor's spine. That's one way to keep the doctor away, sans apple.

One more murder off the docket. All that's left to do is undo Helen's restraints and make his grand exit.

Cannonball!

At this point, Helen still isn't getting that the Candyman doesn't so much want to kill her as much as he wants her to "be my victim". At first glance it may seem like a case of to-MAY-to / to-MAH-to, but believe me, it's an important distinction to make. If Jason Voorhees thought he could convince teenagers to just impale themselves on his machete, he might be more inclined to give us some snappy one-liners.

Have any questions or comments about this piece?
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Reader Comments

Forum Virgin
Sep 24th, 2010, 10:46 AM
Love Candyman, it's one of my favorite Clive Barker movies. The first time I saw it when I was 11 I was afraid of my bathroom mirror for 3 weeks.
Freelance Artist
Sep 24th, 2010, 10:49 AM
I haven't seen this movie in YEARS, but I'm so glad you did an article on it, as I'm trying to get some awesome horror movies to watch in October, & my collection wouldn't be complete without Candyman :D
frappez le cochon rouge
Sep 24th, 2010, 11:04 AM
That's one of my favorite scenes in horror movies, coz it's just so freakin' jarring.
taco loving zombie
Sep 24th, 2010, 12:26 PM
i can't belive i haven't seen this movie
Pickled Patriarch
Sep 24th, 2010, 01:02 PM
Tony Todd's performance as Candyman is as good as it gets when it comes to horror movie monsters. His baritone voice, and that eerie, calm way that he stalks his victims... he's just too good.

Candyman is also one of the few truly creepy horror movies I've seen, as there's a constantly feeling of unease while you watch the entire thing. The acting is absolutely terrific all around (Virginia Madsen is great as Helen), the cinematography and set design rules (always loved the mural on the wall of Candyman's head where people emerge from his mouth), and the soundtrack just adds to the whole experience.

For those of you who have yet to see it, I simply can't recommend this movie enough. It's the best thing Clive Barker ever did in my opinion. Just don't bother with the sequels.
With More Yes Than Ever
Sep 24th, 2010, 01:37 PM
Fantastic film! I can't wait to see Tony Todd in Hatchet 2.
Member
Sep 24th, 2010, 03:31 PM
The short story it's based on gives the "Be my victim" thing a more clear definition and resolution so that she becomes part of the legend. Also the Candyman origin is better too. I don't know why they changed so much in the screenplay. Still a good movie, but the short story is that much better. For the interested it can be found in the story collection "In the Flesh", which is a great collection.
Member
Sep 24th, 2010, 03:35 PM
Also Tony Todd's performance was downright ICONIC. For years after whenever we saw him, we would proclaim, "Candyman's in this movie! It's immediately better!"
Space Cowboy
Sep 24th, 2010, 06:19 PM
I had heard of this movie before, but never if it was any good or not. If RoG likes it, though, that's all the endorsement I need.

BTW, the movie is currently available for streaming on Netflix, in case anyone was wondering.
Forum Virgin
Sep 25th, 2010, 01:22 AM
Thanks Ozzie, for that heads-up. I put it in my instant queue, and just now finished watching it. Awesome horror flick.
Sam Sam is offline
The Unicorn
Sep 25th, 2010, 01:36 AM
I'm the Candyman, bitch
Forum Virgin
Sep 25th, 2010, 02:15 PM
Quote:
Also Tony Todd's performance was downright ICONIC. For years after whenever we saw him, we would proclaim, "Candyman's in this movie! It's immediately better!"
I think I'd be more inclined to proclaim something like: ''That guy that did Candyman is in this; must be a straight-to-DVD job.''
Pickled Patriarch
Sep 25th, 2010, 03:12 PM
Not necessarily. He's been in some other big films such as "The Rock" and the "Final Destination" films to name a few.
'StraY Dog'
Sep 25th, 2010, 03:53 PM
I'll never understand how short stories spawn movies with multiple sequels (didn't "Children of the Corn" have seven?) when novels seem to always only get one movie.
Member
Sep 25th, 2010, 06:32 PM
Well short stories are rarely long enough to fill out a whole film so they are expanded upon, which means deviaton from the original story, which means leeway for sequels.

Novels on the other hand have to be condensed to fit on a single film, and studios rarely allow sequels to be made before the first film proves itself. Thus even if the film does well, you've already told the story and thus no room for sequels.

Also keep in mind that horror movies don't count. Because they are usually cheap to make and don't require star power, if one is successful they make sequels until it stops making money, regardless of the source material.
Member
Sep 26th, 2010, 01:29 AM
That's a good point HowardC
pickled
Sep 26th, 2010, 09:17 PM
Can't agree more about those sequels. They are horrible.
Member
Sep 27th, 2010, 12:20 AM
Great movie this one. I was in my twenties when I saw it and was genuinely scared to the bejeebez by it. Still haven't said the magic words in the mirror to this day.
Truly well done.
Forum Virgin
Sep 27th, 2010, 12:29 PM
My favorite part in Candyman was when he popped up 8 years later in the suburbs as a mortician in Final Destination. I guess once he got a taste of Helen Lyle he couldn't resist. Us white folk just scare so easily. It was nice to see that he finally got out of the ghetto though. Cue the Jeffersons theme...
Forum Virgin
Sep 27th, 2010, 12:34 PM
Tony Todd: "So let me get this straight, you want me to be in Candyman character?"
Director of Final Destination: "Yes"
Tony Todd: "but...why?"
Director of FD: "We figure at least this way Candyman fans will give the movie great reviews. Plus large stature black men scare white folk easily. Just watch the Green Mile."
Member
Oct 15th, 2010, 02:11 AM
ah candyman. I Have yet to see it but everything i've heard has led to soul crushing disappointment. i read a summary of it some time ago and didn't think much of it. i happened to not look into it and slowly my brain began to flesh out a what if scenario of what this movie could be.

The only knowledge i had was it was about an urban legend and the killer was tall. It wasn't much to go on but my brain, being the logic seeking device it was set to painting a story of what this film COULD have been.

First off i figured it was a story of racists dissapproving of some romantic event, which i hear is fairly accurate considering your views on the situation.

I Began to imagine the killer next, in 1990, when the film was made. After his death long ago, sometime in the 40's, his soul became cursed sort of like i imagine allows freddy kreuger to keep coming back to life. There was no hook on the arm, but he was definitely a bloodthirsty killer. a killer with a twist though.

After the opening sequence we'd see a young black woman in a dilapidated building in the inner city. She had heard the legend of the Candyman and decided to see if it was true, more as a personal joke than anything else. After gazing into the mirror and saying Candyman five times, the mirror suddenly begins to bleed before finally shattering. The young woman freaks out after seeing this and flees in fear.

As the scene slowly fades we see a leather clad arm dressed in white with red stripes. the camera slowly zooms up on a shot of the moon, which of course is blood red. All sorts of things go wrong in the ensuing week, as a number of the young woman's suitors turn up hideously murdered, although that word seems a bit tame. think Maniac style gore.

The night wears on and the young woman is locked up in an insane asylum and charged with no less than fifteen murders. Just as the polise detective places her under arrest for the murders, the police officer guarding the room flies through the door, his eyeballs, nose and lower jaw having been torn asunder.

The candyman enters the room and swiftly dispatches the detective in a bloody mess and the girl flees in absolute horror. She escapes the asylum with the Candyman in hot pursuit, leaving a trail of brutally slain corpses in his wake. He loses sight of her outside of the asylum and steps into view under a streetlight.

The candyman is dressed mostly in white leather with red stripes, though it is quite soaked with gore by now. His head is covered by a hood of which a close up reveals two misshapen red orbs of hate.

After returning home, the woman barricaded herself in her apartment, having grabbed a large kitchen knife for protection. After a tense silence, there comes a knock on the door. she enquires as to who it is, A low, rasping voice replies "Candyman." this causes the women to begin cowering in fear as her front window is smashed almost effortlessly. She prepares herself for a final stand as the candyman begins climbing the stairs. he comes closer and closer sending the woman reeling in fear.

In desperation she lunges forward with the knife, going for the candyman's throat. she misses but knocks the candyman to the ground, dropping the knife to the floor as her fight or flight reflex forces her to flee. As she flees off into the night, she hears the Candyman cry out in pure, unhindered fury.

after a series of further close calls the candyman traps the woman in the building in which he was originally summoned. The young woman silently resigns herself to death but the candyman is behaving rather strangely. He pulls a golden wedding band out of his hand, and it is almost charred black. He beckons her over to a similarly burnt photograph showing a young man and woman. The young woman looks just like our unnamed heroine, and she begins to cry with terror at what this murderous creature might do to her.

He steps into the moonlight and removes his hood and jacket, revealing a creature similar to the ghost of christmas future from scrooge, but instead of a monitor for a head, there is a lumpy mass of flesh with two hideous eyes slanted vertically, and positioned diagonally.

The candyman beckons to her with an outstretched hand, To which she fearfully takes. He leads her to a box in the corner, a box containing an aged and torn wedding dress. it's absolutely filthy. The candyman seems to want her to put the vile thing on, and it finally dawns on her.

This horrible creature that has sent her life to hell and back in just three nights believes she's his lost love. The candyman grows angry at her reluctance to put on the dress and just as he's about to kill her a police officer rushes in, quickly grabbing her and pulling her off to the side. The candyman Growls in raw fury as he raises his hand. the police officer screams in pain as his body tenses to unbearable levels before finally exploding in a gory mess.

Our heroine uses the distraction to flee and finds the building surrounded by dozens of police officers. They take her to safety and open fire on the candyman as he begins his pursuit. After several more people are killed, the candyman attempts to follow our heroine.

He doesn't get far before the local swat team opens fire on him. The bullets seem to pass through him harmlessly. he kills a swat member quite messily but stops as the sun begins to rise. The candyman begins to laugh hideously as he slowly fades into a puff of smoke. His reign of terror has ended, but the Candyman still remains. Fade to black, roll credits.

Corny? Heck yeah. Cliched? in spades! but i'd still prefer a movie like this compared to what i'm learning the true film is. as for the wierd love angle, it was inspired by the creature from the black lagoon.
SKATASTIC
Oct 15th, 2010, 09:02 AM
How about you just watch the movie and see if you like it.
Member
Oct 15th, 2010, 02:58 PM
the concept itself just isn't turning out to be my cup of tea. i like my killers more like freddy, jason, micheal or chucky. i'm still a slasher flick neophyte and i have to be careful as i'm a wuss and get frightened easily. Halloween wasn't bad at all, but if candyman scares rog a little it might give me a heart attack, lol.

Plus he told me to post that here.
SKATASTIC
Oct 16th, 2010, 09:33 AM
I just don't understand how you can have such a long winded biased opinion on something you haven't seen. Regardless if you read a review about it or not. The medium of the story is film which I'd imagine you would need to see to get the whole picture.
Dr Tongue's 3D House
Oct 16th, 2010, 12:41 PM
Thats why I will not watch "The Squid and the Whale" I hate movies about seafood, good thing I read the title and fully understand the movie.

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