Clive on Candyman II: Farewell to the Flesh

Massive storm clouds roll in, canopying the Delta City like a shroud. We hear the voice of the Kingfish, rock-and-roll DJ for 96.2, New Orleans.
KINGFISH (V.O.) : Three days left, New Orleans. Three days until Lent. So let's have it. The merriment before the penance.
Various images from the sprawling metropolis: The stately mansions of the Garden District...
KINGFISH (V.O.) : The feast before the fast. Do you hear me, New Orleans? This is The Kingfish, speaking to you at 96.2.
Images from the hedonistic French Quarter: People everywhere, drinking in the streets, partying from the terraces. Tourists gawk at the revelry.
KINGFISH (V.O.) : You all know what 'carnival' means in Latin? Well, The Kingfish is going to tell you.
We move now to the squalid slums of the Marigny. Narrow streets lined with shotgun shacks that were once white but have now faded to a dirty gray.
KINGFISH (V.O.) : "Farewell to the flesh" that's what it means.
One side street ends in the near distance at the bank of the Mississippi River. An enormous oil tanker floats past.
KINGFISH (V.O.) : And farewell to all that flooding is what I'd like to say. That's right, even the banks of the mighty Mississippi are ready to spill their seed. Look at that sky. Just how much more of Heaven's tears can we take?

KINGFISH (V.O.) : And those clouds aren't the only things threatening the Delta City. I'm talking murder, mon amis. The sort we've seen before. The "Hookman" strikes again.

Shooting draft - by Rand Ravich and Mark Kruger - 1995

"This isn't about Helen. It isn't about Virginia Madsen risen from the grave and still pissed off. We thought about that, but we wanted to see if we could keep the audience a little off-balance."

Monster Invasion

By Mark Salisbury, Fangoria No 133, June 1994

"The Candyman is more understandable in this movie. We see how he became the Candyman and we get some sense of his back story, but he's still pretty mean. After all, we're not making a polite little family movie - something which is very important because horror movies are currently under siege from people who say kids shouldn't be seeing them . Well, these movies aren't made for kids. They're made for adults who are sixteen years and upwards. Horror films are always being blamed for all kinds of things. When Charlie Manson was looking for inspiration, he used Helter Skelter, a perfectly innocent Beatles song , as his motivation. So crazy people will find signals everywhere and anywhere."

Lord Of Illusions - A Fable Of Death And Resurrection

By Simon Bacal, Sci-Fi Entertainment, Vol 1 No 5, February 1995

Matthew's bees

"He [the Candyman] invites his victims. He's quite polite about it: 'Be my victim.' Of course he pursues them relentlessly and of course he's going to get what he wants. Nevertheless there's this element of seduction in what the Candyman does. He's probably more like Dracula than any other monster: he does seduce, and he does offer a kind of immortality, which is what Dracula does."

Candyman 2

By Todd French, Cinefantastique, Vol 26 No 2, February 1995

"The whole point of 'Candyman II' is to enrich the mythology of the first film. I think it's going to end up more baroque than the first one, as much a consequence of locations than anything else. I think this movie will answer a lot of questions that were left unanswered at the end of the first 'Candyman' picture."

Candyman 2

By Todd French, Cinefantastique, Vol 26 No 3, April 1995

"Bill Condon did a great job on Candyman 2, he really did. We're really, really happy, and he was always the person I wanted to bring into the project. We had to go the most circuitous route past Propaganda to actually get him on the job, and once they saw what he was doing they wanted to hire him for everything. Now, of course, they completely forget that I brought him to the party, and it's 'Bill, we always loved Bill.'"

A Kind of Magic

By Maitland McDonagh, The Dark Side, No 45, April/May 1995

...other comments

Octavia's hand shakes as she brings the tumbler to her lips. Suddenly she catches a reflection in the mirror. She gasps and drops the glass. It shatters.
She spins around and sees Annie.

ANNIE : You've lied to us from the beginning.
Octavia backs away.
ANNIE : I've been to the cemetery. I've seen the birth certificate.
OCTAVIA : No... it's not true.
ANNIE : It's all true.
Annie shoves Caroline's photo in Octavia's face.
ANNIE : Caroline bought the house because it was where he was born.
OCTAVIA : No... no...
ANNIE : She raised their daughter in that house. Your grandmother.
Octavia continues to back away through the main foyer.
ANNIE : She was raised as a white girl. No one ever suspected the truth.
Annie advances on her mother.
ANNIE : But Daddy did. He started digging.
OCTAVIA : Your father...
ANNIE : ...was looking for a way to stop him. But you just kept on lying.
OCTAVIA : I did it to protect you. Wait until you have kids of your own. You'll understand.
ANNIE : No. I'll never lie to them..
OCTAVIA : Your father was trying to destroy everything we had. Linking our name with that monster...
ANNIE : So you destroyed it instead. By denying the truth. By denying him.
OCTAVIA : No. He isn't part of me.
ANNIE : We're his family.
OCTAVIA : How dare you say that in my house.
ANNIE : We're his blood.
ANNIE : You can't wash him aaway with a bottle. He hasn't forgotten.
Annie finally backs Octavia into a shadowy corner of the dining room.
OCTAVIA : No! No! There is no Candyman! He doesn't exist!
Close up Octavia's face - eyes filled with hate. Then suddenly she gasps. Her eyes quickly fill with surprise and horror as she sees...
Octavia's POV - a black man's hand is tightly around her waist. She slowly turns her head and sees Candyman standing right behind her. His mouth is pressed closely to her ear.

CANDYMAN : My child... you doubted me... your own flesh and blood.
Horrified, Annie reacts with alarm, moves toward Octavia.
ANNIE : Mother...
But Octavia has suddenly disappeared from the darkened corner.
CANDYMAN : Death is a return, you know.

Shooting draft - by Rand Ravich and Mark Kruger - 1995

Tony Todd: "The challenge for me is - we did it once, it worked. Storyboard of Purcell's death by Janet Cushnik One of the worst things for an actor to do is repeat himself, because what's the point then? It's solely for the paycheck. I think, looking back, in spite of all the physical challenges, that I was able to do that, to reinvent."

Carving Out A Niche

By Abbie Bernstein, Fangoria, No 140, March 1995

Bill Condon : "This whole movie is about our heroine finally being dragged into the earth where she was born and where Candyman was born, and throughout we have a lot of rain and mud. You stand on any street in New Orleans and that's the story of that city, nature reclaiming its own, because all these great buildings have vines growing out of them; some of them have tree limbs growing out of them. Everywhere there's decay and earth overpowering what man has created.
"I admire the first Candyman because it put horror in broad daylight. Rose shot it in a very realistic way - he didn't fall back on any of the techniques of shadow and light. What I'm trying to do is keep the Candyman scenes as real as possible, but the world, over the three days as Mardi Gras ends and lent approaches, gets more surreal, so that by the end, when Annie is making her way across town to the final confrontation with Candyman, she goes through the last 10 minutes of Mardi Gras and it has become a total Hieronymous Bosch painting. Reality is stranger to her than waht she's exploring with Candyman. I hope that works - the playing off between the deadpan reality of the Candyman scenes and the world that's getting more and more out of control."

Hooked On Candyman 2

By Abbie Bernstein, Fangoria, No 139, January 1995

Bill Condon : "I think in the first movie they'd shot a lot more than actually made its way into the movie showing the sort of more tragic side of the character. I think there's a real exploration of the love between Candyman and the Madsen character and I think they sort of shied away from it all. Tony was disappointed about that. So we tried to build into every scene the sense of the tragic loss. We tried Storyboard of Purcell's death by Janet Cushnik to make you feel for his character. So many terrible things were done to him, it's hard not to feel sorry for him... like the Phantom of the Opera or the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
"And it was weird because there were a few critics in America that I thought displayed amazing cynicism. They suggested that at the end of the movie, when we find out that the Candyman had been a victim, that it was sort of tagged on to the film in order to justify that fact that throughout the rest of the movie we had a great big, scary, black man. I think that it triggers complicated responses in people. And for certain characters, when he murders them, you don't feel 100% unhappy about that and your emotions are conflicting. But also I think the movie was pretty rich thematically. Even though violence can be justified by certain people as a response to the violence that was inflicted upon them, there's got to be another way. The relationship between the teacher and the boy illustrates a kind of healing process. And it had to be the boy who saves her and forgives the white people, and finally comes to see that though he had always identified so strongly with not Candyman the killer, but Candyman the victim. It's interesting to note that there were critics who would acknowledge all of the subtexts, but would say, 'Surely they weren't thinking about that because it's just a slasher movie.' Those people have a hard time crediting any kind of thought or ambition to horror movies because they disapprove of them. They don't like horror films to begin with, so they think they must be reading this deeper meaning into it But they've just seen it up on the screen, and they tell themselves that it's just not there. Some of the best reviews we got were from black journalists. It's sort of amazing how few of them there are when you consider the number of critics there are around the country. And there were more than a few white journalists who complained about the dicey racial politics and not one of the black journalists mentioned it. It's a bit revealing about our whole country."

Candy Carnivale

By Ed Martinez, Coenobium, No 14, Summer 1995

Mark Kruger : "Mirrors represent the whole duality of human nature and are very mythical in that way. there is a little bit of it in the first movie. I really wanted it to use that. I wanted it to be that every time we pass a mirror, there's a sense of dread, that every Matthew's drawing of Candyman's amputation mirror takes on an ominous connotation. Candyman 2 is a story about secrets. I like the notion of every character having a secret that they keep from other people and almost keep from themselves."

Hooked On Candyman 2

By Abbie Bernstein, Fangoria, No 139, January 1995

Tony Todd : "He's a young tortured artist; he had his own demons long before his arm was cut off. His fault was that he was born a century too soon. He tries to focus on things that he sees with his art. The arm that Candyman uses to kill is the same arm that he created with.
"[Annie's family are] living in denial. If I can get them to recognise my existence, then I can rest, my soul will evaporate. It's almost like I want to create my own suicide. In the first one, he needed people to continue the myth - he was more driven. In this one, he's calmer - actually, he's more violent, but he's calmer."

Hooked On Candyman 2

By Abbie Bernstein, Fangoria, No 139, January 1995

Tony Todd : "When I prepared for the first film, I went to a lot of museums and studied the art of the 1870s and 80s. Before he was the Candymnan, Daniel Robataille was an artist, educated in the highest European society, so I took fencing, riding and waltzing classes in preparation for the role. I wanted to really concentrate on the things that would reflect the way he dealt with people...
"The lines are all Clive's, even though I did all the background and came up with the idea that he was an artist. Bernard Rose incorporated it, and it's in the script for the second movie. I really think that making him an artist brings his sense of loss and frustration into focus: the mutilation to his painting hand fuels a great deal of that anger."

Bee Movie Monster!

By Allan Bryce, Video World, August 1996

Tony Todd : "Not only is the Candyman frightening because he's the boogie man come to life, but also because the audience gets to understand and partially justify his horrifying behaviour. Everyone has felt discrimination in some form."

Shades of Bogart And Robeson

By Michael H. Price, Austin American-Statesman, 17 March 1995

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