‘Candyman: Farewell To The Flesh’ (1995) Retro Review

Nearly every horror fan has heard about the macabre revenge slasher, Candyman (1992). However, not everyone is as well acquainted with the sequel, which released three years later on March 7, 1995. Enter 1995’s Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, where the lovable Tony Todd (Candy Corn 2019) reprised his role as the Candyman, Daniel Robitaille. This sequel did a nice job of keeping the same tense feel as the first, and even added a few layers onto the lore. As it turns twenty-five years old this month, PopHorror wants to remind you why this sequel succeeded where many others fail.

Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh opens up with several minutes of recap, done in a masterful way. The learned professor from the first film is hosting a lecture for his successful Candyman novel, and they use this as a clever backdrop to catch us up on previous events and everything that led up to it. Within five minutes, the audience knows the lore, and the hype has been built for our menacing antagonist.

This film was directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls 2006), and you can tell that he aimed to make a sequel that held true to the previous film’s plot. Continuity is key in franchise sequels, and this iteration of Candyman referenced its past with clarity and affection.

Clive Barker (Hellraiser 1987 – read our retro review here) wrote the original story, so he had a close connection to the material from both films. The plot is simple: Daniel Robitaille was a talented black painter in the deep south. While being hired to paint for an aristocratic white family, Robitaille fell in love with the patriarch’s daughter. Race was a shameful barrier back then, so they punished Robitaille by cutting off his hand and smearing honey all over his body to let the bees eat him alive. This sequel continued by not only showing the gruesome torture scene and giving the Candyman his name, but also included the fact that the lovelorn couple had a child.

This sequel did a great job in stacking up the bricks that the first film had already built in 1993. Todd does an amazing job as a charismatic cult figure who garners sympathy while committing murderous acts in a gory fashion. Even from 1995, this subject matter feels dark and fresh, and Kelly Rowan (Cyberbully 2011) plays a great new love interest for Candyman. The score still stands as one of the best in the genre, and Robitaille’s lair makes for an intense climax. While this film wasn’t the critical or financial success that the original was, it still spawned a 1999 sequel to round out the trilogy. In the summer of 2020, Jordan Peele (Us 2019) reported that he’s producing a new spiritual sequel. While Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh may not possess the mainstream cache of the later Voorhees, Kruger, or Myers entries, it still contributes a loyal companion piece that has people afraid to look in the mirror to this day.

About Jason Burke

Hey there, I'm Jason. I'm a lifelong writer and lover of all things that go bump in the night. Under my production company name, Nostalgic Nightmare Productions, I write and produce films, novels, and photoshoots. I'm also an actor, activist, poet, and stand-up comic. I believe in deep, character-driven stories that engage the audience.

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