June 26, 2010
Hola Gasmii and happy Horror Friday! As promised, since we are still getting to know one another, here is a little tidbit about P-Baby Walker. I border on the obsessed with scary movies. I also love Halloween and candy and sitting on the couch eating candy while watching scary movies. Which is why, for my first Horrorgasm, it was a no-brainer to recap the classic Virginia Madsen/Tony Todd film Candyman. This movie is near and dear to my heart, as we go way back to the eighth grade when the most popular girl in class invited me to sleep over and we watched this in the basement as a double feature along with The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I'm not sure why she invited me, but I think it may be because she wanted to have a sidekick with smaller jugs than her. That way she could always ensure her place at the top, while I, the Titless Wonder, was cool by association. It was a win-win for everyone.
I even own Candyman in my personal collection of movies, deftly purchased out of the $5 DVD bin 'o wonders at Wal-mart. I'd like to punch the bastard who came up with the idea for that bin. He's made thousands off of me, and all I've got to show for it is a book of crappy movies that no one likes except me.
We open over the scene of a busy city with extremely overdone computer-generated opening credits zipping around on the screen while a dramatic orchestra thunders along in the background. Well, that's what would happen if this wasn't a film from 1992. This is what actually happened.
As the credits roll, the menacing voice of the Candyman chimes in with his two cents, questioning what blood is for, if not for spilling. He then declares that, hook as his hand, he'll split me from my groin to my gullet. Admittedly, I wasn't quite paying attention with both ears since I am easily distracted by shiny things and sugary treats and heard that he'd lick me from my groin to my gut. I quickly rewound and realized my mistake, but then started thinking that the writers really missed an opportunity to take this movie in a completely different direction.
The film opens with the telling of the urban legend of the Candyman. Innocent Claire is babysitting for the Johnsons when stud muffin Billy pulls up on his motorcycle. Claire wasn't going out with Billy but she always had the hots for him because of his bad boy persona. Claire decides that tonight is that night she's going to give up the goods to Billy, as she is a virgin and Billy is supposed to be early 90's attractive.
Quite the mood-setter, Claire tells Billy about Candyman and his bloody sawed off stump of a hand while they are in the bathroom. She informs him that if they say his name five times, he'll appear behind them and slit their neck. Boy, she sure knows how to talk dirty to a guy. They look in the mirror and say his name four times before stopping. Because Claire is stupid and expendable, she makes Billy go downstairs while she remains in the bathroom and says Candyman one last time. Upon turning out the lights, Claire is killed, scaring Billy so badly his hair turns white.
Upon conclusion of the story, we are introduced to Helen Lyle, a University of Chicago graduate student in the midst of research for her final thesis on urban legends. While conducting interviews of students, the Candyman legend comes to her attention. She learns that he can be summoned by saying his name five times while looking in a mirror. I can only imagine the devil spawn that would occur if Candyman was to bone down on Bloody Mary sans rubbers. It would be some kind of demonic hooked-hand, blood-soaked, bee-eating bitch. I'd never go to the bathroom again.
Before heading to a classroom to continue working, Helen stops by to visit her professor husband Trevor to peak in on his lecture. There she notices an attractive blonde student seems to have taken a liking to her husband, though he denies her allegations of cheating.
After the pit stop visit with her husband, Helen continues work on her thesis, typing away on her blue-screened word processor. I was kind of hoping Ghostwriter would come in and start swapping letters around, because I miss that show so much and every time I see a blue-screened word processor, I will him to come back.
At home in her apartment, Helen's friend Bernadette comes over and they jokingly summon the Candyman in the mirror, though nothing happens. This plants the seed of doubt to his existence in Helen's mind. Trevor comes home in the middle of the night drunk off his ass, scaring the **** out of me and Helen.
Helen's research leads her to Cabrini Green, a bad side of town known for its gang and your everyday, average, unsolved homicides. She drags Bernadette along with her to the scene of the unsolved murder, because Bernadette is African American and gives Helen some street cred. They make their way past an extremely threatening group of thugs dressed in purple and aqua wind suits complete with matching purple felt beret. The thugs are convinced they are police, letting the ladies pass but warning the apartment building of their arrival.
While at the apartment building, Helen documents her trip with the world's loudest camera and also stumbles across the largest glory hole known to man.
Helen runs into Terry from Jumpin' Jack Flash, who really can't catch a break since she was captured by the KGB six years ago and now lives in a building full of gangsters and hook-handed vengeful spirits. Terry tells Helen and Bernadette additional information about the Candyman tale. She now goes by the name Anne-Marie McCoy to avoid further detection by the KGB, and is a hard-working single mom to baby boy Anthony.
Over dinner with Trevor and colleagues, Professor Purcell fills Helen in on the actual origins of Candyman. Professor Purcell is quite accomplished as he has already written a paper on the topic ten years prior and is also the inventor of bifocals.
Purcell tells Helen about Candyman coming from a slave family, though his father was affluent, able to send Candyman to school. Candyman was quite talented artistically, and made the mistake of falling in love with the daughter of a wealthy family after he was commissioned to paint her portrait. Inevitably, Candyman forgets to wrap it up and knocks up the daughter, seriously pissing off her dad. Her father takes revenge and pays a pack of hooligans to attack Candyman.
One night, they chase him into the Cabrini Green neighborhood and saw off his right hand. If this wasn't enough, they smash a bunch of beehives at a nearby apiary (Yeah, totally had to Google this. I guess I just assumed bee-keepers worked at some bee-keeping club, but it actually has a proper name.), steal the honey and smear it all over Candyman, who is subsequently stung to death. The hooligans then burn his body, spreading the ashes over Cabrini Green.
One day, Helen decides to return to the decrepit apartment building of unsolved murders, gangs, and intravenous drug use ALONE, to talk to Anne-Marie. Helen may be on her way to a masters degree but some things just can't be learned in school. Like not going to the mother****ing ghetto by yourself. I get a lecture from Mama P-Baby whenever I leave the house after 8 pm, as she is convinced that I am going to be kidnapped and be held captive in a well while a psychopath demands I put lotion on. Needless to say, that hasn't happened yet, but if it does, bitch better be getting me the Jergens Shea Butter and not that generic store brand crap.
She discovers disturbing graffiti and a toilet bowl full of bees in a bathroom. Since Helen is dumb, she gets attacked in the bathroom by a gang member who carries a hook in an attempt to associate himself with the Candyman legend. Helen survives the attack and is able to identify her attacker in a line up.
One day after Helen has returned to school, she hears a deep, echoing voice calling her name while walking to her car. She sees an intimidating cloaked figure at the other end of the garage and stops to see if she recognizes him while cutely asking "Who is that? Helen, did you or did you not just get your face bashed in with a hook in a ****-covered bathroom? Nothing good ever happens in parking garages. Stop ****ing around and get in your car.
Since this is the real Candyman and not just a guy with a hook, he's uber-pissed because Helen doesn't believe in him. He decides that he must prove to Helen he really exists. He entices her with the cheeky phrase, "Be my victim. The last time a guy used that line on me in a bar, he was in like Flynn.
After this encounter, Helen finds herself waking up in Anne-Marie's apartment covered in blood. Turns out, Anne-Marie's dog has been beheaded and her baby is missing. What a ****ty day for Anne-Marie. Thinking she committed these acts, Anne-Marie attacks Helen, who is forced to defend herself with a meat cleaver. When the police arrive, they arrest Helen.
After undergoing examination and being forced to strip off her clothes, Helen calls Trevor to come bail her out. He, of course, is not home. It's 3 am.
I'd like to go off topic for a minute. Upon conducting a bit of research for this movie as well as Googling Antonio Sabato Jr. when My Antonio was a habit I couldn't kick, I found out that these two were hot and heavy for awhile during the early 90's, even producing a son. I always kind of wondered how this happened because Antonio was in his prime back then and while Virginia is a perfectly attractive woman, I thought he could probably do a little better. Then I realized upon viewing Candyman that she has a sweet set of what appear to be all-natural jugs, thus explaining the attraction.
Trevor finally arrives to bail Helen out of jail, and like a good husband should after bailing out his wife out who may or may not have kidnapped a baby and decapitated a dog, he leaves her alone in their apartment while he runs errands.
While left unsupervised, Candyman reappears and approaches Helen. He reveals that he is the one who kidnapped Anne-Marie's baby and barters with Helen to allow him to take her to die in the place of baby Anthony.
He then cuts the back of her neck causing extensive bleeding. While this is going on, Bernadette shows up at Helen's apartment, though Helen is unable to warn Bernadette of Candyman's presence as she is very weak from blood loss. Candyman murders Bernadette, again framing Helen, which leads to her sedation and placement into a psychiatric hospital.
Candyman comes to Helen yet again during her stay at the hospital, hovering over her demanding a kiss. What a persistent bastard. At this point, if I'm Helen, I'm probably just going to go with Candyman and his romantic promises of immortality because ...