Franchise Weekend – Candyman: Day of the Dead (1999)

Director: Turi Meyer

Writer: Al Septien, Turi Meyer (Screenplay) Clive Barker (Characters)

Starring: Tony Todd, Donna D’Errico, Jsu Garcia, Wade Williams, Alexia Robinson, Lupe Ontiveros, Mark Adair-Rios

 

Plot: The Candyman is back, trying to convince his descendent, an artist, to join him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: What Happened?

 

Story: Candyman: Day of the Dead starts with a random bathroom scene, a big ass bathroom a normal person would never have when a random girl gets a visit from the Candyman without saying his name, I feel like I am not going to like this film.

Ok turns out the random girl is our leading character Caroline (D’Errico) the great, great granddaughter of Daniel Robitaille (Todd) who is all grown up now and is honouring his art in a gallery back in LA. This time we get the backstory once again changing the time of the death of Daniel and the rise of the Candyman.

After Caroline gets pushed into calling the Candyman five times she starts finding herself haunted by him as he has returned to continue his bloody trail of horror. Caroline must work with David (Garcia) to stop the Candyman after the first murders happen, can she put her descendant to rest once and for all?

 

Thoughts on Candyman: Day of the Dead

 

Characters/PerformanceCandyman is back, don’t ask me how he is back but he is, he still continues to be creepy throughout the film which is what we want and willing to kill anyone in the most brutal way. Caroline is the daughter of last leading lady Annie that works to help remember her great great grandfather. David is also involved but turns into bait.

Performance wise, Tony Todd does the best he can with this awful script but the person that stands out as awful all around is Donna D’Errico, a former playboy girl taking over the leading role from much better actress, in this performance here you could easily see in porn. The acting all around is pretty bad to be honest.

StoryThe story here continues to confuse because it was made clear the curse was over but No, it is still happening and the time jump to the adult version of the child in the end scene doesn’t help either. We do have mostly more of the same Candyman wants to swap souls with his selected woman killing anyone else. The story is filled with painful stereotypes and instead of growing the story we just get boobs this time around.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy side of this story is nearly all but gone now with the only horror in this film being the acting.

SettingsWe are back in LA now, because what the hell and the Candyman legend is even celebrated in this town now, sure why not it doesn’t help the film in anyway though.

Special EffectsI don’t think there was much of a budget for special effect because they all come off badly in this film.

Final ThoughtsThis was a dreadful third instalment of the franchise which I did enjoy until now, the acting is so bad, the director just gave up on storytelling and went with boobs as we end up with nearly every female cast member topless at some point.

 

Overall: Terrible ending to this franchise.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995)

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Rand Ravich, Mark Kruger (Screenplay) Clive Barker (Story)

Starring: Tony Todd, Kelly Rowan, William O’Leary, Bill Nunn, Matt Clark, David Gianopoulos

 

Plot: The Candyman arrives in New Orleans and sets his sights on a young woman whose family was ruined by the immortal killer years before.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good World Building Sequel

 

Story: Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh starts with the backstory of Daniel Robitaille (Todd), you know everything we learnt from the last film and how he will come around to haunt you from his myth. This time we are in New Orleans as Ethan Tarrant (O’Leary) wants Philip Purcell an author who has made a profit in books from the Candyman story to pay for failing to help his father.

When Ethan gets arrested for murder, his school teacher sister Annie (Rowan) comes to learn the truth about what happened with tough as nails Detective Ray Levesque (Gianoploulos) wanting to take Ethan down. This time New Orleans are looking to celebrate the Candyman jumping straight into what he wants, people to believe in him once again.

When Annie calls the Candyman she finds herself being the latest victim and must delve deeper into the back story to learn about the legend of the Candyman hoping to stop him once and for all.

 

Thoughts on Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh

 

Characters/PerformanceThe Candyman now striking fear into his audience is back but this time everyone knows about him almost worshiping in New Orleans. He is still a brilliant screen presence killing anyone he feels like killing. Annie is a teacher who is having to investigate the Candyman story to help free her brother from jail and understand her own father’s mysterious death. she is smart when investigating and loyal to her students too. Ethan is the suspect spending most of the film claiming he didn’t do anything.

Performance wise, Tony Todd is still the star of the show still as scary as ever. Kelly Rowan does a good job taking over the leading role but past these two nobody does that well in the performance levels.

StoryThe story can be looked at two ways, the first one is this is a good franchise building story because we get to see the deeper backstory of the Candyman, the second way could be considered the bad way, this is because the Candyman is now a household name that gets celebrated which doesn’t make sense after the first film. it also has a lot of filling to reminding us what we learn in the first film. the story is easy to follow and as a franchise I do think this is a good addition to what we have come to know of the Candyman.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy elements of the Candyman story are the same as last time with a human backstory now but the horror doesn’t reach the levels of before because the Candyman isn’t as secretive as before.

SettingsMoving the settings to New Orleans is a mixed bag as well for me, the spiritual beliefs around the city do add to the mythology behind the Candyman but it also works the other way because they are celebrating him here, which goes against what we learn in the first film.

Special EffectsMost of the practical effects all come off well here but the couple of uses of the CGI do leave us questioning moments in the film.

Final ThoughtsAs a horror fan I liked the deeper backstory because if offers plenty of sequel potential but I also think this film doesn’t offer enough on the true scare factor the first one did, in fact this film goes out of its way to do the mirror scene while the first I believe only did it once.

 

Overall: I have rated this high because I think the Candyman can strike terror into nearly anybody.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Candyman (1992)

Director: Bernard Rose

Writer: Bernard Rose (Screenplay) Clive Barker (Story)

Starring: Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley, Kasi Lemmons, Vanessa Williams, DeJuan Guy, Ted Raimi

 

Plot: The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster’s myth.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fantastically Scary Horror

 

Story: Candyman starts as we learn the legend of the Candyman as researcher Helen Lyle (Madsen) and her partner Bernadette (Lemmons) are collecting accounts of what happens if you say the name ‘Candyman’ in the mirror five times he will appear to you and gut you with his hook.

Helen is married to college professor Trevor Lyle (Berkeley) who teaches urban legends that sweep through word of mouth, sounds like the Candyman story. Helen and Bernie continue their investigation which takes them to a rough neighbourhood where one of the most famous cases of the Candyman took place.

Learning more about the Candyman legend and the horrifying truth about the man Daniel Robitaille (Todd) who was butchered and stung to death. When Helen finds, herself getting a visit from the real Candyman (Todd) who places her in the middle of a crime where she is accused of murder, but this is just a game for the Candyman trying to make his legend continue or will she break the curse.

 

Thoughts on Candyman

 

Characters/PerformanceHelen fills the journalistic leading lady, yes, I know she is a grad student researcher but this offers her a chance to look into the truth of urban legends. This is a standard leading character but at least one that is designed correctly for this style of film. the Candyman is the character we all came to see, he is a striking presence on screen that strikes fear into anybody who sees him, the hooked hand and bees offer genuine fear from this character. Trevor is the husband but is distant through the film that Helen believes is having an affair.

Performances, Tony Todd is fantastic in this role, he created a brand-new icon in horror that is scary in every single scene he is in. Virginia Madsen also shines in this role giving us a strong female lead which always works in horror. Xander Berkeley does ok but doesn’t feel like part of the main story in places.

StoryBringing us a story that focuses on the idea of an urban legend being true but only if you believe in it does work for horror. Having a revengeful spirit killing from beyond the grave will always add to any tension in horror and having a full investigation that fills in the backstory is all we need from this film’s story to add scares and motivation behind it all.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy of what the Candyman stands for is great and built up wonderfully with the horror coming from nearly any scene the Candyman is in because he will kill in the most brutal way with his hook and haunt the dreams of Helen.

SettingsThe film uses to main settings, the ones that are for Helen’s normal life and the bad side of the tracks if you like which shows the dark world the legend has been built up from.

Special EffectsThe special effects used here brilliant, mostly practical ones as we see the final image of what the real Candyman looks like with bees and all will add even more fear to the performance.

Final ThoughtsEasily one of the most iconic horror movies ever made that shows us all horror from one small legend.

 

Overall: Stunning horror a must watch for any horror fan out there.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Cottage (2008)

Director: Paul Andrew Williams

Writer: Paul Andrew Williams (Screenplay)

Starring: Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith, Jennifer Ellison, Steven O’Donnell, James Bierman

 

Plot: In a remote part of the countryside, a bungled kidnapping turns into a living nightmare for four central characters when they cross paths with a psychopathic farmer and all hell breaks loose.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Horror Comedy

 

Story: The Cottage starts when David (Serkis) and Peter (Shearsmith) have kidnapped Tracey (Ellison) taking her to a remote farmhouse. The two are brother’s looking to make a quick quid with this half assed attempt with the kidnapping.

When everything stars to go wrong it doesn’t take long for a bigger threat to come after the unlikely group who along with Tracey’s step-brother Andrew (O’Donnell) must survive against a deadly psychopathic farmer.

 

Thoughts on The Cottage

 

Characters/PerformanceDavid is the brother with a plan, he wants the money to get away from this life, Peter is filled with panic about the kidnapping not wanting to upset his wife back home. Tracey is the victim who is tougher than both the men involved in the kidnapping.

Performance wise, Andy Serkis is good as the deadpan lead through the film, while Reece Shearsmith is good in what you would expect to be the leading lady, constantly screaming. Jennifer Ellison goes against her type cast of a dumb blonde by being a tough blonde who take nonsense.

StoryWhen looking at the basics of the story it does come down to a kidnapping gone wrong with deadly consequences. It is something we have seen before and it is a good formula for horror comedy so I can’t find anything bad with this aspect of the film, I do also like the surprise that you are left to wonder just who will get killed next with no one being safe.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy is good in this film we have great chemistry between Peter and David which add to the laughs with their hapless attempt to kidnap Tracey along with the reactions to the killer. The horror is generic to say the least, it is just a disfigured killer trying to kill the main characters in a gore filled way, nothing to fancy.

SettingsHaving the film set on the remote farm comes off well because it shows a good idea for location of the kidnapping as well as a god location for the killer to hunt in.

Special EffectsThe special effects are mostly all practical and all come off very well to add to the extra gore needed for the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror comedy that doesn’t take any part of the film too serious with over the top kills and colourful characters.

 

Overall: Easy to watch horror comedy.

Rating

 

 

Cute Little Buggers (2017)

Director: Tony Jopia

Writer: Garry Charles, Andy Davie (Screenplay) Kristofer Dayne, Tony Jopia (Creators)

Starring: Caroline Munro, Honey Holmes, Dani Thompson, Gary Martin, Kumud Pant, Sara Dee, John R Walker, Steve Aaron-Sipple

 

Plot: When hostile aliens crash land on local farmland the villagers at the summer ball get suspicious when young women start going missing. The villagers soon band together around our hero Melchoir to fend off the invaders and bring back peace to the sleepy English countryside!

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Micro Budget Horror Fun

 

Story: Cute Little Buggers starts as an alien race look to use Earth to repopulate their species, by taking women but using rabbits as they can breed quicker to capture the women. We move to a small English countryside village which is preparing for their summer ball.

When Melchior Haslam (Dayne) returns to the village he must look to build the burnt bridges but when the women start going missing and the men turn up dead the rabbits are becoming deadly hunters.

 

Thoughts on Cute Little Buggers

 

Characters – Mystic Mary sense the evil heading towards the people in the village, we only have scene with this character in. Randy Rocksoff is the cowardly celebrity hired for the event who shows his true colours when the rabbits attack. Melchior is the returning local that learns the changes in the village, so we as the audience get an excuse to meet all the characters. He steps up when the attack happens to be the hero the village needs.

PerformancesThe performances do all work for the film, moments in the performances are overacted but that helps the comedy, while most of the women show just how this village seems to have the most beautiful women around in.

StoryThe story uses the idea of alien kidnapping women to have their babies and using rabbits as their defence and capture devices. This does sound ridiculous for sure but for a horror comedy it works, we get plenty of innuendos and bad puns, but again that works for the comedy for the film. This is a watchable story as long as you go in looking to watching something that is crazy and over the top.  

Horror/ComedyThe horror comes from the crazy blood splattered deaths going on with the comedy coming from the idea of the film and just how farfetched it sounds.

SettingsThe settings keep us in a small village where everybody knows each other secrets, so the true colours come out when things get out of hand.

Special EffectsThe film has a budget of £25,000, for the budget that size the effects are high standard when it comes to the rabbits.


Scene of the Movie –
Panic at the Summer Ball

That Moment That Annoyed Me We have too many characters introduced just to be an extra kill.

Final ThoughtsIf you want to see a micro budget horror with a good couple of laughs but not one to be taken too seriously, you will get a kick out of this one.

 

Overall: Great fun for the right audience.

Rating