For kids growing up in the ’70s that didn’t live in Chicago, Cabrini–Green was a place of laughter. The Evans family lived on Good Times lived in the housing project. This is where J.J. (Jimmy Walker) uttered “Dyn-o-mite!” and talked about getting him some money. The high-rise buildings were full of colorful characters according to the sitcom. We had no idea how frightening the high rises really were during this time. By the early ’90s, we learned that there was nothing funny about Cabrini–Green when Candyman arrived in theaters. The movie is adapted from Clive Barker’s story “The Forbidden” which took place in Liverpool. Director Bernard Rose’s screenplay brought a deep dish of horror by relocating the urban legend to the Second City. Tony Todd served up the honeybee laced nightmare as the Candyman. Candyman on 4K UHD makes the nightmare more vivid as we’re taken into the deteriorating projects.
Helen Lyle (Sideways‘ Virginia Madsen) is finishing up grad school at a college in Chicago. She needs a subject for her thesis on urban legends and finds herself wanting to explore on a local supernatural figure called The Candyman. The story goes that if you stare at a mirror and say “Candyman” a certain number of times, the Candyman will appear behind you and kill you with his hook hand. Which leads to that big question: why would anyone do this in the first place? We live in a world where kids eat Tide Pods for Youtube videos so it must happen a lot. Some people don’t think of consequences. Lyle does her initial research by going into the scary Cabrini-Green housing project (as featured on Good Times) to see an apartment where supposedly the Candyman killed a family. Lyle and her classmate (Eve’s Bayou‘s Kasi Lemmons) quickly learn from an associate the true origins of Candyman and how his violent end shaped his horrific legend. The duo try to summon him in the mirror, but nothing happens as far as they can tell. She returns to Cabrini-Green to expose Candyman as a made up story, but quickly learns that an urban legend doesn’t want to be evicted from their reality. Candyman (Platoon‘s Tony Todd) isn’t scared of a grad student.
Candyman is a great spooky tale and has a lot more pull than a usual horror film. At it’s core is the attraction before Lyle and Candyman. What is the game these two are playing with each other. Candyman needs the fear of the locals to survive. Lyle can’t write her paper if she can prove Candyman is real. There’s also a heightened fear level when Lyle goes to Cabrini-Green and not from the supernatural horror. She’s got to worry about locals that aren’t putting up with her hanging out on their turf.
There are two different cuts of the movie in the boxset. From what I’ve found out, the difference is only a few shots from when the therapist meets Candyman. Instead of showing the hook at work on the guy, the R-rated version cuts to reaction shots from Lyle. You should always watch the Unrated version when friends come over for a sticky horrific experience. Although Madsen does a great job reacting to the butchery. Candyman: Collector’s Edition is a sweet urban legend.
The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The 4K UHD transfer brings out the honey and the blood from an attack by the Candyman. The shadows of Cabrini–Green look more frightening. Both the Unrated and Theatrical cuts are on the 4K UHD disc. The cuts of the film are on two separate Blu-ray discs. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and the original 2.0 mix. The 4K UHD disc also has the track on Dolby Atmos. Phillip Glass’s score sounds great and scary in the mix that includes Madsen losing her mind in sobs. The movie is subtitled.
DISC ONE (THEATRICAL CUT):
Audio Commentaries including four different tracks. The first has writer/Director Bernard Rose and Actor Tony Todd recounting the nightmare they constructed. Audio Commentary With authors Stephen Jones and Kim Newman deals with race issues in the film. Audio Commentary With Director Bernard Rose, Author Clive Barker, Producer Alan Poul And Actors Tony Todd, Virginia Madsen and Kasi Lemmons delves deep into the action. Finally an audio commentary With Bernard Rose, Moderated By The Movie Crypt’s Adam Green And Joe Lynch lets the director answer plenty of questions about the film.
“Sweets To The Sweet: The Candyman Mythos (23:49) is a vintage featurette with with Writer/Director Bernard Rose, Executive Producer Clive Barker, Actors Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, and Kasi Lemmons. To Barker, the core horror was his grandmother’s fear of men’s bathrooms.
Clive Barker: Raising Hell (10:46) has the writer talking about scaring people in his books and short stories.
Interview With Actor Tony Todd (7:07) was recorded back in 2014. He talks about it being a Gothic love story. The bees had their own trailer on the set.
Bernard Rose’s Storyboards (5:22) has the illustration the director used to line up his shots.
Theatrical Trailer (2:05) warns us not to repeat his name while looking in the mirror.
TV Spots (1:36) scares us even more. Don’t say the word!
Still Gallery (5:19) contains a bunch of photos and promo art.
Screenplay can be accessed as a BD-ROM.
Be My Victim (9:47) interviews Tony Todd about being a new horror creation on the screen. He talks about the character’s loss that drives him.
It Was Always You, Helen (13:11) meets up with Virginia Madsen. Turns out she had a different part, but moved up because the original actress was pregnant. She also had to deal with whether she was allergic to bees.
Reflection In The Mirror (9:48) allows Kasi Lemmons to reflect on how scary the film was. She was also in Silence of the Lambs.
A Kid In Candyman (13:36) allows actor DeJuan Guy to talk about being recognized as the kid in the movie. He studied under Marla Gibbs.
The Writing On The Wall: The Production Design Of Candyman (6:22) chats with Production Designer Jane Ann Stewart. Has odd tales of how nasty the effects became.She talks about how the apartments were made of cheap cinderblocks that could easily be knocked out.
Forbidden Flesh: The Makeup FX Of Candyman (8:02) has Special Makeup Effects Artists Bob Keen, Gary J. Tunnicliffe And Mark Coulier talk about what they did to create the Candyman scares. They talk about the toilet seat nastiness.
A Story To Tell: Clive Barker’s The Forbidden (18:39) gets writer Douglas E. Winter to review Clive Barker’s seminal books Of Blood And Candyman’s source story, The Forbidden. He breaks down the story so watch it after the film.
Urban Legend: Unwrapping Candyman (20:41) a critical analysis of the film with writers Tananarive Due And Steven Barnes has them view the film and their reactions to the film. They talk about how the film is about race while Clive Barker’s short story was English.
Scream Factory presents Candyman: Collector’s Edition. Directed by Bernard Rose. Screenplay by: Bernard Rose. Starring: Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley & Kasi Lemmons. Rated: Rated R. Running Time: 99 minutes. Released: May 24, 2022.