"Candyman. Candyman. Candyman. Candyman. Candyman."
I didn't say it out loud, or in front of a mirror, because nope. NOPE. And of course, I know that Tony Todd is an actual human being who plays the urban legend and anti-hero, but I still won't do it. I won't say the name out loud five times.
If you don't follow me, to do the above is to summon Candyman, who haunts the worst, long ago-demolished projects in Chicago, Cabrini Green. For your troubles, Candyman will gut you like a fish, from gut to gullet.
It's best not to tempt demons, yes? It makes me wonder how Clive Barker --- who wrote the source material for this adapation, "The Forbidden" --- would answer that question.
But that's precisely what Helen (Virginia Madsen) does in Bernard Rose's 1992 horror opus, Candyman. Madsen is effervescent as the graduate student writing a thesis on the intersection on where modern folklore and urban legends collide. As a woman, she's bucking up against an arrogant, older male professor, as well as trying to determine if her own professor husband is cheating on her with a student.
Helen hears about the Candyman legend from a university cleaning lady, and so she sets out with her partner and best friend Bernadette (Kasi Lemmons) go to Cabrini Green to investigate, despite the latter's proclaimations that she won't even drive by the place. Apparently, this particular set of projects was a real, horrible place and was indeed riddled with crime and terrible events. (There's more on that from Rose and the cast in the special features.)
So, Helen and Bernadette investigate and manage to get out alive --- for the time being. A human "Candyman" attacks Helen, and then the mythical man shows, with blood and charisma to spare. That's about as much as I'll reveal, even for the decades-old film, but it holds up. And now, with Jordan Peele producing a spiritual sequel/reboot, it's as good a time as any to revisit Candyman.
And you won't be sorry. This edition has a lovely 2K restoration --- on bothe the theatrical and director's cuts --- as well as a glorious 5.1 sound mix. The uncensored scenes put back in for the director's cut have some grain, and you'll be able to tell, but this is quite minor, especially when you consider that these scenes have been left out for so long. Enjoy! I know I did.
That brings us to the fact that this Candyman Blu-ray release has an insane amount of extras:
DISC ONE (THEATRICAL CUT):
DISC TWO (UNRATED CUT):
I haven't been able to delve into the script (CD-ROM) or the commentaries yet, but no doubt, they hold fun, secrets, and cinematic whisperings of knowledge. I'm sure you can tell that I'm a fan; but this is also an incredible release. I enjoyed the vintage extras as well as the new ones, in particular the critical analysis of the film with authors Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes (it's always enlightening to see the world and art through a different perspective). I also enjoyed the energy of the interviews with Madsen, Lemmons, and the awesome special effects artists who worked on the film.
You simply can't go wrong with this release; it's... killer.
Want to summon Candyman? Check out the trailer and read more about Scream Factory's deluxe limited edition here.