Apparently I’ve seen this movie before, but I don’t remember anything about it other than Tony Todd being awesome. That can be said about a lot of movies Tony Todd is in, in that you can guarantee he was awesome in whatever it was. I think the reason I decided to rewatch it might have been the fact that the whole goddamned thing is on YouTube and I was looking to occupy my lunch break, and BOOM! Virginia Madsen was all up in my face. OH SHIT! Totally just remember that another reason I watched this movie was because it was playing at a Clive Barker themed night, same night that I saw Nightbreed, but before they showed Candyman they were showing Hellraiser and I didn’t want to stay. Another reason I wanted to check this movie out was because it was filmed in a shitty part of Chicago and every time I go through that area I think of Candyman and try to recognize things. I CAN’T.
I think Candyman’s clothes were supposed to represent the time period in which he was murdered, and I learned that everyone in that time period looked like a pimp.
Helen (Virgina Madsen) is exploring an urban legend that involves saying the name “Candyman” into a mirror five times, which will cause him to appear and kill you. The legend was about the son of a former slave who was murdered and had his had chopped off and replaced with a hook after being covered in honey and bees or something. I think the “Candyman” moniker had something to do with being covered in honey? Anyways, Helen says the name five times in a mirror, and at first, nothing happens. When she goes to the neighborhood where the legend started, she is confronted by Candyman (Tony Todd) and he starts killing people in front of her. Since he disappears, all of the murders are being blamed on her. No one believes that the Candyman is real, but when he takes a baby captive, he offers a trade. If Helen will join him in death, the baby will go free. She tricks him and is able to save the baby, temporarily, but when the residents of the neighborhood think they’ve found Candyman, they start a fire. The fire doesn’t affect Candyman but ends up killing Helen, but only after she saves the baby. The only people to show up at her funeral are her ex-husband, who left her for one of his students because he thoughts Helen was crazy, but then the whole neighborhood who had been affected by Candyman show up to pay their respects. We then see the depressed ex-husband repeating his dead wife’s name to him as he realizes his mistakes, and after the fifth time saying “Helen”, she appears from out of the mirror to kill him.
Even though it came out before The X-Files, Virginia Madsen was giving out a serious Dana Scully vibe, which I can totally get behind. That is, until all of her hair burned off.
Why is everything I’m reviewing these days somehow tied to urban legends?! My initial gripe about this movie would be the length, despite the fact that it’s barely over an hour and a half. The only reason I feel as though the length was an issue was because it caused the story to jump from one direction to another and make you feel like you’re watching a different movie. It’s almost like it was pieced together in 15 minute segments and then some transitions were used to tied one segment to the next. On the other hand, this could also be considered a good thing about the movie, as it brought together multiple themes and concepts. There was the urban legend of looking a mirror plot, combined with the “true” origin of an urban legend, tied together with one neighborhood embracing and paying tribute to this legend, all the while we begin to question is maybe Helen is somehow imagining all of these murders going on. This movie was based on a novel so maybe the combination of all of these themes flowed a little bit better, but as I mentioned, all those themes did force me to pay a little closer attention. I also liked the idea of Candyman being “defeated” and that caused the person who defeated him to take his place as the new urban legend. I don’t know guys, I guess there wasn’t anything all that bad about the movie, I just don’t necessarily think it is as much of a classic “slasher” as some other movies that came before it. SOMETIMES MY REVIEWS ARE REALLY AWESOME (no they aren’t, moron) AND OTHER TIMES I DON’T HAVE TOO STRONG OF AN OPINION EITHER WAY.
Wolfman Moon Scale