Movie Review: CANDYMAN (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

CANDYMAN is based on the short story “The Forbidden” by Clive Barker who also served as executive producer. The movie was written and directed by Bernard Rose and stars Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley, Kasi Lemmons and DeJuan Guy. Candyman features music by Philip Glass.

The myth of Candyman has endured for generations. He legacy is eternal rage. This gut-wrenching thriller follows a graduate student whose research summons the spirit of the dead! When Helen Lyle hears about Candyman, a slave spirit with a hook hand who is said to haunt a notorious housing project, she thinks she has a new twist for her thesis. Braving the gang-ridden territory to visit the site, Helen arrogantly assumes Candyman can’t really exist … until he appears, igniting a string of terrifying, grisly slayings. But the police don’t believe in monsters, and charge Helen with the crimes. And the only one who can set her free is Candyman.

“They will say that I have shed innocent blood. What’s blood for, if not for shedding?” This 1992 horror classic follows chain smoking Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen), a skeptical graduate student who’s researching superstitions and urban legends in a housing project on Chicago’s gritty North Side. After another murder takes place, Helen’s investigating ends up getting her in trouble with some of the locals, including gang members, but she also learns about the legend of Candyman (Tony Todd) and that the legend is actually real. She finds out first hand that if a person looks in the mirror and says his name five times then he’ll appear and it never ends well for the person who summons the supernatural figure.

There’s an eerie bond that forms between Helen and Candyman who shares some of his heartbreaking history with her that sheds a little light on what actually happened to him that led him to becoming this hook-handed urban legend filled with bees. As terrifying as Candyman is, there’s a fondness he has for Helen who sort of becomes his heir apparent as the story slowly plays out – especially in the very end. What happens is, Helen ends up getting blamed for the latest murder and those around her thinks she’s losing her mind but what they don’t know is that the real killer is actually Candyman who’s pulling the strings and using Helen as his makeshift puppet. In the end, Helen proves to everyone that she wasn’t the killer and ultimately saves an innocent life from Candyman by sacrificing herself.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/0-card. The front features the all-new artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some original artwork and movie credits so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use for the front cover. Each Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front and alternate covers. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. Scream Factory has given the movie a new 2K restoration from a new 4K scan of the original film elements. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition upgrade were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Candyman is hands down in my top five favorite horror movies of all-time. The story comes from the fantastic imagination of Clive Barker that deals with the legend of this urban serial killer with a tragic past. Clive Barker’s name is also what first drew me to this movie back in the day. Sure, Candyman is a gruesome killer but he’s also a victim of racism who was born out of violence and abuse because of forbidden love. Tony Todd plays this urban legend to perfection because he’s a menacing figure with a hook for a hand that towers over his victims. This supernatural killer also viciously slaughters anyone who summons him or gets in his way. The movie has a great cast that also includes Virginia Madsen who sort of becomes Candyman’s love interest in a strange kind of way. The movie features some impressive old school makeup and special effects that also includes a little blood and gore. We’d never really gotten a movie about a black serial killer before Candyman and that’s what makes this one such a special watch and a horror classic that spawned two sequels. Scream Factory released Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh on Blu-ray back in 2015 and hopefully they’ll do the same for Candyman: Day of the Dead sometime soon. Candyman will be available on a pristine 2-disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray set on November 20th.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: Theatrical Cut – 99 Minutes / Unrated Cut – 99 Minutes

Rated: R and Unrated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras include new audio commentary, vintage audio commentary, new interviews with some of the cast and crew, vintage interviews, storyboards, screenplay, special featurettes, theatrical trailer, three TV spots and a still gallery.

DISC 1 – Theatrical Cut:

  • NEW 2K restoration from a new 4K scan of the original negative, supervised and approve by writer/director Bernard Rose and director of photography Anthony B. Richmond
  • NEW audio commentary with writer-director Bernard Rose and actor Tony Todd
  • NEW audio commentary with Stephen Jones and Kim Newman
  • Audio Commentary with director Bernard Rose, author Clive Barker, producer Alan Poul and actors Tony Todd, Virginia Madsen and Kasi Lemmons
  • Audio Commentary with director Bernard Rose, from The Movie Crypt Podcast hosted by filmmakers Adam Green and Joe Lynch
  • Sweets to the Sweet: The Candyman Mythos featuring interviews with director Bernard Rose, producer Alan Poul, executive producer Clive Barker, actors Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd and Kasi Lemmons (23:49)
  • Clive Barker: Raising Hell – an interview with author/artist/filmmaker Clive Barker (10:46)
  • The Heart of Candyman: Interview with actor Tony Todd from 2014 (07:07)
  • Bernard Rose’s Storyboards (05:22)
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:05)
  • TV Spots (01:36)
  • Still Gallery (05:19)
  • Screenplay (BD-Rom)
DISC 2 – Unrated Cut:
  • NEW 2K restoration from a new 4K scan of the original negative with high definition inserts for the uncut footage from an archival film print
  • NEW Be My Victim – an interview with Tony Todd (09:47)
  • NEW It Was Always You, Helen – an interview with Virginia Madsen (13:11)
  • NEW Reflection in the Mirror – an interview with Kasi Lemmons (09:48)
  • NEW A Kid in Candyman – an interview with actor DeJuan Guy (13:36)
  • NEW The Writing on the Wall: The Production Design of Candyman – an interview with production designer Jane Ann Stewart (06:22)
  • NEW Forbidden Flesh: The Makeup FX of Candyman – including interviews with special makeup effects artists Bob Keen, Gary J. Tunnicliffe and Mark Coulier (08:02)
  • NEW A Story to Tell: Clive Barker’s “The Forbidden” – writer Douglas E. Winter on Clive Barker’s seminal Books of Blood and Candyman’s source story, “The Forbidden” (18:39)
  • NEW “Urban Legend: Unwrapping Candyman” – A Critical Analysis Of The Film With Writers Tananarive Due And Steven Barnes (20:41)


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