Blerd Film Club: Candyman 3: Day of The Dead

Candyman 3: Day of the Dead is the worst film in the series, and I don't have a problem blaming it for the characters extended absence from the horror scene. The film took the character in an entirely new direction that wasn't exactly best for Candyman in a genre where Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees still reign supreme. 

Caroline McKeever is the owner of an art gallery in LA. She's also a decedent of Candyman and a reincarnation of his daughter. She supposedly knows the family history but decides Dia De Los Muertos would be the perfect to host an art show about Candyman, not his artwork, but artwork about his murders. Despite what she says, she doesn't know the history because she lets these people play with his name once and that's all it takes.

Candyman starts to kill everyone. Miguel, an artist and the one who helped build the exhibit on Candyman with his artwork catches a hook first followed by his girlfriend and their roommate. Of course Caroline is blamed for the murders and gives a racist loose cannon cop all he needs to harass some Mexican people, including an old woman who specializes in natural healing. The police still blame Caroline, and after her arrest Candyman helps her go free.

It doesn't last long because she's captured by a gang of goth teenagers. The gang wants to keep her around because they've fallen in love with her stories of Candyman. Candyman shows up and just kills everyone because mass murder is his thing now. Candyman has also kidnapped Caroline's boyfriend and now she has to find him as well as stop Candyman.

This film doesn't feature the character's creator Clive Barker on the writing crew so it goes completely off the rails. In the end of this film, Candyman is destroyed forever by Caroline letting someone else take the blame for his murders. However, in the first film, that just made him stronger and more pissed off. Nothing about this film really made sense. In the first film, he was looking for his lover from a past life in an unrelated woman. In the second film, he wanted his family to acknowledge him and join him as killers. Suddenly in this film, he wants his to take his descendant as a lover. Where did the incest twist come from? 

Mardi Gras was a big deal in the second film, and a lot of detail was paid to the festivities. Mardi Gras is pretty important to Black people of New Orleans. Candyman in the first two films was linked to Black communities. In the first film they discussed how his legends and killings moved through The Great Migration to the north and landed in Chicago. But he has no connection to Dia De Los Muertos and there's no care paid to the celebration or festivities. There's a big party where people cross dress and wear face paint, that's the extent of Dia De Los Muertos in this movie. It simply has a cool name for the title.

There's no Black characters that play major roles in the film, so that aspect of the character's mythology is lost. We spend time with a Mexican Healer, but she doesn't know anything about Candyman. Art throughout the community was a big deal in the first two films. In this one they wave off a shed as having paid an artist to paint the portrait for their exhibit. The writers of the film had no understanding of the character and turned Candyman into a standard slasher, no different than Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers. They doubled down on the mysticism, now having Candyman fly and build these elaborate thrones of skeletons and bodies, something he didn't previously do. Even his death is unoriginal and right from the book Picture of Dorian Gray. The thing that killed Candyman in the first two films were connected to him. A woman who looked like his lover being disfigured, a mirror given to his lover is shattered. In Day of the Dead it's just a random picture of him being stabbed. It's not a picture he painted, or a picture with his lover, just some random artist and there's no explanation for why this works.

In their attempt to make this as a jump scare horror film, they lost the character. He's not even mad about them profiting from his name, or bastardizing his legacy, hot topics for him in the first two films. Now he's just showing up to chase a white woman he's in love with. We've gone from Candyman searching for relics of his past and keeping his legacy alive to the standard late 90s and 00s slasher flick that focuses entirely too much on a white woman screaming and dropping her keys while wearing her underwear.

The lesson of the first film was listen to Black people. The second film's lesson was you can't erase Blackness or the horrors inflicted on Black people. That brings me to the lesson of the third film, you can't replace Black people. I know that Clive Barker is a British white man and he was physically replaced in the real world. But, in the world of the film they removed the Black people and it was terrible. Candyman's legacy was always carried two ways, Black women, and Black boys. There was no Annie to tell them true story, nor a Matthew to explain that Candyman is this way because he was hurting.

The intrigue of Candyman is gone with this film. During the ending moments of the film Caroline states that she killed Candyman's legacy and she did. When this film was done, nobody thought about another Candyman movie for twenty years. The legacy was dead, because they were greedy, arrogant and didn't take the time to understand what they were working with. Candyman films weren't loved for jump scares and sex scenes but the time placed into the lore, history and psychology of the character.

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 3: Day of The Dead Blerd Film Club: Candyman 3: Day of The Dead Reviewed by Darrell S. on Friday, February 19, 2021 Rating: 5

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