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Candyman – Steve Newton’s Retro Reviews



Twenty-five years ago today Candyman was released in American theaters. It caused quite a stir in horror circles because it was based on a short story by the then-new face of fear, Clive Barker.

Didn’t do much for me, though.

Here’s my original review from ’92:

On paper, Candyman looked like it had the makings of a fright fan’s wet dream. It was based on a short story from Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, the collection of gut-wrenching, in-your-face horror tales he churned out before getting all artsy and overblown in novels like The Great and Secret Show and Imajica. And it was directed by Bernard Rose, whose excellent 1988 feature Paperhouse successfully blended dreams and horror into a powerful coming-of-age drama. Then there was the soundtrack by Philip Glass, the man whose tunes helped make The Thin Blue Line one of the most haunting documentaries around.

Sadly enough, with all the things Candyman has going for it, it turns out to be not much more enthralling than the last Freddy Kreuger slash-o-rama. Instead of a dead person who only kills folks in their sleep, the Candyman only kills when folks say his name five times while staring into a mirror.

And we know how easily that can happen.

Candyman is the preposterous story of University of Illinois doctoral candidate Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen), who sees a way of securing her scholarly reputation by writing a thesis on the urban legend of the titular baddie. Supposedly the Candyman was a black artist who, in 1890, after impregnating the daughter of a rich white man—was murdered by a gang of thugs who sawed off his right arm and got bees to sting him and burned his body and stuff.

They scattered his ashes over the site that became Chicago’s poverty-stricken Cabrini Green housing project, and nowadays the Candyman—with a big hook stuck into the stump of his arm—jumps through medicine cabinets and slaughters people.

Madsen’s none-too-bright character—remember, she doesn’t have her doctorate yet—calls up the Candyman (Tony Todd), who promptly frames her for three grisly murders in a row. Meanwhile, her sleazeball professor husband Trevor (Xander Berkeley, the guy who got the liquidy steel sword through his head for drinking milk straight from the carton in Terminator 2) is doing the old in-out with one of his hot-to-trot young students. It almost makes you wish that the pitiable C-Man—whose booming voice results in an unexplained, doe-eyed attraction from Lyle—would mend his ways, throw off that meathook, and steal her away from the creep.

But the romantic element Rose struggles to bring to the film just expires like most of the characters—very few of whom you care about anyway. There are few serious scares in Candyman, unless the sight of a man with a mouthful of buzzing bees freaks you out. And the only really funny bit comes in the last scene of the film, when a newly resurrected “Candygirl” is surreptitiously called back to try her own hand at spleen removal.

For more from Steve Newton, visit his website about rock ‘n’ roll and horror movies, Ear of Newt!

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Synapse’s Suspiria 4K Restoration Gets a Release Date



Earlier this year, we wrote about Synapse Films’ Suspiria 4K restoration and how it was available for pre-order. The weird catch was that there was no release date confirmed and that pre-orders would go out sometime in December 2017. Today that changes as we can confirm that the 3-disc special edition Blu-ray collection will come out December 19th, just in time for Christmas but a little late for Hanukkah. Any chance we can have one extra night this year?

Restored over three years, Synapse has been working tirelessly to create the ultimate version of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic supernatural horror film, which has since gone on to become one of the most recognized and lauded titles in the genre. This cut has been overseen and approved by Luciano Tovoli, the Director of Photography on the film.

Pre-orders are still available via Synapse Films’ website.

Special features:
*Limited edition of only 6000 units produced
*Exclusive Steelbook packaging and collector’s o-card sleeve, featuring artwork from Malleus, Van Orton Design, Juan José Saldarriaga & Chris MacGibbon
*Three disc [Two Blu-rays + One CD] limited collector’s edition (only 6000 units) containing a new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by SUSPIRIA Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli
*Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96 Khz/24-bit audio
*Italian 5.1 surround sound mix
*Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle & Troy Howarth
*Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute SUSPIRIA visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie
*Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from SUSPIRIA
*A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of SUSPIRIA – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema
*Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi
*Original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
*Special Collector Edition Booklet containing an American Cinematographer interview with Luciano Tovoli, liner notes by Derek Botelho and restoration notes by Vincent Pereira & Don May, Jr. Cover artwork by Matthew Therrien Illustration
*“International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release version
*Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching
*Newly translated, removable English SDH subtitles for the English language version
*Newly translated, removable English subtitles for the Italian language version
*Exclusive CD remaster of Goblin’s SUSPIRIA motion picture soundtrack, containing additional tracks not included on the original 1977 soundtrack release

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Creep 2 Starring Mark Duplass Hits Netflix This December



Just the other day we shared with you guys an exclusive interview with Partick Brice, the director of the Mark Duplass-starring found footage flicks Creep and Creep 2.

Today we have the awesome news that the killer sequel Creep 2 (review) will be hitting Netflix streaming on December 23rd.

The original creeptastic motion picture is already streaming on Netflix so if you need to catch up – or just watch the original again – you can do so tonight and get ready for the sequel which, personally, I found to be superior (if even just slightly) to the original.

What did you think of the original film? Are you excited to check out the sequel? Or have you already seen it? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Creep 2 starring Mark Duplass and Desiree Akhavan hits Netflix December 23rd!


Desiree Akhavan (“Girls”, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR) stars as Sara, a video artist whose primary focus is creating intimacy with lonely men. After finding an ad online for “video work,” she thinks she may have found the subject of her dreams. She drives to a remote house in the forest and meets a man claiming to be a serial killer (Mark Duplass, reprising his role from the previous film). Unable to resist the chance to create a truly shocking piece of art, she agrees to spend the day with him. However, as the day goes on she discovers she may have dug herself into a hole she can’t escape.

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Waxwork Records Unveils Phenomenal 2018 Subscription Package



Our pals over at Waxwork Records have unveiled their 2018 subscription bundle and it’s packed to the brim with some absolutely fantastic titles! Horror fans who enjoy spinning their music on turntables can look forward to two Romero titles, Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs, Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell, and lastly they’ll have Jordan Peele’s smash success title Get Out. On top of getting those five records, those who join the subscription program will also receive a t-shirt, coffee mug, poster, notebook, magnet, enamel pin, calendar, and more.

For Night of the Living Dead, Waxwork Records worked closely with the film’s original creators, including Romero himself prior to his passing, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Criterion Collection so that they could source audio from the 4K restoration. It will be released as a 2xLP package.

Dawn of the Dead will also get a 2xLP release that will include brand new artwork, re-mastered audio, and more. The same kind of treatment is being given to The ‘Burbs. Christopher Young’s Drag Me to Hell soundtrack will be a single LP but will get the same level of attention and quality as the other titles.

As for Peele’s Get Out. Michael Abels; score will be released on a 2xLP vinyl set and will pay tribute to one of the most culturally significant movies of the past several years.

The Waxwork Records subscription package will be $250 ($285 in Canada) and will open up for sale this Friday, the 24th. More information can be found on Waxwork’s website.

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