Candyman - Special Edition
Clive Barker's highly underrated spook-house horror pic Candyman comes home to DVD in a packed Special Edition that's sure to get the juices flowing for fright fans everywhere. Updating the film's previous 1998 bare-bones release, Columbia TriStar pulls out the blood-red carpet for the flick this time, loading it with all the hot stuff you've come to expect. Presented with a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen image, the picture complements the film well, though the lone Dolby Digital Surround leaves a lot to be desired, especially considering how other less-regarded horror fare come standard with 5.1 tracks at the time of this release (New Line's release of The Mangler, anyone?). Audio gripes aside, the rest of the disc is where the DVD really shines, starting off with a commentary from director Bernard Rose, writer Clive Barker, producer Alan Poul, and actors Virginia Madsen, Kasi Lemmons, and the Candyman himself, Tony Todd. While cut-and-paste tracks aren't usually the kind to write home about, this one delivers a rock-steady commentary out of many separate tracks that, while not exactly scene-specific, does have some fine information on the production and the extreme lengths the filmmakers went to during the shoot (including hypnotizing star Madsen for most of the film!). Those who haven't caught up with Clive Barker are also in for a big surprise -- it seems the years of cigar smoking have finally caught up with him in a big way, which you'll discover even more in his ten-minute "Raising Hell" featurette. Looking like he has rapidly aged, with a gravel-filled voice that now sounds like one of his horrific creations, Barker is quite jarring to listen to as well as to look at. "Raising Hell" features the scribe looking back at his career, with lengthy time dedicated to his early days in the theater leading up to his time behind the camera with Hellraiser, Nightbreed, and Lord of Illusions. The 24-minute "Sweets to the Sweet: The Candyman Mythos" featurette is also included and delves far more into change of settings from Liverpool in the book to Chicago's Cabrini Green and how the race angle of the hooked killer changed once Tony Todd took on the part. With a collection of the director's storyboards and a few pretty lame previews for other horror projects, this DVD comes to a close. While the original theatrical trailer would have been a nice inclusion, as would have a more decent audio mix, this Special Edition serves its purpose and certainly gives viewers more Candyman than they had before, which is a good thing, just as long as you're not talking about the dreadful sequels.