An uneven film, though worth seeing for Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen. Tony Todd in particular has absolute authority over the picture whenever he's given screen time, though Madsen handles her difficult role with ease. The rest of Candy Man, aside from the sets, is average. One particular shot, where Madsen awakens to find herself in the middle of a murder in progress, is executed brilliantly. I found the direction to be a bit stilted for the majority of the picture, perhaps due to some amateurish script writing and execution. I should praise the look of the film though, as well as the practical effects- they're great, and the cgi for the larger effects is done tastefully enough. I did not care for the music though- it soars and clashes against the look of the film. The sound seemed poorly edited as well. One scene of child dubbing was spotty, but the stock sound effects were distracting (noticeable when characters open and close doors off screen). Bad mixing on the adr. This is a turn the film up with subtitles type of mix but, once again, Tony Todd defies limitations and has a suitably powerful and creepy voice. Candy Man: good, worth watching, could've been much better.
Hypnotic and potent. The allegory resonates ever more strongly as time passes, and the visuals have not lost their ability to mesmerize, even if the stock and transfer show their age. Strangely, the eroticism popular critics point out in the film features very little nudity, and is instead evocative without being obvious. There is something psychological in effect as the film's couple comes together, perhaps coming down to the sparse sound and lack of excess dialogue. The dream team of Teshigahara, Abe, Segawa, and Tekemitsu should have made more films together.
Low budget, pulpy, sleazy, and cheesy, but also immensely entertaining. Wings' cowboy boot and denim wearing wise-guy ex-cop character is hilarious. The script is a little uneven- some cracks and jokes work and some reveal an amateurish hand. The ending is dark but effective. I also like the score, the shots, the performances of the supporting cast, and especially the tone, which really does make Living to Die seem like a pulpy noir from the days of gritty detective serials. Criminally underrated. Perhaps the most underrated action film of all time.
So thoroughly engrossing and entertaining you might have to pause the video to catch your breath, even during somber dialogue, which is no mean feat for a three hour long film. A cast and crew of this caliber may never come together ever again quite as stylishly and potently as in Heat.