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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Farewell to the Flesh (1995)


Starring: Tony Todd, Kelly Rowan, Timothy Carhart and Veronica Cartwright
Distributor: 88 Films

Certificate: 18
Release Date: 25 March 2019

Annie visits her brother Ethan, who is accused of murdering their father and a writer on the myth of the Candyman. When she goes to her old family home she finds paintings and a shrine to the myth. Annie is a school teacher to young children. In order to prove to them the Candyman doesn’t exist, she speaks his name into a mirror five times. The monster appears to her later but, rather than kill her with its hook, it despatches her partner and attempts to obligate her to its requirements. Instead, she looks into his background and discovers not only a history of pain but a secret family connection...

Candyman is a Clive Barker creation. I got into his stuff as early as the original publications of The Books of Blood long-short stories, and followed his early releases with much enthusiasm. This includes Hellraiser and, although Candyman isn’t as popular a character as Pinhead, it has become one of the many lesser horror franchises. The crux of the matter for me is that, much that I like Tony Todd as an actor (I have much admiration for fanboy director Adam Green for bringing together his horror heroes Kane Hodder, Robert Englund and Tony Todd in Hatchet), the character just isn’t that scary. He’s simply not on the same level as Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Chucky, because rather than inventive kills he’s a one-trick pony. He has to be summoned and then just sticks his hook though the victim, which becomes a tired format very quickly.

There has been this tendency for a number of years now for a first horror sequel to tell a detailed backstory for the killer/monster/creature, thereby unwittingly destroying any mystery or power that it holds. Therefore, an already restricted protagonist becomes further hindered by a newly-created persona. It’s rather like the honesty of Superman telling the world he is all-powerful unless a lump of green Kryptonite is waved in front of him. It removes the possibility of any future unknown reveal. In the same manner, mention of the mirror containing the Candyman’s soul – the only thing that can kill him – seems really contrived. It’s shoehorned in with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Similarly, the situations and dialogue is somewhat stilted. The scenes don’t seem to flow, and in that sense you get the impression it could have been edited more tightly.

Ironically, this not a bad film, it’s just a very ordinary one. I haven’t watched it for a number of years, but discovered my opinion has not changed at all. Extras include: a Limited Edition Collectors’ booklet, an Interview with Tony Todd, an Interview with Veronica Cartwright, and a Trailer. The 5.1 and LPCM Stereo optional sounds are good, and the 1080p HD Blu-ray picture is nice and sharp.


Ty Power

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