Since tomorrow is Fat Tuesday and the celebration of Mardi Gras begins I’ll take it upon myself to tell you what to watch. While you’re stuffing your faces with jambalaya, po’ boy sandwiches, crawfish, paczkis, king cake and lots of alcohol these movies will make you feel like your like lifting your shirt for several beaded necklaces in exchange for your dignity. You have your choice between two movies. One is the not-so-bad sequel CANDYMAN: FAREWELL TO THE FLESH and the other is the pre-#MeeToo movie, HATCHET.
CANDYMAN: FAREWELL TO THE FLESH is the romantic (?) sequel to the far superior original. Does the movie present itself as a white-savior movie? Yes. Does the movie continue the trope of the Black man obsessed with white women- even if she’s family? You know it does. Does the movie remind me of a terrible episode of TREME (RIP)? Fuck Yeah. While the movie is nowhere near as effective and downright scary like it’s predecessor CANDYMAN: FTTF is a worthy follow up that explores that backstory of how an artist name Daniel Robitaille became a hook-yielding murderer. Tony Todd further cements his status as a horror icon that was promised in the first film (in addition to the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD remake), while Kelly Rowan adds much-needed heart and strength to a character that’s fairly one-note, especially in comparison to Virginia Madsen’s Helen Lyle from the first film.
If gothic horror rooted in racism isn’t your bag, then check out HATCHET. While Kane Hodder is noted for being the only actor to play Jason Vorhees more than once (in arguably the worst films in the FRIDAY THE 13TH series) his role as a deformed swamp-dwelling biracial Osh-Kosh-Be-Gosh-toting Victor Crowley is one of his finest performances. HATCHET, also takes place during Mardi Gras, although the action is mostly set in the dark swampy bayou far away from Bourbon Street. Are some of the characterizations problematic? Yes. Does the movie have a bro-ey, frat-boy vibe? Absolutely. Does one guy call his a son a queer? Mmmhhmm. However, those issues aside, HATCHET is still a fun movie. In an age of reboots and character-driven horror (i.e. HEREDITY, IT, GET OUT) Victor Crowley is exactly what the horror genre needs right now… a modern horror icon. Hodder is clearly having a blast in the role and when the movie wants to accomplish something, it does it better than most of its peers. Lots of creative deaths, lots of bloodsheds and funny one-liners that made me actually laugh out loud (was I supposed to write LOL or the actual words?) I hope for the fifth installment, Green resurrects Misty and Jenna (Mercedes McNab and Joleigh Fiore) and centers the whole movie around their love-hate friendship. I could totally watch them in a stand alone movie. Maybe throw in a few decapitations to keep Crowley busy.