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UHD Review – The Candyman (Scream Factory)

We dare you to say his name five times

Director – Bernard Rose (Snuff-Movie, Paperhouse)
Starring – Virginia Madsen (Dune, Swamp Thing), Tony Todd (Night of the Living Dead, The Crow), and Kasi Lemmons (The Silence of the Lambs, Vampire’s Kiss)
Release Date – 1992
Rating – 4/5
UHD Release – 4/5

When it comes to 90s horror there is several titans that battle to be the face for the decade that typically draws scorn from the dedicated genre fans. Honestly, I’m guilty of dragging 90s films through the mud but I do enjoy a fair deal of films from this decade. Franchises like Leprechaun, Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Tremors, and Candyman and iconic now and perfect examples that horror from the 90s should not be overlooked.

While Scream is probably the most popular franchise of them all I would admittedly say that it’s one I don’t care for with Leprechaun and Candyman being my favorite overall franchises. Candyman and it’s two sequels are films I remember renting often from my local video store. I had a lot of fun with it and couldn’t wait to revisit it. When Scream Factory sent over the UHD release of the first Candyman I couldn’t wait to revisit them.

**Spoiler alert** The film follows Helen Lyle (Madsen) who is writing a thesis on local legends and finds herself going down the rabbit hole surrounding the Candyman. Her investigation into Candyman lands her in the slums at Cabrini Green where she learns the backstory about Candyman and who he was. After saying his name five times like legend suggests, she finds herself at the center of a nightmare that she can’t seem to wake. **Spoiler Alert**

The first Candyman film is a fucking horror masterpiece. It blends urban horror, urban legends, and blaxploitation together to create something that I can argue was not done until this Clive Barker penned story was adapted into film. Sure, blaxploitation dabbled in horror during it’s infancy but nothing this dark and bleak was ever produced during blaxploitation’s heyday. Most of the blaxploitation’s horror attempts were usually parodies of specific films and covered in the humor that made the films so much fun. Candyman is no such film. It’s a movie that spawned in an entire sub-genre of urban based horror that filled video store shelves in the early to mid-90s.

The acting in this one is a lot of fun. Tony Todd will always be Ben from the Night of the Living Dead remake to me but he will live in infamy as the iconic Candyman. Hearing him deliver his dialogue while slowly stalking his victim still sends chills down my spine regardless of how many times I’ve seen it. His performance is iconic for a reason and no one could have pulled off this character like he does. The new installment does a decent enough job but it doesn’t have the impact that Todd’s performance does. The supporting cast is great with a lot of stand out performances and colorful characters to make the film have more depth than it does. Virginia Madsen always felt underwhelming in this one to me and still feels that way after revisiting it. Her panic and distressed scenes always made me laugh and this go around it just felt forced and awkward.

The story for this one does more than explore an urban legend. It shows the struggles that many struggling families, mostly minorities, go through in slums in the inner city projects. It’s social commentary on city live in the early 90s still resonates all these years later. You then have the backstory centered around slavery and the mutilation and murder of a free black man by wealthy white people. You center a supernatural slasher in the middle of all this and you have yourself a film that is unlike anything at the video store before it.

Finally, the film has plenty of bloody deaths with some great practical effects. We get some awesome props, make-up effects, and the deaths fit in with the film fucking perfectly. It’s not that gory but the deaths work well for the film and add another layer of enjoyment to an already enjoyable film. Overall, Candyman is a fucking iconic film and a testimony that not all 90s horror films suck. I highly recommend this classic if you haven’t seen it before.

Special Features:
DISC ONE (4K UHD — THEATRICAL & UNRATED CUTS):
NEW 4K Master Of The Original Negative, Supervised And Approved By Writer/Director Bernard Rose And Director Of Photography Anthony B. Richmond (Theatrical Cut) By Arrow Video
NEW 4K UHD Presentation In Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible) Of Both Cuts Of The Film, The Theatrical R-rated Version And The Unrated Version Featuring Alternate, More Graphic Footage, Presented Via Seamless Branching
NEW Dolby Atmos Track
Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Bernard Rose And Actor Tony Todd (Theatrical Cut)
Audio Commentary With Authors/Film Historians Stephen Jones And Kim Newman (Theatrical Cut)
Theatrical Trailer

DISC TWO (BLU-RAY — THEATRICAL CUT):
NEW Dolby Atmos Track
Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Bernard Rose And Actor Tony Todd
Audio Commentary With Authors/Film Historians Stephen Jones And Kim Newman
Audio Commentary With Bernard Rose, Author Clive Barker, Producer Alan Poul And Actors Tony Todd, Virginia Madsen And Kasi Lemmons
Audio Commentary With Bernard Rose, From The Movie Crypt Podcast Hosted By Filmmakers Adam Green And Joe Lynch
Sweets To The Sweet: The Candyman Mythos – Featuring Interviews With Bernard Rose, Producer Alan Poul, Executive Producer Clive Barker, Actors Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd And Kasi Lemmons
Clive Barker: Raising Hell – An Interview With Author/Artist/Filmmaker Clive Barker
The Heart Of Candyman – An Interview With Actor Tony Todd
Bernard Rose’s Storyboards
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spots
Still Gallery
Screenplay (BD-ROM)

DISC THREE (BLU-RAY — UNRATED CUT):
NEW Dolby Atmos Track
NEW Looking Back In The Mirror – An Interview With Actress Vanessa Williams
Be My Victim – An Interview With Tony Todd
It Was Always You, Helen – An Interview With Actress Virginia Madsen
Reflection In The Mirror – An Interview With Actress Kasi Lemmons
A Kid In Candyman – An Interview With Actor DeJuan Guy
The Writing On The Wall: The Production Design Of Candyman – An Interview With Production Designer Jane Ann Stewart
Forbidden Flesh: The Makeup FX Of Candyman – Including Interviews With Special Makeup Effects Artists Bob Keen, Gary J. Tunnicliffe And Mark Coulier
A Story To Tell: Clive Barker’s The Forbidden – Writer Douglas E. Winter On Clive Barker’s Seminal Books Of Blood And Candyman’s Source Story, The Forbidden
Urban Legend: Unwrapping Candyman – A Critical Analysis Of The Film With Writers Tananarive Due And Steven Barnes

Written by Blacktooth

(Staff Writer) Lover of all things horror and metal. Also likes boobs and booze.

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