Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fusion of Film: Candyman

Welcome back to Day 3 of Fusion of Film. This time around let's take a peek at the genre known as Horror. Yes I was feeling a bit whimsy today. We partake of a film in 1992 that is based on urban legends and a figure caked in the blood and whispered as a vengeanceful spirit that did horrible things for the fact of his own tormented soul. This is Candyman.

Y' brother made Evil Dead.

Our story follows a graduate student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen of Highlander II: The Quickening, Love Kills, Blue Tiger, The Prophecy, Frasier, American Dreams and Justice League) does research on various urban legends. After extensive study she came across a local legend of a man known as Candyman. The story says Candyman can be brought forth by saying his name five times while looking directly in a mirror but the story ends with whomever summons him will feel death with his hook hand. Similiar to the Bloody Mary story.

Helen and her skeptical friend Bernadette (Kasi Lemmons of Another World,Vampire's Kiss, Silence of the Lambs, Hard Target and Disconnect) decide to invoke Candyman's spirit with both of them calling Candyman out and...nothing seemed to happen. Further poking around Helen finds out that Candyman was the son of a slave, whose dad became well-to-do after creating a system of mass-producing shoes during the Civil War. Candyman (Tony Todd of was raised with privilege and became an artist and was so well known for his works that he had a waiting list for him to create portraits. But life became difficult falling in love with a white woman who he knocked up. Spurned by this woman, her former lover made up a lynch mob to cut Candyman's painting hand off, smeared his face with honey leaving him to the bees. AHH THE BEES!!!!

Candyman's foreplay gets a bit rough.

In this crime-ridden Cabrini-Green via Chicago claim the horrors about this area is all Candyman's doing, shedding blood of the innocent. Yet again ignoring all those that were superstitious and fearful, they warn Helen over and over again that she has released the evil into the world and know what can happen. Husband Trevor (Xander Berkeley of Apollo 13, Leaving Las Vegas, Heat, Bulletproof, Air Force One, Gattaca, Shanghai Noon and The Mentalist) warns Helen that this has gone a bit far as she and Bernadette went to Cabrini-Green to pursue a story of a child that was castrated in a public bathroom alledgedly linked it to Candyman. Checking out the ran-down bathroom a gang member attacks Helen with a hook claiming to be Candyman for his street cred. Helen gets away and sicks the cops on the child killer.

Candyman appears to Helen saying her talk of him being just a legend and he is obligated to prove his existence. Helen wakes up in Anne-Marie's (Vanessa Williams of New Jack City, Melrose Place, Candyman and Soul Food) apartment spattered in blood with a dead dog and Anne's baby is missing. Anne-Marie jumps Helen thinking she did this and Helen fights back when thankfully the cops take Helen away.

Trevor bails Helen out of the hoosegow and Candyman stalks her down, slashing her enough to cause blood to flow and make her pass out only to wake and see Bernadette dead. Off to the rubber room for a month because... well Helen cannot be trusted clearly. I mean look what she has done already.

Will Candyman cut a bloody swath through Helen's life? Can she stop him? Will he take everything she loves away?

A few notes on the film now:

Using practical effects the bees used in the movie were bred for the movie, they were only 12 hours old so they looked large enough to be mature bees but no stingers were able to do real damage.

Eddie Murphy was considered for the role of Candyman but it was Tony Todd's gravelly voice and 6'5" height that impressed the director for the title role. Virginia Madsen is allergic to bees, so an ambulance was always on set while filming the bee scenes. Composer Philip Glass was asked to create the score and give the movie a Gothic feel with chorus and pipe organ. He was less than thrilled that the movie was a low budget slasher flick. Can't please everyone I suppose.

Oh yes, I am the title role.