Clive Barker and Bernard Rose
Virginia Madsen as Helen
Lyle Tony Todd as The Candyman
Vanessa Williams as Anne-Marie
McCoy Xander Berkley as Trevor Lyle
Who can take the sunrise – sprinkle it with dew – cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two – the Candy Man can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.” This delightful little ditty popularized’s by Sammy Davis Junior and Willy Wonka naturally popped into my head as I prepared to watchCandyman. But the jovial character in the song by Davis barred no resemblance to the real Villain. Well, maybe the part about chocolate, miracles and love but that’s about it. No – TheCandyman (Tony Todd) was not made out of chocolate, but he was black, he definitely knew magic, and at one time was deeply in love.
There’s nothing like a good urban legend to get the blood flowing and keep you on needles and pins. Admit it. How many of you won’t flash your lights at a driver in the early evening who has forgotten to turn on the car lights for fear that maybe, just maybe, the driver is really a member of a gang who is participating in some kind of secret gang initiation? You can flash your lights if you want to, but you won’t catch me doing it. Neither will you catch me staring in the mirror saying the words “Candyman – Candyman – Candyman – Candyman – Candy…” You get the picture. Cause if I were to do that, I just might unleash the spirit and very real life manifestation of the specter himself.
I can certainly relate to the importance of scholarly research and can even appreciate Helen Lyle’s (Virginia Madsen) desire to immerse herself in her research. But my God Woman – Visiting the projects where a woman was brutally murdered, and climbing into the same creepy hole in the bathroom that a murderer climb through just before hacking someone up and daring to utter the ominous name five times while staring in the mirror.” Are you nuts? Apparently so.
In search of the perfect dissertation topic, Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) sojourns to the world of urban myths and legends. She is particularly interested in the legend of Candyman. Though we never know his real name, the now-ghost was formerly the son of a slave who in 1819 had the bad luck to fall in love with the daughter of a white southern aristocrat while painting her portrait. She loved him back and that’s when the trouble started. They fell in love, she got pregnant and the town’s people went nuts. With pitchforks and torches in hand, they chased the young artist down, cut off his hand, stuck a hook in it, then covered him with bees and watched as he died. Talk about a bad day. The odd thing about the whole situation was, Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) actually bore a striking resemblance to his 1819 lover.
Through a strange twist of events, Kelly Lyle becomes subsumed with the legend and finds herself tottering on the edge of sanity. But being insane does have its advantages. Lyle soon realizes that she can channel the spirit to administer her own form of karmic justice.
This film, presented by Wes Craven, is intelligent, surprising, passionate and damn scary. I was engaged with the movie the entire time, and altogether surprised at how it ended. And I must say, the Candy Man (Tony Todd) is the best looking ghost I’ve seem in a log time. He can hypnotize me any day.