Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh

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Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh
Candyman farewell to the flesh poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBill Condon
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story byClive Barker
Music byPhilip Glass
CinematographyTobias A. Schliessler
Edited byVirginia Katz
Lava Productions[1]
Distributed byGramercy Pictures[1]
Release date
  • March 17, 1995 (1995-03-17)
Running time
95 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States[2]
Box office$13.9 million (U.S.)[3]

Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (Also known as Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh) is a 1995 American supernatural slasher film[4] directed by Bill Condon and starring Tony Todd, Kelly Rowan, William O'Leary, Bill Nunn, Matt Clark and Veronica Cartwright. Written by Rand Ravich and Mark Kruger, it is a sequel to the 1992 film, Candyman, which was an adaptation of Clive Barker's short story, "The Forbidden". Its plot follows a New Orleans schoolteacher who finds herself targeted by the Candyman, the powerful spirit of a murdered son of a slave who kills those who invoked him.

The film was followed by a second sequel, Candyman: Day of the Dead, which was released in 1999.


Three years after the Candyman murders in Chicago, Coleman Tarrant, the father of New Orleans schoolteacher Annie Tarrant, is murdered while investigating the deaths of three men in a manner similar to the Candyman legend. One year later, Professor Philip Purcell writes a book about the case. The Candyman kills Purcell in a public bathroom following a book signing. Annie's brother Ethan is accused of Purcell's murder because of previous confrontations between the two over the subject. After one of Annie's students claims to have seen the Candyman, she tries to discredit the legend by invoking his name. Annie summons the Candyman to New Orleans on the eve of Mardi Gras, and the killings began in earnest. Her husband Paul McKeever becomes one of the Candyman's victims, and one of her students, Matthew, disappears.

The Candyman is revealed to be Daniel Robitaille, who was the son of a slave on a plantation in New Orleans. Daniel was chosen by wealthy landowner Heyward Sullivan to paint a portrait of his daughter Caroline, resulting in an affair between the two. After Caroline became pregnant, Heyward organized a lynch mob to hunt Daniel down. The mob cut off his right hand and covered him with honey from a nearby beehive. A small boy tasted the honey and exclaimed, "Candyman!" The crowd chanted the name as Daniel was stung to death. Heyward taunted the disfigured Daniel with Caroline's mirror, leading to the mirror that was containing the Candyman's soul. Caroline hid the mirror in Daniel's birthplace before giving birth to Isabel, a Creole whom she raised as white. The mirror grants the Candyman his ability to kill when called upon.

Annie is revealed to be the descendant of Daniel and Caroline. The Candyman stalks Annie so he may kill her and himself at midnight on Ash Wednesday. After talking with Ethan, Annie visits Honore Thibideaux, who tells her that Caroline moved to New Orleans after Daniel's death. The Candyman appears and kills him with the bees while Annie escapes. At the police station, the Candyman slays a detective who was interrogating Ethan, who is shot dead when he tries to escape. Octavia, Annie's guilt-ridden mother, admits that Coleman tried to link their family to the Candyman. However, she denies that he existed. Incensed by her disbelief, the Candyman introduces himself before killing her, and Annie flees. It is revealed that Coleman, who was driven to madness by his search for the mirror, eventually gave in and summoned the Candyman to justify his search at the expense of his life.

Annie flees to Daniel's birthplace, where she finds Matthew. She falls through the stairs into the flooded basement, where she finds the mirror and the Candyman. He reveals that the mirror is the source of his resurrection and tries to sacrifice her. Annie destroys the mirror, annihilating the Candyman in the process. The slave quarters crashes into the river, but Matthew saves Annie by pulling her out.

Five years later, Annie has Paul's daughter and names her Caroline. After Annie kisses Caroline goodnight and leaves the room, Caroline starts to chant the Candyman's name. Annie stops her and tells her to go to bed.



According to Virginia Madsen, Bernard Rose, the director of the 1992 Candyman film originally had another concept in mind for the sequel:

"They originally wanted us to do Candyman 2, but they didn't like Bernie's idea for the sequel. They made the Candyman into a slave which was terrible because the Candyman was educated and raised as a free man. Bernie wanted to make him like an African American Dracula which I think it was so appealing to the African American community because they finally had their own Dracula. The Candyman was a poet and smart. He wasn't really a monster. He was sort of that classical figure."
"The sequel that Bernie wanted to make was a prequel where you see the Candyman and Helen fall in love. It was turned down because the studio didn't want to do an interracial love story."[5]

Actress Tuesday Knight was reported to have turned a role down in Farewell to the Flesh, claiming that it was the only horror film that she regrets turning down.[6]


Critical reception[edit]

The film holds a 27% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 26 reviews with an average score of 4.4/10. The critics consensus reads, "Doubling down on gore while largely abandoning the subtext and wit that made the original worthwhile, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh disappoints."[7]

Leonard Klady of Variety called it "a case of diminishing artistic returns but not, thankfully, a victim of the terrible twos".[8] Caryn James of The New York Times called it a "sluggish, predictable, low-rent sequel".[9] Kevin Thomas wrote that the film "overflows with blood and guts, drowning a potent metaphor for African American rage and oppression".[10] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly rated it D and wrote, "This cloddish sequel undermines its revenge-of-the-repressed premise with racist scare tactics".[11]

The Chicago Tribune's Michael Wilmington compared the film negatively against its predecessor, adding that "Director Bill Condon can barely keep his camera still; perhaps he's trying to escape. The script is the usual farrago about an invincible monster slaughtering everyone while pursuing the heroine with what seems unusual patience and discretion."[12]

Home media[edit]

MGM Home Entertainment released Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh on DVD on August 28, 2001.[13] Scream Factory released the film on Blu-ray on January 6, 2015, featuring an audio commentary with Director Condon among other bonus materials.[14]


  1. ^ a b c "Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Los Angeles, California: American Film Institute. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  2. ^ "Candyman Farewell to the Flesh (1995)". British Film Institute. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  3. ^ "Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  4. ^ "Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995) - Bill Condon | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related". AllMovie.
  5. ^ Caprilozzi, Christine (December 14, 2012). "Twenty Year Retrospective of Candyman with Virginia Madsen". Horror News Network. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  6. ^ Collum, Jason Paul (April 7, 2004). Assault of the Killer B's: Interviews with 20 Cult Film Actresses. McFarland Publishing. ISBN 978-0786418183.
  7. ^ "Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  8. ^ Klady, Leonard (March 16, 1995). "Review: 'Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh'". Variety. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  9. ^ James, Caryn (March 18, 1995). "Candyman Farewell to the Flesh (1995)". The New York Times. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  10. ^ Thomas, Kevin (March 20, 1995). "MOVIE REVIEW : This Time the 'Candyman' Turns Up in New Orleans". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  11. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (April 7, 1995). "Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  12. ^ Wilmington, Michael. "'Farewell to the Flesh' a sour viewing experience". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. p. 284 – via
  13. ^ "Candyman - Farewell to the Flesh". Amazon. Archived from the original on April 22, 2020.
  14. ^ Jane, Ian (December 22, 2014). "Candyman: Farewell To The Flesh (Blu-ray)". Archived from the original on April 22, 2020.

External links[edit]