Candyman (1992) Arrow Video Limited Edition Blu-Ray Review by Steve Wells
You don’t have to believe… just beware.
Previously released on Blu-Ray in 2011 with a very average transfer, Arrow Video have finally given Bernard Rose’s cult film based on the Clive Barker story the release it deserves.
For the uninitiated, Candyman revolves around Helen (Virginia Madsen), a young lady who is keen to expose superstitions and modern folklore as fake on a thesis she is working on. Part of that work leads her to research the legend of Candyman, a one armed man with a hook, brutally murdered in years gone by, who will appear if you say his name five times in front of a mirror. Meeting residents of the area where his slayings allegedly took place, and the fear they express, makes her more determined to rubbish the whole myth. It turns out that the story is true, he’s kept alive by the people who believe in him, and so the bloodshed begins, and she gets blamed for them, because naturally, no one believes her pleads of innocence, or that the legend is true.
This plot is so familiar, but the performances, cinematography, editing, practical effects and, in particular, the score by Philip Glass, make this the terrific ride that it is. Arrow have given this release the deluxe treatment, in the same way they did spectacular editions for The Hills Have Eyes, The Thing and Carrie. This limited edition comes in a stiff cardboard slip-box, containing a wealth of superb extras, listed below at the end of this review.
The UK theatrical cut is the same cut that was on the original VHS and Laser-disc releases in the UK, with, as far as I’m aware, only one difference, where alternative gorier shots of one of the killings are substituted in place of less graphic shots in the US theatrical cut, which was the version used for all worldwide DVD and Blu-Ray releases until now. It’s great that Arrow have gone the extra mile to find a copy of it. although the soundtrack for that cut is LPCM 2.0 Stereo.
I expect copies of the previous, bare-bones release on Blu-Ray to be swarming to charity shops all over the country now this superior release, in both picture and sound quality, and terrific extras, has been unleashed. Whether you are familiar with Candyman or blind buying it I give a very high recommendation. The second disc is exclusive to this limited release, and a one disc version will be released somewhere down the line. The choice to wait for less is yours, but if you want this limited release then don’t wait around.
- Exclusive packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin
- 6 Lobby Card reproductions
- Reversible fold-out poster featuring two artworks
- Fully illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by festival programmer Michael Blyth
- Limited Edition perfect-bound booklet reproducing the original hand-painted storyboards by Bernard Rose
- The Film – U.S. R-rated Theatrical Cut (99:17)Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original negative and supervised and approved by writer-director Bernard Rose and director of photography Anthony B. Richmond –
5.1 DTS-HD MA and Original Uncompressed Stereo 2.0 Audio
Optional English subtitles
- Audio commentary with Bernard Rose and Tony Todd
- Audio commentary with Stephen Jones and Kim Newman
- “Be My Victim: An Interview with Tony Todd” featurette (9:46)
- “It Was Always You, Helen: An Interview with Virginia Madsen” featurette (13:10)
- “The Writing on the Wall: An Interview with Jane Ann Stewart” featurette (6:21)
- “Forbidden Flesh: The Makeup FX of Candyman” featurette (8:01)
- “A Story to Tell: Clive Barker’s ‘The Fobidden'” featurette (18:38)
- “Urban Legend: Unwrapping Candyman” featurette (20:40)
- Bernard Rose Short Films:
- – A Bomb with No Name on it (1975) (3:40)
- – The Wreckers (1976) (5:58)
- – Looking at Alice (1977) (27:24)
- Theatrical Trailer (2:04)
- Image Gallery (38 images)
- DISC TWO
- The Film – U.K. Theatrical Cut (99:17)
- “The Cinema of Clive Barker: The Divine Explicit” featurette (28:09)