Blerd Film Club: Candyman 2: Farewell to The Flesh

So many people stood in their mirrors calling Candyman, there was no choice but to release Candyman 2: Farewell to The Flesh in 1995. A new crew, but still featuring the story of Clive Barker Candyman set out on a new journey. This time, to New Orleans during Mardi Gras. The "Farewell to Flesh," is a phrase sometimes used alongside Mardi Gras which refers to giving up on desires or pleasures, sometimes meat during Lent, which plays a part in the film so they did their research. 

Coleman Tarrant is murdered while investigating Candyman murders. A year later his son tracks down Professor Purcell who has written a book about Candyman and Hellen's death in the first film. Coleman's so Ethan accuses Purcell of the murder and the two have to be separated. Later Purcell is murdered by Candyman for throwing dirt on his name and Ethan is blamed. Meanwhile, Annie Tarrant is an art teacher. She's determined to show her students, especially Matthew that Candyman isn't real, so she starts playing with his name in class. 

Soon Matthew disappears and her brother is framed for more murders. During her search for Candyman Annie learns the truth. Daniel's lover Caroline gave birth to a daughter after his death, moved to New Orleans and raised her as a white woman. The secret had been hidden by Annie's family and her father was murdered by her grandmother to keep the secret. Candyman shows up to claim his kill for playing with his legacy. Annie flees with the help of a police officer who believes her brother is innocent after seeing footage of the murder. She's looking for a way to stop Candyman, and he's looking to reclaim his family. 

The first two Candyman films are very direct about their lessons. The first said to just listen to Black people. The second is just as simple, you can't erase Blackness or the horrors inflicted on Black people throughout history. Annie's family was decimated because her grandmother was so intent on hiding the fact that they hid Daniel's family history. They hid his biracial daughter claiming she was a white woman, and just kept breeding out the white. All he wanted was to be recognized as the family patriarch that he was. 

This film isn't as good as the first, and deals mostly with race as an issue of the past, not present, at least until the climax. Some of the things going on in the background have been removed, but the film is enjoyable and stays true to the first. My biggest complaint would probably be some of the terrible camera work during action sequences where it seemed the camera couldn't hold still. I'm not saying that Bill Condon is a terrible director or that he had a bad crew, but there were some puzzling choices made. It was clear that Bernard Rose, director of the first film had more care for the character.

In fact Bernard Rose had an entirely different idea for a sequel where Candyman would become a "Dracula like," character instead. This film would have been set in the past where Candyman, or Daniel and Helen fall in love. However, it was never made because the studio had no interest in doing an interracial love story. One thing is clear, Bernard never saw Candyman as a monster, but a tortured man. Something that was clear throughout both films and likely what made the character so beloved, despite being the villain. He would go on to state the reason Candyman became a hit with the Black community is because he wasn't just a slasher, but a poet, an artist, and the horror was just as much psychological as physical. Which, I agree with.

The second film diverts from the proven formula to make a path of its own. It isn't as strong, but it still remains above general slasher films. There's still elements of what made the first one a classic, enough to make this film an enjoyable watch. Some things are done better, there's more detail in the gore and effects, but you can't help but wonder if the effort put in there, took away from the plot. No matter which film you prefer, you'll still respect his legacy, and that's all he wants.

You can check out some of my short stories at 12 AM Fiction or if you like vampires follow my web serial Exsanguinate and of course hear me on the Powerbomb Jutsu podcast if you enjoy pro wrestling.

Blerd Film Club: Candyman 2: Farewell to The Flesh Blerd Film Club: Candyman 2: Farewell to The Flesh Reviewed by Darrell S. on Thursday, February 18, 2021 Rating: 5

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