Well, on this end of things, it's been a crazy few weeks! First, the day after I posted my last SAW, my laptop went haywire, resulting in me getting the motherboard replaced. Then, the same day it was fixed, both the audio and the Internet went bye-bye.(note: the laptop crashed 2 more times after this sentence was typed...both crashes took 3-4 days to resolve) But thanks to the awesome folks at Dell(it's an Alienware), I'm back in action! So, let's curl up together and watch a pretty good one this week, Candyman...and yes, there will be SPOILERS aplenty...
The movie starts out with a soundtrack that sounds like it came from The Omen then we get to see a swarm of bees rise up over a city skyline. The Candyman himself then talks about blood and murder, before the story switches over to Helen, who is relating to us the story of yet another person, named Clara. Confused yet? I am, and I've seen this before.
Anyway, Clara is babysitting for a family, when a guy named Billy rides up on a motorcycle, looking to make out. He's supposed to be a rebellious, bad boy type of guy, but he's played by Ted Raimi, so I'm guessing no one in the casting department has ever heard of Rebel Without A Cause(Hint: Ted Raimi ain't it.)
So, where was I? Oh right, Geek Fonzie and Clara are about to get hot and heavy, but she decides to tell him about Candyman first. Yeah, nothing sets a sexy mood like a guy with one hand "sawn off"(her phrase) who murders people because they know his name.
According to Clara, you summon him by saying his name 5 times while standing in front of a mirror. 5 times? What, does he need the extra time to use Google Maps to find your house? If he doesn't arrive until the 6th time, is your next murder free? I'm starting to get dizzy from the excessive eye-rolling I'm doing here!
Ay-yi-yi, so they make a big production out of the shirtless girl's boyfriend saying the name...4 times. Clara then tells him to go downstairs and wait for her, while she gets completely undressed for him. The second he gets to the couch, she says "Candyman", at which point a slash mark appears in the ceiling above the couch, and blood starts splashing the boyfriend. Uh, say what now? He only said the name 4 times, and she said it once. Neither one of them actually completed the full 5 times by themselves, so how does that work? If I say "Candyman" once, then 4 other people across the world say it once, which one of us does he kill? We're 5 minutes in, and I'm already tired of this film...and this was one I used to love.
In a classroom, Helen hears 2 other classmates discussing a story about a person who was so high, they roasted an infant because they thought it was a turkey. Why the heck are so many of these slasher flicks centered around urban legends? After being told that our film takes place in Chicago, the setting changes to another classroom in which people are talking about urban legends. The legend THIS time is the old chestnut about alligators living in the sewers of major American cities.
Helen sits down, and the class ends about a minute after that. Short lecture. As Helen makes her way down to the professor, it's revealed that they happen to be married. Wow, it gives new meaning to "easy A"! Helen gets jealous over a female student with what may actually be the world's most perfect butt, which is crazy, because Helen is Virginia Madsen, no slouch herself in the looks department.
As it turns out, Helen is angry mostly because she thought her husband would delay his urban legend class until she finished writing her thesis. She storms off to begin typing up the Candyman legend, which is dictated on a tape recorder. As the story gets to the part where his name is said 5 times, a cleaning lady interrupts to tell Helen that she has more details about the killer. For instance, he supposedly lived in Cabrini Green, a rundown area of the city that's dangerous to enter. When the cleaner mentions that her friend knows of a murder there that Candyman committed, Helen asks to speak with the friend.
Instead of calling the friend or scheduling a time to go to Cabrini Green, the cleaning person steps into the corridor and shouts over to another woman that Helen wants to interview her. What're the odds that they all just happened to be within 10 feet of each other? Small world, my ass.
The 2 custodians introduce themselves to Helen as Kitty and Henrietta. Kitty, the one with the story, tells Helen that some woman heard a loud banging noise while she was in the tub. The woman called 911, but no one believed her. Afterwards, she was found murdered, and the supposed murder weapon was a hook. The 2 women tell Helen that the story was in the paper, but that no one really believed that the killer was actually Candyman.
Excited by this new bit of information, Helen decides to verify it by searching through the newspaper archives. She finds articles mentioning over 20 different unsolved homicides, all with a vague connection to Candyman. So much for narrowing down her search.
One pointless research montage later, Helen and her friend Bernadette decide to meet up. When Helen shows Bernie her research into the legend of the killer, she also reveals other strange things. For one thing, Helen's trip to the library revealed that her fashionable apartment was once a rundown tenement building. The grungy walls were plastered over, the exterior got a minor makeover, and the building went from slum to luxury nearly overnight.
Then there's another weird feature in Helen's apartment: the medicine cabinet in her bathroom allows her to access the empty apartment next door. Her theory is that Candyman used secret passages like the one in the bathroom to claim his victims. To drive her point home, Helen has Bernadette stand in front of the mirror with her, and re-enact the Candyman summoning. After the 4th repetition of the name, Bernadette chickens out, but Helen completes the chant. Uh oh...
Later that evening, Helen is woken up by a strange sound. She realizes that the bathroom light is on, then is attacked in the bedroom by someone wearing dark clothes. Oh, it's only her husband, behaving like a jackass. He's drunk, so after a quick apology for scaring her, he passes out.
The next day, Helen and Bernadette decide to check out Candyman's old stomping ground, a slum called Cabrini Green. Bernadette tries to convince Helen that Cabrini Green is much too dangerous to visit, but Helen insists on going there, to prove that she isn't afraid to do what it takes to complete her paper.
Their arrival is noticed by several unruly teens, who assume that the women are cops. They ignore the catcalls and sexual comments and walk up to the floor of the building where most of the news items took place. Helen takes out a camera to photograph the graffiti on the walls, including 1 particular phrase that catches her eye: "SWEETS TO THE SWEET".
They find an apartment where one of the murders took place, and the layout matches Helen's place, right down to the hole behind the medicine cabinet. Helen snaps a few pics of the other apartment behind the cabinet, then decides to crawl through and explore. Frustrated, Bernadette just sits down to wait for Helen's return.
Helen, meanwhile, is off on an adventure. She keeps discovering holes in walls, and she continues to step into them. The last hole leads into a room with a pile of candy on the floor...oh, and the hole has been painted around to form a screaming mouth in a giant face. Freaky. As Helen examines the candy and discovers razor blades in the wrappers, Bernie finds a creepy, discarded baby doll.
As they meet up again, in a lame jump-scare, they see another woman watching them. Her name is Anne Marie, and she actually heard Candyman committing one of his murders in a nearby apartment. She also tells Helen that she lives in fear of Candyman
That night, Helen, Bernadette and several members of the college faculty dine at a ritzy restaurant. A pompous professor wants to mock Helen's thesis, but she replies that her Candyman research is going to blow him out of the water.
The fat, pompous professor then bores everyone with Candyman's full origin story. which began in 1890. Candyman was the son of a slave, but he was raised among the wealthy, because his father made a fortune from an invention he mass-produced. Fascinating, Spock.
Anyway, Candyman was an artist, and he was often hired to do portraits by the local, wealthy families. One such painting was going to be of a landowner's beautiful, young daughter, but she and Candyman had a secret affair. When her father found o8ut about the affair(she got pregnant), he paid some thugs to saw off the young man's right hand, then smear him with honey, so that an angry hive of bees could sting him to death.
Helen tries to visit Anne Marie again, but she's not home. A young boy named Jake knows what happened to her, but is afraid that Candyman will kill him if he talks to her. Helen talks him into showing her where Anne Marie is, and on the way he points out a mountain of garbage that will allegedly be a bonfire.
Jake points out a small brick building, and says that it's where one of Candyman's victims was found, a mentally disabled boy who had wandered away from his mother to use the toilet. The boy began to scream, so a bystander went in to rescue him. When the Good Samaritan found the boy, his penis had been sliced off, and there was blood everywhere. Oh, and supposedly the rescuers hair turned white from the frightening scene.
Helen decides to photograph the tiny restroom, and the boy promises to wait outside for her. Once inside, there's graffiti, as well as an odor that makes her gag. She opens each stall, discovering nothing in the first two. The third toilet is disgusting. Written in what I assume is feces, is the phrase SWEETS TO THE SWEET. Inside the toilet are a multitude of bees.
Outside the toilet, someone approaches Jake, and Jake calls him "Candyman". As Helen obliviously keeps snapping pictures, the bathroom door opens, but it's not Candyman who enters, it's a quartet of local gang members. They beat the crap out of her, then leave her there for Jake to find.
This is followed by Helen picking her attackers out of a lineup. The cop who helps her also informs Helen that they believe that the same gang killed everyone who had supposedly been murdered by Candyman. They hope that, with Helen's testimony, the Candyman killings will now be over and done with.
Jake isn't as convinced. He's pissed about Helen making a police statement, because he firmly believes that Candyman will come after him next. Helen tells him that it's over, but he doesn't look too sure of that. Then we get a scene that I guess takes place several days later, because Helen's injury is almost gone as she has dinner with her husband.
Bernadette welcomes her back to the campus, then gives her a gift. The gift turns out to be the roll of film they had taken at Cabrini Green. Bernie also tells her that a publisher has expressed an interest in publishing her findings.
After a successful return to work, Helen is walking to her car and examining some pictures and slides while she walks. Candyman calls her name, then appears in front of her. He tells her that, by having the gang members arrested and charged, she was weakening the strength of his legend. As such, he promises her that he will go after "innocent" victims, and that she will suffer. Helen passes out.
When she comes to, Helen finds herself in Anne Marie's apartment. Helen is in her bathroom, covered in blood, and Anne Marie can be heard screaming and wailing in another room. After checking to see if the blood is her own, Helen leaves the bathroom.
The severed head of the family dog is waiting to be found in the hallway. In a move defying logic and sanity, Helen sees the murder weapon in a pool of blood, so she decides to pick it up. Brilliant deductive reasoning, Helen. Maybe you should spit on the dog and tear some of your hair out, in case they need DNA evidence to go with your fingerprints.
Helen opens the door to the baby's room, and finds Anne Marie in there. She chases Helen into the kitchen and pushes her to the floor. Anne Marie starts bashing Helen's head into the floor, so Helen fights back, until she manages to straddle the other woman. Grabbing the bloody meat cleaver off the floor, Helen holds it above her head...until a small army of cops arrive on the scene, to corner and arrest Helen.
At the police station, Helen sobs and undresses while a stern female cop collects her clothes for evidence. After that, Helen asks to speak with Detective Valento, the cop who helped her earlier when the gang members beat her. He reads her the Miranda rights, then describes to her, in detail, what they think she did: Anne Marie came home from work, found the dog beheaded, and the baby missing. At that point, Helen came in, armed with the cleaver and covered in blood. They ask her where the baby is, but Helen still insists that she doesn't know anything about the missing tot.
Helen asks for her 1 phone call, but Trevor isn't home. She leaves a message, but then finds out that it's 3 a.m. She freaks out in her cell, then has a disturbing vision of Candyman, keeping the infant in his lair. Hey, at least the kid is still alive! Probably.
Hey, Trevor finally arrived! He posted bail, brought Helen some clothes, and also hired a lawyer. Wow, pretty nice work for an unfaithful husband. You better hope Helen doesn't ask where you were at 3 a.m., dude...
Helen tries to help the lawyer with her defense, but her memory is about as fuzzy as a hillbilly cheerleader's armpits. In the tub, Helen asks Trevor where he was when she called him from the station. He lies through his teeth, saying that he slept through the sound of the phone ringing. He leaves, and Helen poses seductively in the tub for a few more seconds. If time travel is ever developed, I'm going back to meet, young, seductive Virginia Madsen...and about a hundred other actresses from the same time period. Hubba.
Helen, oblivious to my leering, wanders into her kitchen and decides to look at her developed slides once more. She drags everything into the living room, draws the shades, then sets up the projector. One picture in particular draws her attention, an image Helen snapped of herself in a reflected window. She improves the focus of the picture to enhance the reflection, and realizes that she captured an image of Candyman in the photograph.
After sipping some coffee, Helen decides to do something unbearably stupid: Sher heads to the bathroom, to try to summon Candyman in her mirror. Before she gets the chance to try it, Candyman plunges his hook-hand through her medicine cabinet, scaring her out of the bathroom.
Helen runs through the apartment and races into the hallway, but Candyman is waiting there for her. She rushes back inside, but he teleports in right behind her. Candyman makes her an offer: if she will allow him to kill her, he will return Anne Marie's baby to her. He even reaches for her with his hook, scratching her neck enough to draw blood.
Then Bernadette shows up. She knocks and rings the bell, but Helen begs her to leave. When Bernie enters anyway, and Candyman pretty much disembowels her. Before we get to see that though, we get a repeat of the previous crime scene. Helen wakes up on the floor holding a knife, the cops find and arrest her, Helen cries, has a vision of Candyman and the baby, then passes out.
When Helen wakes up again, she's in the psych ward. They strap her to a bed, lock the door behind them as they leave, and Helen is left alone with Candyman. He's hovering over her bed, promising her that he will take her soon. Then Helen is given some Happy Juice, and goes for a Happy Nappy in Dream Land...
When she wakes up again, Helen is brought by a pair of orderlies to her doctor's office. The doctor, named Burke, informs her that she has been out of her gourd for about a month. They've been dosing her with Thorazine, which is why she has no memory of her time in the hospital.(Fun Fact: Thorazine not only gives you memory loss, but it also cuts your hair, as Helen is shown with a shorter hairdo than she arrived with. Neat.)
Dr. Burke then shows Helen a security tape, showing the night she was admitted to the psych ward. When they get to the part where Candyman was floating above Helen, she can clearly see that there was nothing above her. She watches the tape in disbelief.
Helen tells Dr. Burke that she can prove her sanity, by summoning Candyman. Uh Helen, quit while you're ahead...Nope, she insists on doing it. Facing a mirror next to her, Helen starts the Candyman chant. She says the name three times, then Candyman stabs Burke through the back, and looms behind him while his body spasms.
Wait, 3 times? What happened to the legend of having to say it 5 times? By this logic, I should be able to summon him just by saying "Can". Oh, and if you watch this one with me, pause on Helen's face after Burke is stabbed. She looks like he just let out a Godzilla-sized fart. It's comedy gold, that expression.
After making Burke flop around a bit more, Candyman tells Helen that he will finish her off that night, then he uses his hook to cut the straps holding her arms down. She does what anyone would do after summoning a ghost to murder her shrink--Helen steps out onto the window ledge, and starts sliding around the building to look for another window to enter.
She finds one and bangs on it with the palm of her hand, and a woman in blue scrubs opens the window for her. Helen is so grateful that she knocks the woman out(or maybe kills her), then steals her clothes. Helen gets into an elevator just as the search begins for her, and somehow gets outside.
She runs back home, and finds everything covered in plastic. A young woman is repainting the walls, and Helen startles her. As I predicted, Trevor had a mistress, and he wanders in from either the bathroom or the bedroom to confirm as much. Me am smart. Trevor does a double-take when he sees his wife, and tries to get his girlfriend to call the hospital. By the way, the actress playing the girlfriend is so bad, I honestly can't tell if she's laughing or crying in this scene.
Helen puts down the phone, then begins to sob over her marriage crumbling. She leaves Trevor and his bimbo, and Trevor immediately calls someone, to alert them about Helen's visit. Helen stands on a bridge as Candyman tries to convince her that she is alone in the world.
She makes her way back to Cabrini Green, and crawls through the passageways to Candyman's home. She finds a hook and grabs it, becoming "Candywoman", I guess. She finds yet another hidden room, filled with murals and other artistic representations of Candyman, before discovering the killer himself, taking a freaking nap.
Helen prepares to kill Candyman, but he wakes up and she misses her chance. Then she faints, and he carries her, Frankenstein-style, to a grungy-looking sacrificial altar. She begs him not to kill her, and he responds by puking bees at her and revealing that his body is covered in them.
After giving Helen a bee kiss, Candyman grabs the abducted baby. Then Helen wakes up and finds a sign that Candyman wrote on one wall:IT WAS ALWAYS HELEN, along with a drawing of her face on the wall. Candyman seems to be trying to pin his crimes on her.
She makes her way outside, then realizes that Candyman placed Anne Marie's baby on the bonfire. She climbs the mountain of trash to get the child, unaware that Jake is watching part of the climb. Since Helen is partially obscured by trash, Jake thinks that he's seeing Candyman, so he decides to set the structure on fire, to protect himself from the scary killer.
Helen grabs and rescues the baby, as others gather, and help Walter soak the trashpile with gasoline. Before Helen can get away, Candyman grabs her. She accuses him of lying to her about letting the baby live, and Candyman responds that it doesn't matter, because she will die soon either way. Helen's response is to impale Candyman with a flaming stake, then attempt to save the baby.
A burning pile of debris knocks Helen over, and she crawls, while aflame, to Anne Marie. As Helen burns from head to toe(literally, because her scalp is on fire now too), Helen manages to give the baby back to Anne Marie before she dies from her injuries. Inside the bonfire structure, Candyman also burns to death.
In the days following the bonfire, Trevor, his mistress, and 2 other members of the college faculty hold a funeral for Helen. As the funeral comes to a close, Trevor is shocked to see a huge crowd of mourners marching toward them, led by Anne Marie and Jake. At the grave, Jake drops a large metal hook on top of the casket.
At home, Trevor's bimbo is concerned when he locks himself into the bathroom. She eventually goes into the kitchen, and Trevor remembers Helen in happier times. Trevor starts to cry in front of the bathroom mirror, and thnere's a sudden power outage...but only in that room.
The light in the bathroom flickers like lightning, and Trevor sees Helen's vengeful, bald visage in the mirror glaring at him. He turns and nearly bumps into her, and Helen kills him with the hook she was given. Then the bimbo girlfriend finds his corpse in the tub(and most of his blood everywhere else) and screams. As the credits roll, the scene switches back to the alter where Candyman gave Helen his bee kiss. On the wall, he has painted a mural of Helen, looking angelic. THE END.
Well. 3 computer crashes and about 2 weeks late, I finally managed to finish Candyman. It definitely wasn't as good as I remembered it, but the unintentional laughs were worth it. I don't remember if there were 3 movies in the franchise or 4, but I'm pretty sure they don't get better after this one, so it'll be entertaining to make fun of those as well. I'll give Candyman an average 3 killer trees out of 5.
And what did I learn after watching Candyman?
-I have the hots for Virginia Madsen.
-You can say a ghostly killer's name as many times as you want to, he'll show up regardless of what his rules are about the summoning. Heck, you can even have more than 1 person say it!
-If you live in a city apartment, look for a tunnel behind your medicine cabinet. It's there!
The next slasher coming in is something called R.S.V.P., and I have no advance knowledge of it at all. As long as my computer remains stable, I should be able to post it in a few days. Hope to see you guys soon!