Candyman 3: Day of the Dead (1999)

Many years ago, the agency I worked at had the account for the Pittsburgh Public Theater and was doing an ad for August Wilson’s King Hedley II. Tony Todd was in the lead and the team working on it couldn’t figure out who should do the voice-over for the commercial. I pushed really hard for them to consider Tony Todd to be in the commercial and despite being the youngest writer on staff, I pushed myself hard to get to write it.

Somehow, I made it happen.

When it came time to record the commercial, I was told — in no uncertain terms — to not mention any horror films that Tony Todd was in. He was a real actor.

Todd was excited to record the commercial, as he was excited to be in Wilson’s play, so it all worked out. We were to take him to lunch, then the record and somehow, I got to go to that as well.

We were ten feet down Penn Avenue and someone yelled, “Hey Candyman!”

Todd instantly laughed and walked over to greet the fan warmly.

“I was told not to bring that up,” I said.

“Ah, man. It’s cool. Those movies have done a lot for me. The first one is great. And the second one, well, you do the sequel, right? And the third one, well, my daughter has college…” he laughed.

Let me tell you, there’s nothing more amazing than hearing Tony Todd read your words. Seriously, he was a one-take machine, even on a :60 radio commercial.

There’s also nothing more frightening than hearing Tony Todd’s voice order a salad.

The film takes place in 2020, twenty-five years after the events of Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, and artist Miguel Velasco is putting on a Candyman-themed gallery show. If this sounds like the 2021 Candyman, well…

One of the people that comes to the show is Annie Tennant’s daughter Caroline (Playboy Playmate of the Month September 1995 Donna D’Errico), who is a direct descendant of the legendary killer. She says his name five times and soon Miguel and his girlfriend Lena (Rena Riffel, Penny from Showgirls and the director, writer, producer and editor of  Showgirls 2: Penny’s from Heaven) are dead from the hook of the Candyman.

Annie has died, a victim of the Candyman in her old age, but before her death, she told Caroline to destroy the myth. The man blamed for the killings, David, falls for her and takes her to meet his clairvoyant grandmother, who informs our heroine that she must find the good within Candyman to destroy the evil.

But what if Candyman isn’t just a supernatural force? What if he’s someone else?

Candyman 3: Day of the Dead is better than I thought it was when I came back to watch it again. It’s nowhere near as good as the proceeding two films, but it’s still an enjoyable watch.

This movie is finally out on blu ray under the Vestron Video label.

Also — I love Tony Todd because when Lionsgate wanted to make a Candyman and Leprechaun crossover, he shot it down instead of taking the money. Thanks for being the best, Mr. Todd.

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