By: Justin Hopkins
So, this is a little late. Wanted to have this up Saturday, but wasn’t able to see it over the weekend like I had planned and here we are. My excitement growing as we got closer, and doubling with me going back and watching the series again. With that said though, tempered my expectations. Knew that this was going to be a sequel to the first and people like Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen, but didn’t put much thought on that. Not expecting to see a lot of them and wanting to see what the new cast had to offer. Went in open minded as I could be and with about a day to think and process it over. Lets discuss.
The movie kicks off at Cabrini Green in the seventies, with a kid, William Burke. Taking his laundry to the laundry room, about to leave when a man comes out of a whole in the wall, with a hook in one hand and candy in the other. We go back to the cops outside, who are looking for a suspect, when we hear a scream and cut to the title sequence. Catching up with Troy and boyfriend, Grady. On their way to visit Troy’s Sister Brianna and aspiring artist Anthony McCoy. During the visit, Troy tells the tale of Helen Lyle, but from the perspective that she was the villain. Killed the dog and all those people. Had tried to throw the baby into the fire, when the people stopped her, but she threw herself in while they were checking on the baby. They had a laugh over it, thinking he was lying, especially over the dog part, and Anthony looked it up later to see if it was true. Story on his mind the next day when the Curator doesn’t like his newest piece. Throwing himself into the idea of Cabrini then vs now after Gentrification, and Helen’s story. Going down to what was left and the new houses. Getting stung by a bee and meeting William all grown up. Taking him back to the Laundry Mat he runs and tells him about Candyman. That Candyman is a lot of things to a lot of people. In his case, it’s Sherman. Going back to when he was in that moment. That the man with the hook was a character who gave out candy to kids. One day, some razors ended up in the candy and cops came looking. Finding him when he screamed, beat, tortured and killed him. A few weeks later more razors in candy turned up. Sherman had been innocent. Now if you say the name, Candyman five times in the mirror, he’ll come and kill you. Invigorated by the tale, Anthony runs home to paint a picture of Sherman being assaulted by multiple white fists, and when he displays it at the exhibit, puts it behind mirrors, challenging people to say his name. When critic, Finely, takes him to task over tastelessly picking the worst parts of Cabrini for him own personal gain. He goes on a bit of a bender and gets into an argument with the Curator and Brianna is quick to get them both out. We stick with the curator after closing, him and his girlfriend are making out when she says Candyman five time, and they are killed. Brianna finding them the next morning. Later that night, we see Brianna having a nightmare. Of seeing her Dad, killing himself. When she wakes, Anthony is in the bathroom, cleaning a bee sting that is getting worse. He had a nightmare too, but doesn’t talk about it. Shaken up he starts looking deeper. Getting his hands on some of Helen’s notes from the school. In the elevator, encounters Sherman. Who gets close before vanishing. Rushing home. Frantically beginning to paint Sherman again. When he gets a call from Finely and he goes to see her. Promising Brianna he’d make an important dinner. Talking about his piece, when he dares her to say his name, when she excuses herself to go to the bathroom. While she is gone, he picks open his now putrid Bee sting, and he goes to put a towel on it. Calling her name, when he follows and Sherman appears in the mirror. Mimicking his movements. Only leaving when Finley comes out and Anthony rushes out. Moments later, we see Finely being killed. The news breaks as he is at the Dinner of her death and he rushes out. Going back to William who tells him that Candyman isn’t only real, but Sherman is one of many. Hive mind, and the first being, Daniel Robitaille. and I will stop there for now.
Well, lets start this off where I started the last two, changing of the Urban Legend, and they did a fantastic job, by not changing it, but branching off it. That Daniel isn’t the only one, and so many other Black Men who have died unjustly can become a Candyman of their own and it’s a seemingly never ending burden they have to wear cause unjust deaths never seem to stop. Allowing them to keep Daniel’s legacy intact but at the same time, shift the focus to Sherman and it came off very well.
I adored the Shadow Puppetry they utilized through for the flashbacks. Was delighted every time they utilized it. Such a fun and interesting way to tell the legends and flashbacks. Those who brought that to life deserves a round of applause cause it was wonderful.
The death scenes were all well done. Had an alright amount of carnage candy, such as the woman getting her throat slashed at the museum. Enjoyed how they had Sherman killing within mirrors and reflection. The shot of Finely, one of my favorite shots in the movie, of them panning out. Can see her neighbors doing their own thing in their apartments and in hers you see her being killed and head slam against the glass.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen the second, did a great job as Anthony. Was a likeable guy who made you care about his plight. Was easy to get behind from the jump and invest in seeing how he could overcome. Nathan Stewart-Jarrett was good as a bit of comedy relief. Michael Hargrove was perfect for Sherman. Playing the role as being a misunderstood nice guy excellently.
Alright, on to the negatives; what was going on with Anthony? Besides the fact that no one is pointing out his bee sting is going crazy, but they by the end is looking like… a beehive of sorts. What I think is that when he was captured and held as a baby by Daniel. He was feeding him honey and was able to use that to somehow be reborn in Anthony’s body.. I don’t know. They barely even talk about that either. When it was almost staged to be a big reveal. They needed to spend more time on Anthony’s story a bit more.
Felt like they could have either given Brianna something else to do, or simply cut some of her scenes to build on another stories. As sad as it was for her with her Dad and all, but it is an arc that means nothing in the long run and this one is probably more minor and annoying only me, but shouldn’t Sherman have been going after her as well. She was in the room when Anthony said it.
In the end, it was a fine sequel and gave them a place to go for more installments. They build off the first in a good way and branching the Legend the way they did was a smart move, but the negatives do hamper it a fair amount though. Especially the Anthony stuff. I would still suggest going to check it out for yourself though. I could very well have missed or overlooked something and you might enjoy this more then I did. Final Grade – B-
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By Paul Anthony
Earlier in the week, I got a chance to review the first film in this series after some time of wanting to watch it, so it is only natural that we talk about the sequel for this edition of Saturday Sequel. Now like many films in the early part of 2021, they were postpone since early 2020. Even now it is hard to talk about a film’s success because most studios have their own streaming services and so forth. This film was released in theaters and then 45 days later on Paramount plus. Now the film’s budget had grown a lot compared to the first one. The total budget for this film was 61 million compared to 21 million. In a pandemic box office the film still managed to be a successful film by grossing 296 million dollars. yes it was down from the first film but because of the situation, we won’t compare the numbers. The Main cast pretty much returns including Krasinski in a cameo role. The film did add a new main cast member in Cillian Murphy. Now most critics praised this film and even giving it higher remarks then the first film which is honestly rare these days but let’s check out the plot.
The film stars at day 1 where we see the Abbott family enjoying their oldest son’s baseball game, Lee arrives late though he was picking up some fruit and caught a glimpses of a news report of attack but blows it off. At the game the fans notices an explosion in the sky and soon after begins flee the ballpark and right after they do, the creatures start to attack everyone that makes a noise. Then we skip to the present and the family is on the move since their house was destroyed at the end of the first film. during their travels they break into a old abandoned steel foundry. But Marcus steps into a bear trap which he has no other choice but to scream in pain and at that point a man saves them and is to be revealed as the family’s old friend Emmett, who tells them they need to leave soon because they can’t stay here with him. Evelyn pleads with him. At the same time Regan starts to realize the song that plays on the radio is a clue and determines to find help and armed with the knowledge on how to defeat them she sneaks away and soon after Emmett goes after her to save her but in the process she explains the clues and at first Emmett seems like he is still shady and leaves Regan with no weapons or anything only to come back to their hideout and reveals he found a boat. The two travel to the dock and are basically attack by feral humans. As a last ditch effort to survive Emmett makes noise to attract the creatures. during this battle we learn as well as the characters that these creatures can’t swim and travel to this island where they see people living as if nothing ever happened. There they are told that the coast guard put out signals to tell people that and now Emmett tells Regan that she was right about him that he is nothing like Lee but She is just like her father. However the creatures manage to travel by boat and begin to attack the people but at a radio tower Regan manages to turn her hearing aid and once again kills the creatures and sends out a warning and plays the sound of her hearing aid and the film ends with the idea that the humans will get ready to fight.
I have to say that this is no doubt a great follow up and I really mean that. This film decided to built on the first and had a good story to go along with it. Everyone played a good role in this film and that was great to see. The mystery and the emotion continued to be there with the right combination of both. Them adding Cillian Murphy was a plus for sure and still manage to add Krasinski was a good touch and once again only giving the creatures a small amount of screen time was a great touch. In the end I am giving this film an A+ and label this as a must watch film. I am truly looking forward to the third film!!
By Paul Anthony
It is no secret that here at SmashWriting, we love to review movies and there are plenty of movies to review so there is always a backlog of movies and for me this A Quiet Place has been on my to watch list some time. I seen what the critics were saying and they all seem to be praising this film. The film starred real life married couple John Krasinski and wife Emily Blunt. The film wasn’t just a hit with the critics but fans alike. The film was made from a 22 million dollar budget but was able to make 350.3 million in its theater run making it a true hit. Now the concept of the film plus having a deaf character made it interesting because Krasinski didn’t want to cast a non-deaf actress to play his on screen daughter who was deaf, so they cast Millicent Dimmonds, which in my eyes was pretty cool to see. Now if you haven’t seen this film then please note that this review will contain spoilers!
The film starts with them showing that this film is taking place on day 89, here we meet the Abbott family, Wife Evelyn, Husband Lee, daughter Regan, oldest son Marcus and youngest son Beau. We learn that 89 days ago, aliens from outer space. These creatures who are blind but have hypersensitive hearing which forces the human race to live in silence, but add insult injury these creature’s skin is some type of armor that makes them immune to bullets and explosives leaving the human race defenseless. One day as the family is on the move the young son who was playing with his shuttle toy the sound is activated and before lee could save him the creature kills the young sound. We then skip ahead to a year later, the family is still struggling to survive but Evelyn is pregnant and almost to her due date, Regan who gave her brother that toy has been guilting herself over her brother’s death and feels that her father no longer loves her because of it. One day Lee takes Marcus’s on a hunting trip to learn how to take care of the family, Lee as it turns out is an engineer which he has been using his skills to learn how to fight these creatures and to restore his daughter’s hearing. Lee reveals the creatures travels in three’s and as long as there is background noise such as waterfall, and at that point Marcus tells Lee how Regan been feeling. Back at Home Evelyn goes into labor and on her way to the basement she steps on a nail and screams which alerts the creatures. at some point the family gets separated and it becomes Lee’s mission to save his kids which causes him life but not before he tells Regan that he loves her and always has. The kids return home to Evelyn and see their new baby brother. But fight is on and Regan realizes from before that her radio frequency from her hearing aid annoys the creatures and exposes a weak spot which they are able to kill it. Evelyn looks on the camera and see the other two on their way and now know their weakness the film ends with the mother-daughter team no longer afraid and prepared to fight as the film ends
Wow so where do I start? Let me say this , the film being nearly all silent was something new and refreshing and not seeing the creatures until the end really kept the suspense. The acting was on point, each death you felt it as well. You didn’t know too much about the family but you grew to love them. The one negative I had with this film was the way to defeat them made sense the whole but no one thought about it? Once the human race learned that these creatures could hear anything, making such a loud high pitch sound would have made sense once they knew. Besides that point the film was a good film in the end, I am giving this film an A for a rating and looking forward to watching the sequel.
By: Justin Hopkins
The wrestling will be good. See, I knew I’d find the positive. The one thing that has been saving the WWE is that the wrestlers are incredible in between the ropes. Able to carry the lackluster booking that is surrounding this card. Only thing that will get me to tune in Friday is that at least the matches will be enjoyable and that is the sad part. Some of these matches are going to be big but they are capable of so much better stories and ideas to sink your teeth into, and some of them are just a few tweaks away. Lets put on the tin foil hat and I’ll try to predict and explain what I mean.
Eva Marie vs Alexa Bliss
Like this for example. If they dropped the doll and hypnotizing stuff. Let Alexa keep doing what she is in the Playground, but a brutal force in the ring. To the point where she goes almost to far in the way she goes in the ring. Doesn’t even try to pin or submit her opponents. Just keeps attacking till they are out cold and you got something to build on. No, we got it tied around a doll. Don’t even know if Eva will fight and it’ll be Doudrop and way more stupid stuff, and I normally like when the horror aspects blend, but this isn’t working. Going to go with Bliss for the win in the hope we can get Bliss to move on to something else.
Winner – Alexa Bliss
Drew McIntyre vs Jinder Mahal
Out of all of the history they could have told. This started over a text message and turned into fighting over a sword. A sword that Drew can’t use anyways. Please don’t have him use the sword. They had to learn something from the eyeball thing. Going to go with Drew to win and feud will probably continue.
Winner – Drew McIntyre
Edge vs Seth Rollins
This feud has been alright. They are playing off when Seth attacked Edge during retirement. Comparing their careers has been interesting. As much as I would like to pick Edge. If they are going to start tilting Seth toward Roman. He needs to pick up some wins.
Winner – Seth Rollins
U.S Championship Match Damien Priest vs Sheamus (Champion)
Sheamus has been having a great year. His matches against Humberto got real repetitive real fast, but he had some of the years best. His promos the last few weeks though have been rough. I am glad to see them using Priest more, please get him away from Miz and Morrison, especially since I am picking him to walkout as the new U.S Champion. Him being the champ this time is no excuse for more matches.
Winner and New United States Champion – Damien Priest
Raw Tag Team Championship Match – RK-Bro vs AJ Styles and Omos (Champions)
This has been probably the best built match on the card. About fifty percent great and fifty percent cringe, but that is my take on Riddle in general. AJ and Omos have been great antagonist to them and the fact that they kind of brought them on themselves. All they had to do was not interrupt them and just let Orton walkaway. Only thing I would have done was hold off on the hug and let it happen after they win the belts.
Winners and new Raw Tag Team Champions – RK-Bro
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match – The Mysterios vs The Usos (Champion)
What am I suppose to say about this match. We have seen it. Seen the single matches and this will just be here. Should have at least made it a multi team match. Add the Street Profits and Alpha Academy so we can get something else.
Winner and still Smackdown Tag Team Champions – The Usos
RAW Women’s Championship match – Charlotte Flair vs Rhea Ripley vs Nikki Cross (Champion)
They did this story backward. Nikki (No I will not call her ASH, the name gets worse the more you think about it) could have worked it to where she doesn’t back down. She pushes her opponents, who are not Charlotte or Rhea, to the absolute brink time and time again losing by the littlest reasons, but she believes she can. So much so, she announces she will use her Money in the Bank contract to make it a Triple Threat at Summerslam and finally win. Making the journey to full Superhero. No, they put the belt on her right after Money in the bank. had the champion say, I almost won, and a series of wins and losses, to make it so none of these three can possibly look good in the process and why is this a triple threat with Charlotte and Rhea! You have Shayna Baszler right there. One of your best heels on the roster, who could beat Nikki down repeatedly and build sympathy for her. While letting Shayna rehab her character back to being a killer. As far as the Triple Threat goes… I don’t know…Rhea. Sure why not.
Winner and new Raw Women’s Champion – Rhea Ripley
Smackdown Women’s Championship – Sasha Banks vs Bianca Belair (Champion)
This will be a great match between two who smashed it at Mania. If given the time, they can easily be match of the night again and I think the results will be the same with Bianca retaining.
Winner and still Smackdown Women’s Champion – Bianca Belair
WWE Championship Match – Goldberg vs Bobby Lashley (Champion)
I am kind of scared because of how much his kid has been on. We might see a Goldberg victory here, but I am going to cross my fingers and hope for the best.
Winner and still WWE Champion – Bobby Lashley
Universal Championship Match – John Cena vs Roman Reigns (Champion)
I was okay with this. I knew it would happen. The promos went just about how I expected them to go, but they lost me with one thing. By teasing Finn Balor. I would so much rather have Balor and Roman. Seems so much more exciting then this. Yeah, it was a tease for later, but could have had Balor at least interrupt the 30 minute promo last week. To keep the pressure on Roman and his anger over the situation. With that ramble out of the way. I don’t see a title change happening here. Cena is here to help build Roman that much more and that comes with him losing.
Winner and still Universal Champion – Roman Reigns
Yeah, this was more irritable then normal. Like I said, the wrestling will be good. Just wish they put more into their stories and builds. As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
And the march goes on. One more day closer to The Candyman’s big return. We went through the first one last night so lets keep the train moving to the 1995 sequel, Farewell to the Flesh. Taking the titular character from Chicago and dropping him into New Orleans, while digging deeper into the lore at the same time. Lets jump in and see how the shift paid off for them.
The movie starts with Professor Purcell going through the story of The Candyman, giving him a name, Daniel Tobitaille, during an event at a book store promoting his book on the Candyman. Bringing up the events in the first movie, claiming Helen Lyle was to blame for the murders. As she had taken such an intense obsession with the topic and turned herself into the Candyman. After being pushed a bit by the crowd. Uses the shine on his book to say Candyman five time. Which was to set up a joke of being attacked by an associate. All the while, a nervous guy watches from the back. Later confronting Purcell when he is walking down the street. Recognizing Ethan when he gave his name, and apologizing for his Dad dying, only Ethan yelled at him. Claiming his Dad came to him for help and Candyman was real and Purcell would be next. Shaken up by it, he goes to the bar. When Ethan attacks him and is thrown out. Yelling that he is next. The Professor goes to clean himself off, when the Candyman shows himself and kills the Professor. After the title card, we see Mardi Gras in effect and three more days till the start of lent. Hear the Radio DJ, King Fish talking as we meet Annie, as she is driving through. On her way to work. While King Fish is warning people not to say his name in front of the mirror. We meet up with her at her job as a school teacher. Student working on art projects. One of the kids, drawing a picture of the Candyman. When someone comes in and tell her their has been a problem with her brother, Ethan. Which she rushes to deal with. Stopping at her Mother’s house, who is drinking and upset about Ethan and the fact she has cancer. Together, along with Annie’s Husband, Paul. She tries to get him to talk or get a lawyer, but Ethan isn’t listen. Content with just confessing and taking the fall. When she pushes him, he throws an ashtray through the window, and he gets carried away. While she says she won’t give up on him. Trying to talk to the lady cop, but she won’t hear it either. Believing it to be a slam dunk case, on not only Purcell, but a string of other, including their Father. Later that night, she gets inspired by some old photos, to take a trip to the old family house. To try and finding anything that might be able to help her Brother. Finding a small group pf homeless and see the ruins of the old slave house out back. When she goes upstairs, she finds multiple graffiti pictures of Daniel and his death, till reached the final image of Birth of Candyman. Standing in front of a pile of skulls. From their, she goes back to work, in time to break up a fight between a picture, Matthew drew of Candyman being chased. Telling her that if you said his name five times in the mirror, he will come for her. In an attempt to prove that it is made up. She does just that. Having a laugh when nothing happened but Matthew is still upset. That night, she can’t sleep and Paul comes to get her off the balcony. Making her dessert, while she is in the bathroom, and Candyman appears. Telling her soon they will take a journey together, before disappearing. Rushing out of the bathroom, when she hears a clatter. Candyman having Paul. Annie, watching helplessly as he kills Paul with the hook. She tries to run, but he appears before her and she blacks out and that is where I will leave it for now.
Lets start this off with how we did the first and that is talking about the myth. which has changed from the first, and as far as this movie goes, I did like it. I know a lot of people may disagree with that point of view, but for me. Kind of plays with the idea of hoe an Urban Legend works. How the point of it is there, but elements of it change based on location. The premise, being that he was alive and killed after falling for a white woman, and he could be summoned by saying his name five time. While some of the details changing and adding to it. Such as the location of his death changing and his soul being tied to a mirror. Which was what was allowing him to get around. They gave him a name, Daniel and that even calling him Candyman, was a horrible thing to say. An insult one of the kids in the lynch mob called him and the mob mocked him with the term. As far as this movie goes, I do like the direction they went in with the story.
This one definitely upped the gore factor. Racking up the body count and carnage candy in spectacular fashion. Getting the first kill in the opening sequence and settling just long enough to tell the story before ratcheting right back up. The death of Paul was both grotesque and hard hitting, since Paul was a likeable guy and they made his death a rather slow one painful one. While the blood splattering Annie’s face was a nice touch. They utilized the the hook in some fun ways. From slow and painful to fast, and the death by bees scene was particularly brutal as it would be. All of which gets a big thumbs up from me.
Once again, they handled the racial and social aspects of the movie very well. Not just with the cruelty and unjust scene of what happened to Daniel, but with the Reverend having to live with the idea that the cops would not help him find Mathew when he went missing. As well with the family aspect as well. Isabelle growing up never knowing about Daniel, but even Annie’s Mom refusing to admit that Daniel was related because she would be ashamed by the association. Leaving off on a bit of hope, with Annie including Daniel’s picture in the family Photobook.
I loved the fact that this story was set around Mardi Gras. Seeing the city celebrate and party, oblivious to the terror that is unfolding to Annie. Allowing not just her to slip through the crowd but Candyman as well. The symbolism of it all coming to a close, on the final day, and seeing her and Matthew leave it all behind at the start of Ash Wednesday.
Tony Todd was once again fantastic in the roll of Candyman as well as Daniel. Bringing out so much pain and agony and sorrow during his final moments alive. Making you hate everyone involved. Wonderfully bringing back the terror and frightening calmness in the Candyman when he talks. To the sickening joy he gets in killing. He had a great grasp on the character and the second time around he came back better. Playing off him was the wonderful Kelly Rowan, who did excellent as Annie. Who built up a really likeable character in Annie. Feeling the fear and desperation that continued to build up within her, but the sympathy she had for him was there as well. Knew she had to stop him, but did feel bad for Daniel. And we got to mention Timothy Carhart, for loveable Paul. Complete opposite of Trevor, and saved dessert.
This movie did have a bit of minor negatives. I feel like they could have done more with Detective Ray and Pam. Especially after Pam learned the truth. A little closer look at the Slave house before the finale. At least let Annie go to the front of it. A bigger negative would have been how little we got to know Matthew. Would like to know more about his story and how he got involved with Candyman.
With all of that said, Farewell to the Flesh was a much better sequel than what people give credit for. I enjoyed the direction they took the myth into. Building up on it and learning more his story. Diving into the family descendants. Loved the ramp up on carnage candy, New characters and return of a horror icon. All coming together for a great entry in the series. Final Grade – A –
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
Welcome to this months Classic 13 review… three days late. I know, I am sorry. Between getting ready for this past weekend and attending Rampage. Didn’t have enough time to get this one done, but didn’t want to pass this one up. Since we are less then 2 weeks away from Candyman’s return to the theaters. No better time to go back to the 1992 classic that started it all. A movie that I have only actually seen one time going into this when I was a kid. A lot of it going over my head and no really sticking with me. Now, older and somewhat capable of understanding things. It was time to give it another go. So, lets jump in and discuss.
The movie kicks off with a title sequence, ending with a swarm of bees and Candyman talking, ” They say I have shed some blood, but what’s blood for if not for shedding. With my hook for a hand, I will split you from groin to gullet.” After a shot of bees overtaking the city, we jump to Helen, a grad student, listening to story of The Candyman. A babysitter who had a guy name Billy show up. Taking him upstairs and to the bathroom. Telling him the story and he said the name 4 times. When she sends him downstairs she says it a 5th and he came for her. Killing her and the baby. Billy managing to escape but went crazy. Hair turning white. She knows the story because her roommates’ boyfriend knows him. Meanwhile, fellow Grad Student Bernadette hearing a different story. Heading back to the university, a little annoyed by the way one of the students is looking at the professor, her husband, Trevor. She pushes on, because she is more upset that he is teaching the Urban Legend portion while her and Bernadette are working on their thesis. See her typing on a computer later, when one of the cleaning ladies overhears the recording. Knowing someone, another cleaning lady who knows about the Candyman. Telling her the story of Ruthie Jean, a woman who lived at Cabrini Green housing. Heard what sounded like someone banging through her wall. She tried numerous times to call the police, but they ignored her till it was to late. Finding her dead when they finally arrived. Believing it to be the Candyman who did it. Helen found numerous articles and the Ruthie Jean murder. Making a connection between Cabrini Green and her apartment tower. Showing Bernadette how the apartments are connected through the bathroom mirror. Where she said Candyman five time, Bernadette only doing it four, but nothing happens. The next day, they head to Cabrini Green, much to Bernadette’s chagrin. The gang catching sight of them immediately. Not messing with them, because they thought they were cops, but shouted a warning up the stairs. Making their way to Ruthie Jean’s. Where she climbed through the hole to the abandoned apartment. Taking pictures. Finding a massive mural of The Candyman on the wall. Along with an offering of candy before it. Coming back when she runs out of film, one of the neighbors, Ann-Marie, comes to check what is going on. After a little reluctance, not wanting them to bash those who lived here. That not all of them are bad. She tells then a bit more about when Ruthie died. How she heard her screams and tried to call the police, but no one came. Believing it to be done, by Candyman. Over dinner with a group of professors, we learn more about Candyman. 1890, he was the son of a slave who struck it rich. Allowing his Father to send him to the best schools. Where he became an artist. Sleeping with a woman he was hired to paint a portrait of. Father hiring a group to punish him. Chasing him down to where Cabrini Green would be built. Sawing his hand off with a rusty blade. Smashing honeycombs over his body and dying by bee stings. Burning his body to ash and scattered across the grounds. When she goes back, tricks a kid, Jake into taking her to where he claims the Candyman can be found. Taking her to the restroom outside. Telling her about a kid the Candyman killed. Was told that was where he is. While she is inside, a group of guys come in. One brandishing a hook. Calling himself the Candyman, brandishing a hook and hits her in the head. Leaving her out cold and bleeding. Jake calling for help. The police catch the man, because unlike before they do come and sweep the building. The man was the leader of the Overlord Gang, and with her testimony could be put away. Jake is upset about her breaking their promise. Afraid of the Candyman, which she assures him is only a myth. When she is well enough to finally go back to school. Making her way through the parking garage, when a man calls out to her. Seeing flashes of Cabrini, as he lulls her into a hypnotic state. Telling her that he was obliged to come because of her spreading doubt of his existence. Be his victim, as she sees a swarm of bees as she blacked out. Coming to on the floor. Covered in blood. Hearing a woman screaming. Finding herself in Ann- Marie’s Apartment. Head of the dog on the floor. Helen picks up a knife, going to see what is happening. Baby Anthony is gone, and Ann Marie attacks her. Police bursting in as Helen is defending herself and she is arrested and that is where I will mercifully leave it for now.
I enjoyed what they were going for with the Candyman and the myth surrounding him. Way he feed on the fears and thrived by being the boogeyman of Cabrini Green. Way he had to go about targeting Helen when she threatened to debunk his myth with his “Congregation.” Way he masterfully tore down here life. Leaving her with no other choice but to come to him. Then the switch happened, by him reneging and she fought back. Dying as she saved the baby. Making her the new Myth of Cabrini Green. Which was a risky move , especially with great of a character they had made, in Candyman, but one that they paid off for them.
I like the fact they didn’t just make him another hack n’ slash serial killer. Candyman being more suave and sophisticated. The way he talked and his movement. Story based in sadness and racial inequalities. That his only crime was falling for a white woman. Then preying and feeding off the black community who can never get any help. His crimes being ignored and just written up as gangs. While people Ann-Marie and Jake are caught in the middle.
The prosthetics were wonderful. From the small stuff like Helen’s swollen eye after she was attacked in the restroom. The aftermath of Bernadette and Trevor and the hook for a hand was excellent. The burns on Helen were morbid in the right way. For a movie that didn’t show a lot of the actual killing. Went all in on the aftermath and a great job with it. And a massive round of applause to Virginia Madsen and Tony Todd for working with swarms of bees. Couldn’t even imagine the amount of tension they were under pulling that off.
It almost goes without saying that the actors and actresses were phenomenal. Tony Todd created a villain of the ages in Candyman. Bringing the look, style, and derangement to stay with you long after you leave. Virginia Madsen was the perfect woman to bring in for the part of Helen. Nailing Helen’s descent . Making you feel so much sympathy for her as not only Candyman tore apart her life, but her Husband was cheating and moved in his girlfriend after she was committed and Virginia and Tony had excellent chemistry. Then you had Xander Berkeley, who played Trevor. A guy you just knew was cheating on Helen and became more unlikeable as you went and seeing him get his comeuppance was the cherry on the top, and it was because of how good Xander pulled it off.
Most of my nitpicks I had going from my first watch was cleared up on this one. So, guess we will go into final thoughts. Candyman is a really enjoyable film that had a lot going on for it. Good carnage candy, tragic tale, social breakdowns. An excellent final girl and Iconic killer in Candyman. With the sequel right around the corner, now is the best time to leap back to where it all started with this 1992 classic. Final Grade – A
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
So, I had a lot of fun talking about Vampire Masquerade: Rivals last month. So, much so that decided to do it again. This time with Prospero Hall’s Horrified. Pitting you or a group of players against some of Universal’s Classic Monsters in the form of Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, Creature of the Black Lagoon, Invisible Man, Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein. Seeing them on the cover was more than enough to sell me on adding the game to my collection. With a bunch of play throughs done, lets jump in and discuss.
The goal is pretty simple. You sit down by yourself or with others, and decide first, which monster, or combination of monsters you want to terrorize the village this fine evening, and set the board accordingly. The Monster with the highest Frenzy Marker. Then you pick you character, each with various abilities to help you move, pick up items and some can teleport to certain spaces. Along with a perk card. Place 12 random item tokens across the map and the game begins. A player starts their moves picking up necessary items and try to complete tasks that will allow you to defeat the monsters you have chosen. You need to break 3 coffins for Dracula, deliver evidence of the Invisible Man, find a cure for Wolfman, solve a puzzle for The Mummy, get the boat to the lair for the creature, and teach the Frankenstein’s to be human. After a player has taken a turn, it’s the Monster turn in the form of drawing a Monster Card. Which will tell you what to do, which monsters are moved, and some will place villagers on the board. All needing to go to a different location. If a player can get them there, they are awarded a Perk Card. If a monster is to land on the spot. They roll a number of dice dictated on the monster card to see if they are attacked or not. The good guys win, by meeting the achievements and defeating the monsters. While the monsters win because the terror meter has filled, from successful attacks on the players, killing villagers and Frankenstein and the Bride encountering one another before they are humanized. The monsters also win, if you have taken to long and run out of Monster Cards to flip over.
The game’s biggest positives is it’s replayability. Trying to defeat different combinations of monsters and adding more to the mix the more you play. Not even when you play with other people, but when you play by yourself. Trying to think about what you are going to do multiple steps ahead to deal with the number games. Had multiple games come down to the last monster card and have squeaked out the win and suffered brutal losses that get me to readjust and think about what I did wrong while setting up for another game.
It has a real sense of lulling you into a sense of safety and security. Believe your team has everything in the bag and going you way. Before you know it though, the terror meter is getting dangerously close to filling and running out of monster cards. Regretting not detouring to grab a villager or playing a perk card and the victory you thought was certain is now slipping from your grasp.
They put a lot of time and love into making everything that comes in the box. The board coming with places you’d find in the various monsters world. Each character feeling special and unique in the challenges they present to beat them. While the miniatures feel a bit fragile, especially The Mummy, they do look gorgeous and absolutely loved being able to paint them. Which, was a first and I have a long way to go to get good at.
I don’t have any real negatives, but I do have a want. Cause this game does have the potential to be more. They can really make some fun expansion packs for it, and kind of surprised that they haven’t. Seen some people’s suggestions of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Headless Horseman Elvira and such. Would love to see an 80’s horror slashers. Would be so much fun having a game, where you have Frankenstein and his Bride, The Headless Horsemen, and Freddy Krueger on the board at the same time. I love the seven we get, but I feel like this can just be scratching the surface and could get more from it.
With all that said though. It is not a complex game that you can play and have a good times with friends or family or even alone. Which is something I love the most. Since even when I can’t get people to play. I can still bust this out and enjoy myself and adore the fact that they did use the classic monsters and rekindle my appreciation I have for them and would gladly suggest picking this up and adding it to your collection.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By Paul Anthony
This film series begun way back in 1979 and finally ended in 2016, from the title you know I am talking about the Phantasm film series. The first one which was released in 1979 off a budget of 300,000 managed to make 22 million with using such a small budget and a cast that up to this point were just amateurs and aspiring professionals. At first the movie was indeed considered a failure though it made money. The Director Don Coscarelli revealed that he was under pressure to make a sequel though he couldn’t come up with a good story until later in the 80’s. Part 2 was released in the summer of 1988. The film is the only film that doesn’t include a few people from the first film, the biggest issue was recasting the role of Mike Pearson which was now being played by James LeGros, which was only for this film. The film was made from a budget of 3 million and only managed to grossed 7.3 million. Now we know there were films after this one but for now let’s look at this film!!
The film takes places seven years after the event of the first film and meet a young girl name Liz who has psychic bond with Mike and the Tall Man and she is trying reach Mike because she fears that The Tall Man will come for her grandfather when he dies and she needs Mike’s help. Here at this point we learn that Mike has been institutionalized since the events of the first film and fakes his recovery so he can leave and help Liz out. Mike Knows he can’t do this on his own so he sets out to find his old friend Reggie, who believes Mike after his family dies and Mike tried to warn him. They begin to travel from small town to small town and finally the run into Liz who by now has lost her sister and her grandfather. With the help of Reggie’s new girlfriend who was just a hitchhiker they decide to take on the Tall Man and his army of zombies. In the end seems like the four beat the Tall Man and all the hope is restored except the movie ends with Reggie’s girlfriend being on the side of the Tall Man and The tall Man revealing he is still alive and they hope that this is a dream which the Tall Man reveals it is not a dream!!
Now honestly I have to admit I had to watch the first film to be able to do this review because up until like two months ago, I never seen the first one but was always a fan of the second because that it is the only one that I really watched before this of course. I understand the casting of Mike was one that the fans were bitter about but From watching the first film I didn’t have a problem with it to be honest. The Story felt random with adding Liz into it. Mike had enough reasons to finish the job. The acting was on par with the first film, same with how the scenes were put together. So honestly more amateur than professional. best part of the film had to be the Tall Man and the killing spares with the spikes. Everything in between has and always seem a bit cheesy. In the end I am giving this horror film of the 80’s a B or 80 percent!!
By Paul Anthony
As many of you guys know that me and Justin was once truck drivers and even though we aren’t truckers anymore but I can speak for myself when I say this my passion for trucks will never go away. So When I heard about The Ice Road, I just had to give it a look but then I saw the trailer and saw Liam Neeson in it, I knew I had to bump this up to the top of my list. The Ice Road is a action thriller that was written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh who also directed such films as 2004’s The Punisher and Kill the Irishman. So We know Liam Neeson is in it but he wasn’t the only big time star in this film another big name was Laurence Fishburne. The film was released on Netflix for the United States and Amazon Prime for the United Kingdom. When the film debut on Netflix it became their highest streamed movie for its opening weekend. The film was 108 minutes long. Now most critics who review the film gave it mixed reviews, well let’s take a look for ourselves!
The film basically starts with a mining accident, that leaves 26 miners trapped but time is against them because if they don’t get out they will all run out of oxygen and the carbon will kill them. At first we seethe company rush to get the help they need which will require tractor-trailers to bring part up to the mine to free the miners. This where we meet Mike(Neeson) who keeps getting fired from one job to another because he defends his brother who has PTSD and Aphasia. Now Jim Goldenrod gets handed the job to find truckers to deliver the parts which includes himself, Mike and another driver who goes by the name of Tantoo, also joining the team is Mike’s brother and a guy name Varnay who is a insurance risk assessment. As the film goes on we begin to learn that the company that owns the mine cut safety guidelines to save money which caused the explosion and they hope that the miners do in fact die because if they live they will reveal the truth and as for Varnay, he begins to mess up the trucks to prevent the team from making it to the mine. Jim is the first to die while he is trying to hook up his rig as the ice road begins to crack and Tantoo basically gets kidnapped by Varnay who turns out to be a pretty bad ass in his own right because every time Mike tries to stop him, he just gets back up for more . Finally with just one truck they get up to the mine and saves day and exposes the truth!!
Now it’s time to talk about the movie and let’s start with the plot. There wasn’t really any turns that you didn’t see coming even with Varnay. Killing Fishburne off early in the film when it seems like he would have an bigger role was a mistake in my eyes. Neeson being himself was just fine. The graphics were on the cheaper end and I expected a little better but not this. Neeson isn’t who he once was so the action was very little. In the end I am giving this movie a C or 70 percent as a review!
By: Justin Hopkins
I was fifty-fifty with picking this movie for B Movie Sunday. Had a solid enough premise and found myself circling back around to it the last few weeks. Thinking about it but wasn’t too sure about it. Have come across similar movies and they always seemed to be a let down. Found myself circling back to it again today and decided to stop putting it off and give it a shot. Lets dive in and see if it was worth while.
We kick things off with a woman running through the woods. Turning out to be a werewolf when she attacks the man. Only to be put down by the Sheriff. We jump to Lisa, going to work at a book store. Having a friendly chat with a woman named Mary about Werewolves and how Lisa doesn’t believe in supernatural. When Mary leaves, A group of women come in. Being led by Jessica. Who begins tearing into Lisa on everything. How she only came back because her Grandmother died and left her the store. Before stealing a copy of a Clockwork Orange. She goes out with her friend Sam later. Still upset but they can’t do anything since her Mother is the Sheriff. The next day Jessica brings the book back, and spits in her face when she opens up and her kiss is rejected. Threatening her when she throws her out. Having enough Lisa goes to the Sheriff, who tells her it was nothing. When she threatens to go over her head though. Her and her son, deputy start throwing charges at her. Then Jessica says she assaulted her to. When the Sheriff breaks her glasses she slaps her and the Sheriff knocks her out. When she comes to they proceed to assault her and knock her out again. Instructed Jessica to ditch the car in the River. Which gives Nick a chance to continue the assault in the woods. When Jess isn’t around to stop him. When she finally comes around later that evening. She is bitten by a wolf. She manages to knock him away with a rock, before blacking out. While a man watches from the shadows. Unaware of the woman sneaking up on him till she lays him out. This time, when Jessica comes around. She is in a bed and bandaged, by Mary. Who takes her home later that day. Trying to get her to talk but Lisa isn’t ready. Breaking down when she is alone and Sam comes. Checking her over, but all of her wounds, short of the bit have completely healed. Agreeing to take her home. The next day, after a long night. Lisa goes out. Needing to get air. When the Lycan takes over and she goes to pay a visit to one of her attackers and that is where I will leave it for now.
This story had a lot of things going for it and for the most part, they handle it pretty well. Had Lisa going through the trauma of what the family did to her. To not wanting to talk and thinking she could handle it herself. While being tormented by nightmares. At the same time blending with rise of the Lycan inside her. Changing her both physically and mentally. Slowly losing her hesitancy and leaving you to wonder how the changes would take her and if she could come back.
For a low budget film, the y did a pretty good job on the gore. The make up on the woman Lisa dunked into the deep fryer being a favorite. To Lisa getting her arms nailed to the wall and branded. While the assault scene started kind of bad, with them staying on the kicks for a bit to long. Amplified in intensity pretty quick and the state she was left in by the end was brutal. Make up doing a great job on it.
Now, we got to talk the look of their werewolf and have kind of a like/hate mindset going on here. I did like how she looked for most of the movie. With the bigger, shined eyes and claws. Even liked the teeth. Now, the look we got at the end was pretty bad. It just didn’t work for me. As I have covered before, I am very picky when it comes to werewolves and this didn’t do it for me. Would have been better to keep her the way she looked during the rest of the movie. Would have helped differentiate her more. Since, she was overcoming the curse. Something to keep her out of that final look.
Kristen Vaganos did brilliant as Lisa. Starting off as a really likeable girl who made you feel a tremendous amounts of sympathy for. Bringing out all of the trauma and the changes to perfection. While Manon Halliburton was an excellent enemy for Lisa. She came off a heinous and gritty. A villain who was not afraid to get her hands dirty. Than we get Carmen Anello’s performance as Jessica. Who, did a great job. This is not shade on her but, I don’t think we got enough of Jessica. She was playing with a certain degree of remorse over what happened and think that could have been a fun avenue to go down and even help tell the story of revenge a bit more. If she could have had more time to build off that and while not have a full redemption arc. But becoming aware and changing along the way. Leading Lisa to have a question at the end on whether she should forgive and move on. Unless, I read it wrong, than my bad.
On to some soft negatives. The movie could feel a bit slow at times. Some of the scenes do drag on a bit to long and could have cut a few minutes here or there to make things move a bit more. Like I said, could have used a bit more time with Jessica. For better or worse, she was the one who initiated all of this. Only to become a bit character in it. None of these hurt the movie. Just a few nitpicks.
At the end, I did enjoy I am Lisa quite a bit. From feeling sorry for Lisa and wanting to see her pull through all of this and see her survive the ordeal of the Family and be able to leave with Sam. To some nasty pieces of work in the Huckins Family. While this movie can getting pretty dark. Would suggest giving it a watch.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!