The Horror Honeys: Honey Month ~ Sweets to the Sweet

Honey Month ~ Sweets to the Sweet

A National Honey Month Slasher Series Review by Kat

There's really no better way to celebrate a month devoted entirely to honey, than with The Candyman.
The tragic story of a man who died for love, Candyman's trilogy is an exploration of racism, revenge, isolation, family ties and a healthy dose of gore. Based on Clive Barker's short story, "The Forbidden" the story is moved from England, to America and the story of Daniel Robitaille's bloodline is revealed.

The tragic history:

Daniel Robitaille was the son of a slave, whose father became prosperous after developing a system for mass-producing shoes during the Civil War. Robitaille grew up in polite society and became a well-known artist, sought after for his talent in producing portraits. After falling in love with a white woman whom he impregnated, he was set upon by a lynch mob hired by his lover's father; they cut off his painting hand and replaced it with a hook. His torso was smeared with honeycomb stolen from a nearby apiary, prompting the locals to chant 'Candyman'  and 'Sweets to the Sweet' as the bees stung him to death.
Candyman (1992) ~ It's my firm (and probably unpopular) belief that the last of the best horror films were released in the 90s. Candyman is one of them. Taking place in Chicago, the first film in this classic slasher series follows the journey of Helen Lyle, as she researches the historical roots of urban legends for her graduate thesis and ends up awakening the most terrifying urban legend of all, The Candyman. The most powerful thing about this film is Clive Barker's expertly horrifying touch. As with any of his projects, Clive Barker's visuals make this movie magical. From the horrifying scenes at Cabrini Green, the beautiful brightness of the graffiti and the horrific magic of the use of blood and gore, Candyman is terrifyingly beautiful.   Of course, Helen's research takes her deep into the heart of Candyman's mythology, and as he comes alive, she discovers that instead of a victim, all Candyman wants is to pull together the family that he lost so unjustly. Unfortunately for Helen, Candyman's way of reaching out involves terrible murders which Helen is accused of, including that of her best friend and research partner. Committed to a mental institution and he husband dating one of his OTHER students, every roadblock Helen would have had to keep her away from Candyman's eternal embrace is slowly pulled away. With those safety nets gone, she slips further into madness and deeper into his power.

Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995) ~ Farewell to the Flesh might be one of my favorite horror sequels. Especially as a slasher. Moving the story to New Orleans, we find the Candyman haunting the legacy of another family, who is also an extension of Daniel Robitaille's lost family. He died for love, and he's back to lay claim to his descendants, unfortunately for Annie Tarrant, that's her. One of my favorite things about this film, isn't something that appears to be very popular with other reviewers - and that's the exposition provided by the radio DJ, Kingfisher. While the characters run around trying to evade the supernatural slasher (which is seriously such a hilarious horror movie thing), Kingfisher provides us with some local flavor and a bit of history too, on Candyman's local mythology and on New Orleans and the origins of Mardi Gras. Through the course of the film, we also discover that as he lay dying of his wounds, his soul became trapped in the mirror of his beloved, Caroline, who had witnessed his murder at the hands of the angry mob. Becoming a way to destroy the Candyman once and for all, the search for Caroline's mirror becomes Annie's new obsession. Once again, her resistance to the Candyman is worn away by the deaths of her mother, her brother, and her husband as the spectral killer takes everything away from her in his quest to possess her soul.

Candyman: Day of the Dead (1999) ~ The less said about this film, the better. Picking up about 20 years after Farewell to the Flesh, Donna D' Errico is the perky daughter of Annie Tarrant, and therefore, the Candyman's last living relative through a curse passed down the maternal line. Implied racism becomes open racism, voodoo becomes Santeria, Mardi Gras becomes Day of the Dead, and our fragile but brave heroines are turned into Donna D'Errico in her underwear. A pale in comparison sequel that should probably never have been made, pits all of Donna's minimal skills against the supernatural Candyman, and the power of his undying need for revenge. The ONE aspect of this film that I enjoyed was the paintings of Daniel Robitaille were on display for a special gallery show - curated by Miss D'Errico, because, as his last descendants, she was the owner of all the paintings. How did that happen? No fucking idea. Candyman is reborn through the paintings, and as evil cannot exist without good, the destruction of the last "good" thing about the Candyman would result in his permanent banishment - how does this work? No fucking idea. I like to forget that Candyman is a trilogy.

The glue: Tony Todd. The titular Candyman is the best thing about every single one of these films. Tony Todd's voice as he utters the line "Be my victim" is enough to drive chills, and shudders of another nature deep into the core of any horror fan, female and male alike. Candyman died for love, and his undead passion for his forbidden mistress is haunting and beautiful, and his revenge is terrible and unrelenting. Of all the iconic slashers in horror history, the Candyman will always be my favorite.