Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - Say Hello to My Little Flesh

Say what you want about Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, but it kicks Candyman 3: Day of the Dead’s ass all around the apiary. When we did our retrospective series on Dead Air Podcast for the Candyman I remembered fondly enjoying the second movie in the theater even though it wasn’t nearly as perfect as the original, but upon a rewatch most of my love for Candyman 2 proved to be nostalgia driven. There’s plenty to enjoy in the imperfect movie, and it wasn’t the move to New Orleans from Chicago that had me less than enthused about the first sequel. It was the atmosphere. It was the music and acting. While the kills and scenes of gore were enjoyable when they actually happened, the whole thing felt like it had lost its sense of spooky, sense of realism and sympathetic characterization that made me love the original.  Tony Todd may be Candyman, but these sweets ain't as sweet.

Scream Factory has released the first sequel on Blu-ray and in keeping with their quality standard  the disc is quite nice. The picture looks good, though I think this movie suffers from some of the notoriously bad film stock circulating in the mid 90’s though that comes from a person who is only just now really noticing such things. The traditional cover art is on the front with a less popular traditional cover with which I was previously unfamiliar. I prefer the popular cover, but it’s nice to have options rather than go stills on the inside. You get the audio commentary with the director Bill Condon who would go on to director widely acclaimed non-horror movies and of course the Twilight Series. Perhaps the most worthwhile extra is the interview with Tony Todd where he candidly discusses the original film and sequel. Also included is an interview with veteran actress Veronica Cartwright.

While I’m not a huge fan of the sequel, I can and do watch it from time to time. It isn’t a must watch, but it is not despised or maligned. I simply offer up that it must be taken with a grain of salt and perhaps enjoyed mindlessly rather than taken as a serious follow up to a classic horror picture. Once you remove your memory of the original picture and storyline, you can enjoy some of the finer moments in Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh like a complete origin story and some strong gore toward the end of the movie. It’s nice to see familiar faces back from the original though I haven’t fully understood why Candyman 2 didn’t follow Helen or why Helen didn’t follow Candyman to New Orleans. The first movie seemed to set up a duel hook attack story line that could have been superbly sexy and completely deviant.

Perhaps the best reason to pick up this release is for completeness; to own a part of the series that you may not have previously owned in HD. I chock this Scream Factory release up the same we I reviewed Pumpkinhead 2, necessary for collector’s but not essential viewing for average horror fans.

The quote on the back of the box from Fort Worth Star is that it’s “Scarier than the original”. Allow me to dispel this horrible piece of film criticism as bullshit. Best not to put things like this on the box.

Order Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh now.

Synopsis from Scream Factory:
His myth has endured for generations. His legacy is eternal rage. And now he's back... with a vengeance! Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh continues the tale of the phantom-like figure who wreaks a terrible fate upon those who chant his name five times while looking into a mirror… and come face to face with grisly death.

A victim of unspeakable evil while he lived, the "Candyman" (Tony Todd, Final Destination) has become evil incarnate in his afterlife. This time, he haunts the city of New Orleans, where a young schoolteacher named Annie Tarrant (Kelly Rowan, The O.C.) is struggling to solve the brutal murder of her father. The locals insist that he was slain by the Candyman, but Annie is not convinced... until she unwittingly summons the monster forth, learns the secret of his power, and discovers the link that connects her to him. But can she stop him before he kills again? Directed by Bill Condon (Gods And Monsters, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) from a story by Clive Barker (Hellraiser, Nightbreed), Candyman: Farewell To The Flesh is "one heck of a scary movie" (Moviehole)!

Bonus Features
  • Audio Commentary With Director Bill Condon
  • THE CANDYMAN LEGACY – A New Interview With Tony Todd
  • DOWN MEMORY LANE – A New Interview With Veronica Cartwright
  • Theatrical Trailer

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