USA 1992, 99 mins
Director: Bernard Rose

In this instant cult classic, based on a short story by Clive Barker, white graduate student Helen Lyle (Madsen) is researching urban legends when she discovers the tale of the Candyman (Todd). Born a free Black man, he was lynched for having a romantic relationship with a white woman. The Candyman has long haunted the Black residents of the Chicago housing project Cabrini-Green. But his focus shifts to Helen, who reminds him of his white lover. And then comes carnage.
Kelli Weston,

A contemporary review
In adapting and elaborating on ‘The Forbidden’, a story from Volume Five of Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, Bernard Rose has done an even more skilful job of translating Barker’s singular approach to the screen than the author himself achieved in Hellraiser and Nightbreed. Rose retains Barker’s outré imagery, even taking the story’s first sentence (‘the perfect geometry of the Spectator Street Estate was only visible from the air’) as a cue for a Saul Bass-style title sequence and frequent punctuating vertical overhead shots of calm cityscapes. He also strengthens the brittle characterisation and slim plot that sometimes render Barker’s stories rather remote. In shifting the story from Liverpool to Chicago, the film loses out only once – stripped of its Guy Fawkes function, the large bonfire that provides the climax is rather puzzling in the context of urban America. Otherwise much is gained in the way of background, including the based-on-fact twinning of the Cabrini Green ghetto with Helen’s condominium, a building erected as public housing but converted to yuppie use, so that Helen’s trespass begins even before she ventures out among the disenfranchised.

Cunningly establishing its ground rules with a succession of dramatised Candyman anecdotes and variations related to Helen in the course of her research, the film taps into the rich vein of urban legend that has sustained such series as the Halloween and Elm Street sagas, but for the first time addresses the process of mythification itself rather than simply using a nursery rhyme to ‘explain’ a monster’s origins. Candyman, a striking black figure who is at once a grimmer literal spook than Freddy Krueger and a menacing incarnation of the metaphorical ‘spook’ perceived as a threat by white America, draws his strength from the stories told about him. In dialogue lifted verbatim from the original text, he almost seductively asks Helen to join him in an anecdote: ‘Your death would be a parable to frighten children with, lovers would use it as an excuse to cling closer together.’

In adding to the plot complications of the story, Rose has given the underrated Virginia Madsen room to develop a strong performance as the superficial academic forced to confront actual suffering and horror. He intersperses the expected but perfectly-realised supernatural encounters between Helen and Tony Todd’s hollow-eyed, fur-coated, hook-handed bogeyman with unexpected Hitchcockian reversals, as when a bloodied and hysterical Helen is calmly strip-searched by an impassive matron, or in the complex betrayals and fears summoned in her post-escape confrontation with her errant husband and his terrified girlfriend. The film combines an overall predictability, as Helen is drawn into Candyman’s dark place like the protagonist of an episode from a 60’s Amicus anthology, with a scene-to-scene sense of surprise as the plot progresses in daring leaps and ellipses which powerfully convey Helen’s increasing bewilderment and fear.

As with Paperhouse, his debut feature, Rose enjoys marshalling the archetypal ingredients of the horror genre – knee-jerk shocks, stalking bogeyman, touches of dark humour – but also locates the horrors in an identifiable and credible landscape of urban decay (in contrast to the neo-Dickensian parody of ghetto life in Wes Craven’s The People under the Stairs for example, the Cabrini Green estate is a model of sociological accuracy). Candyman’s bee-swarming, gut-splitting, family-destroying horrors have their root in a subtle malaise that is ultimately a lot scarier than the admittedly relishable monster movie business.
Kim Newman, Sight and Sound, March 1993

Director: Bernard Rose
©: Candyman Films Inc., Propaganda Films
Presented by: TriStar Pictures, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Executive Producer: Clive Barker
Producers: Steve Golin, Sigurjón Sighvatsson, Alan Poul
Line Producer: Gregory Goodman
Executive in Charge of Production: Tim Clawson
Production Associate: Jonathan Wiedemann
Unit Production Managers: Greg Cundiff, Charlene Norman
Production Manager: Greg Cundiff
Production Supervisor: Billy Higgins
Production Co-ordinators: Michelle Colbert, Elaine Fiona Ferguson, Lisa Barratt
Location Manager: Boyd H. Wilson
Post-production Supervisors: Scott Carleton, Glenn Kiser
Assistant Directors: Thomas Patrick Smith, Suzanne L. Haasis, Marcie A. Brubaker, Peggy Hughes, David Riebel
Casting: Jason La Padura, Barbara Harris
Screenplay: Bernard Rose
Based on the short story ‘The Forbidden’ by: Clive Barker
Director of Photography: Anthony B. Richmond
Camera Operators: William Walden, Michael Ferris
Steadicam Operators: Randy Nolan, Kirk Gardner
Visual Effects: Cruse & Company
Optical Effects Supervisor: W. Dale Russell
Editor: Dan Rae
Production Designer: Jane Anne Stewart
Art Director: David Lazan
Set Decorator: Kathryn Peters
Set Dresser: Bruce Belamy
Illustrators: Sean Hargreaves, John Coven, Shelley Peterson, Marty Bresin
Costume Designer: Leonard Pollack
Costumer: Chanel Salzer
Wardrobe Supervisor: Julia Schklair
Make-up: Michelle Bühler
Special Make-up Effects: Bob Keen, Image Animation
Music: Philip Glass
Music Performed by: The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble
Music Director: Michael Riesman
Music Arranger: Michael Riesman
Music Producers: Kurt Munkacsi, Rory Johnston
Sound Design: Nigel Holland
Sound Supervisors: Nigel Holland, Chuck Smith, Leonard Marcel, Peter Carlstedt
Sound Recording: Reinhard Stergar, Greg Steele
Sound Re-recording: Ken S. Polk, Michael Barry
ADR Recordists: Charleen Richards, Scott Ganary, Allan Bond
Foley Artists: Joan Rowe, Ellen Heuer, Sean Rowe
Stunt Co-ordinator: Walter Scott
Dolby Stereo Consultant: Steve F.B. Smith
Bee Specialist: Norman Gary
Filmed at: Occidental Studios

Virginia Madsen (Helen Lyle)
Kasi Lemmons (Bernadette Walsh)
Xander Berkeley (Trevor Lyle)
DeJuan Guy (Jake)
Tony Todd (Candyman)
Vanessa Williams (Anne-Marie McCoy)
Marianna Elliott (Clara)
Ted Raimi (Billy)
Gilbert Lewis (Detective Frank Valento)
John Rensenhouse (attorney)
Carolyn Lowery (Stacy)
Doug MacHugh , Carol Harris (orderlies)
Terence Riggins (gang leader)
Ria Pavia (Monica)
Michael Culkin (Purcell)
Barbara Alston (Henrietta)
Sarina Grant (Kitty Calver)
Fred Sanders (cop)
Thom McCleister (gangbanger)
Stanley DeSantis (Dr Burke)
Baxter Harris (detective)
Rusty Schwimmer (policewoman)
Mark Daniels (boy)
Diane Peterson (nurse)
Lisa Ann Poggi (Diane)
Adam Philipson (Danny)
Eric Edwards (Harold)
Mika Quintand (TV reporter)
Glenda Starr Kelly (crying mother)
Kenneth Brown (castrated boy)
Latesha Martin, Lanesha Martin (baby Anthony)
Bernard Rose (Archie Walsh)
Caesar Brown (tough guy)
Michael Wilhelm (priest)

USA 1992
99 mins

Nosferatu (Nosferatu – Eine Symphonie des Grauens)
Mon 17 Oct 20:50; Sun 13 Nov 15:50 (+ intro by Silent Film Curator Bryony Dixon); Sat 19 Nov 14:10
Tue 18 Oct 20:50; Fri 28 Oct 18:20; Tue 8 Nov 18:20; Sun 27 Nov 13:00
The Skeleton Key
Wed 19 Oct 18:00; Mon 14 Nov 20:45
Meet the Monsters: A Season Introduction
Thu 20 Oct 19:30 BFI YouTube
I Walked With a Zombie
Thu 20 Oct 20:40; Tue 1 Nov 18:10
Creature from the Black Lagoon (3D)
Sat 22 Oct 18:15 (+ pre-recorded intro by Mallory O’Meara, award winning and bestselling author of ‘The Lady from the Black Lagoon’); Sat 29 Oct 11:40; Tue 1 Nov 20:50
In Dreams Are Monsters Quiz
Sun 23 Oct 19:00-22:00 Blue Room
Kuroneko (Yabu no naka no kuroneko)
Tue 25 Oct 20:45; Mon 31 Oct 21:00; Fri 18 Nov 18:15
The Fly
Wed 26 Oct 21:00
La Llorona
Thu 27 Oct 20:30; Mon 7 Nov 21:00
Celluloid Screams and Live Cinema UK presents: Ghostwatch + Q&A
Fri 28 Oct 20:20
Fri 28 Oct 20:45; Tue 8 Nov 20:50
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Sat 29 Oct 18:30; Wed 30 Nov 20:50
Sat 29 Oct 20:45; Thu 17 Nov 20:50 (+ intro)
Nightbreed – Director’s Cut
Sun 30 Oct 15:10 (+ intro); Sat 12 Nov 20:35
28 Days Later
Mon 31 Oct 18:00 (+ Q&A with director Danny Boyle); Sat 26 Nov 20:45
Tue 1 Nov 20:40; Sat 19 Nov 15:10; Tue 29 Nov 20:40
The Autopsy of Jane Doe
Wed 2 Nov 18:10; Sat 26 Nov 20:40
Let’s Scare Jessica to Death
Wed 2 Nov 20:45; Sat 19 Nov 20:45
Thu 3 Nov 20:55; Sat 26 Nov 13:00
Fri 4 Nov 18:30; Sat 19 Nov 12:10; Sun 20 Nov 18:30
Fright Night
Fri 4 Nov 20:50; Tue 22 Nov 20:40 (+ intro)
Sat 5 Nov 20:20 (+ intro by author Kier-La Janisse); Sun 27 Nov 15:30
Ganja & Hess
Mon 7 Nov 18:00; Sat 26 Nov 15:20
Wed 9 Nov 20:40; Sat 26 Nov 18:20
The Entity
Fri 11 Nov 17:55; Tue 15 Nov 20:30
Def by Temptation
Wed 16 Nov 18:10 (+ intro); Sat 26 Nov 18:10
Jennifer’s Body
Sun 20 Nov 15:15; Mon 21 Nov 18:00; Fri 25 Nov 20:45
Mon 21 Nov 20:30; Sun 27 Nov 12:20
Under the Shadow
Wed 23 Nov 20:40; Tue 29 Nov 18:10
Ouija: Origin of Evil
Thu 24 Nov 20:40; Mon 28 Nov 18:10
Pet Sematary
Fri 25 Nov 18:15; Mon 28 Nov 20:40
Good Manners (As Boas Maneiras)
Sun 27 Nov 18:10; Wed 30 Nov 20:25

City Lit at BFI: Screen Horrors – Screen Monsters
Thu 20 Oct – Thu 15 Dec 18:30-20:30
Beyond Nollywood World Premiere: Inside Life + Q&A with director Clarence A Peters
Sat 29 Oct 14:00
Matchbox Cine presents House of Psychotic Women
Sat 5 Nov 17:50
Son of Ingagi + Panel Discussion
Wed 9 Nov 18:10
Live Commentary with Evolution of Horror, Brain Rot and The Final Girls
Sat 19 Nov 18:00
Big Monster Energy
Tue 22 Nov 18:30

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