SEPTEMBER 29, 2008
On the DVD for the first Candyman, Tony Todd discusses the franchise as a whole, and while he talks about Farewell to the Flesh for a few minutes, when it came to Candyman: Day Of The Dead (the DVD art has a "3" in the title but the film itself does not) he pretty much just pointed out that it exists. But since it was written by the same guys who wrote Wrong Turn 2, and featured Nick Corri, I figured it might be reasonably entertaining. And, well, it sort of is. But it’s like a vacuum; I already forget most of what happened in it. This may be the first movie in history in which both the creators and audience are in agreement that the movie is in fact, well, THERE, and that’s about it.
Really though, at no point during the film was I angry at any dialogue or idiotic character decision, nor was I particularly engaged by anything on screen either. It could have ended twenty minutes earlier or twenty minutes later and it wouldn’t have any effect on how I felt about the movie as a whole. Even some of my notes are pretty vague: “Tree”. The fuck does that mean?
There were occasional moments that got a rise out of me, good or bad. One was the delight in seeing that Nick Corri is basically playing the same guy he played in Nightmare on Elm St, that of a suspect in a murder that we know he didn’t commit, but no one will believe who the real killer is because “it’s just an urban legend”. Also, in my review for the first film, I pointed out that some of Candyman’s dialogue sounded like bad goth poetry. The line I used as an example is repeated here... by a goth kid! I had a nice chuckle at that.
Also, Wade Williams is in it. You might know him as Bellick on Prison Break. And if you don’t, that means you are missing the finest ridiculous hour of television to air since the heyday of Melrose Place. One recent episode found Michael Schofield (the show's hero) getting all night laser surgery to remove his full torso (front and back) tattoo, a process that took a few hours and didn’t leave him in the slightest bit of pain. Seriously, watch it, it’s amazing.
There are a couple of minor concerns though. One is that our heroine, a beautiful blonde woman, takes the subway out of East LA. Uh, no. No one uses the subway in LA at all anyway, especially not in that situation. Another is that the music sucks. I guess they couldn’t afford or just didn’t want to use Philip Glass’ amazing theme, so they just have a generic ripoff and some hiphop beats instead. Not the best substitution.
But the only real issue is that the film is more or less a remake of the first two, as it concerns yet another blonde woman who is investigating the Candyman legend. At least in the 2nd movie the girl had reasonable doubt on her side, but this broad is the daughter of that character, so she should know better than to go poking around “trying to learn more” (even dumber, she doesn’t really believe in the guy, even though her mother’s entire family was killed by him). I’m not sure why after two other movies with this scenario that no one thought to try a different approach. If nothing else, at least the Hellraiser films were constantly doing something new.
But I mean, if you’ve never seen the other films, or even if you just skipped the 2nd one, this wouldn’t be an issue, and you could enjoy the movie for what it is. It’s hardly great, but it does its job – there are gory kills, some nudity, a memorable killer (though Todd seems a bit bored this time around), and, as usual, an interesting backdrop not often used in horror movies (Day of the Dead in Los Angeles... I think the last one I saw with this setting was The Dead One, and this movie, flat as it may be, is much better).
Oh now I remember what “tree” meant – in the obligatory origin flashback, Daniel Robitaille is seen tied to a tree as he is covered in bees and being be-handed. But in the last movie, he was on the ground, right? Then again, if our heroine is the daughter of the woman in the last movie, then this movie should be taking place in like 2020, not 1999, so whatever.
The DVD, like the movie itself, is pretty lazy. The main menu is one of the messiest I have ever seen, and the only extras are the trailer and some production notes. Also, the back tells us that it’s a full frame version when it is in fact presented in widescreen. Since I almost skipped buying it due to the “full frame” transfer, it’s kind of a silly mistake to make. Artisan is risking a loss of the lucrative “anal retentive bastard” crowd.
What say you?