The 15 Worst Movies Ever Made

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When it comes to declaring whether a movie is “good” or “bad,” there’s no one person who can make that call. Sure, there are celebrated critics—some of whom you may always agree with—but even still, that’s just a matter of opinion. The only fair way to give a movie a general thumbs up or thumbs down is to consider a range of opinions and reviews, which is exactly what we did.

To figure out which movies both critics and audiences have deemed the worst movies ever made, we cross-referenced the lowest-rated movies on both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb, then figured in the opinions of several critics who’ve contributed to a handful of all-time worst-ever movie lists (like this one from Empire Magazine) to calculate which films the moviegoing populace has determined to be the medium’s biggest turkeys. Here they are—in all their terrible glory.

1. BALLISTIC: ECKS VS. SEVER (2002)

Thai director Wych Kaosayananda has directed five feature films. Only once did he ever choose to use a pseudonym. That film was Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, the clunky action sci-fi film that starred Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu as two former government agents each trying to get their hands on what is supposedly the world’s most dangerous weapon. But if you look at the film's credits, you’ll see that it was directed by “Kaos,” which could be a nickname—or a statement on the production itself.

In 2014, Kaosayananda admitted that the experience of making this bomb turned him off to the idea of moviemaking altogether. “For the first two years after Ballistic, I couldn't really bring myself to do movies,” the director told Film Combat Syndicate. “The experience I went through in post-production on that movie was very painful. I still did take meetings after just signing with CAA and they were doing a great job of sending me out and getting me to meet execs. I even got a couple of directing offers, but I simply didn't have an interest."

Though it’s certainly not the only film to earn a zero percent rating on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, it’s one of the few films to maintain a nothing score after more than 115 critical reviews. (Audiences were only slightly more forgiving with their 17 percent rating.) “For many viewers,” wrote AP critic Jocelyn Noveck in her review of the film, “the big question may be not whether Ecks and Sever will get together, or why they are fighting in the first place, but why am I sitting here, anyway?"

2. SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES 2 (2004)

Just when we thought the ‘90s had offered up its final talking baby movie with 1993’s Look Who’s Talking Now, along came Baby Geniuses (1999). While hardly a box office behemoth with its $36 million haul, the film (which was shot for $12 million) made enough of a profit that, five years later, we got a sequel. Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 saw a gaggle of talking toddlers banding together to rid the world of an evildoer intent on controlling the minds of the entire human population. And it was all kind of creepy (or, according to The Wall Street Journal, “unspeakably ghastly”).

The A.V. Club’s Nathan Rabin articulated what most people were thinking when he wrote, “Why? Seriously, why? Why would anyone make a sequel to Baby Geniuses, a 1999 film whose existence, from its title on down, appeared to be a cruel joke about the gullibility of the lowest common denominator? It would be easy to say that the answer has more to do with commerce than art, but it's probably a mistake to factor art into the equation at all.”

3. UNITED PASSIONS (2015)

If Leni Riefenstahl were alive today, she probably would have been the first choice to direct United Passions, a cinematic retelling of how the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) came to be. Unfortunately, the timing of this movie could not have been worse, or more intentional: At the same the movie was playing film festivals and art-house theaters, 16 FIFA officials were being indicted on charges of racketeering, money laundering, and wire fraud, following decades of alleged corruption wherein they used the organization to line their own pockets.

While not necessarily poorly made, the film—which stars Gérard Depardieu, Sam Neill, and Tim Roth—is propaganda at its most obvious (which isn't surprising, considering 90 percent of its production budget came directly from FIFA). Or, in the words of The Wrap’s Tim Appelo, it’s “One of those rare films so unfathomably ghastly you could write a better one while sitting through its interminable 110 minutes.”

4. JAWS: THE REVENGE (1987)

When Jaws 2 was released three years after Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking summer blockbuster, nobody went into the theater thinking it would be able to even come close to the original. And they were right. By the time the fourth film, Jaws: The Revenge, rolled around, even the very obviously fake-looking shark couldn’t be bothered.

Though some (read: this author) consider it a guilty pleasure, the film is, well, pretty damn awful. Especially when you consider the plotline: that the shark is essentially a serial killer with a taste for the Brody family, and swims all the way from Amity Island to the Bahamas to finish off its last remaining members.

In 1987, Michael Caine—whose career was on a downswing—famously had to skip the Academy Awards, where he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters, because he was on location shooting Jaws: The Revenge. When asked about his role as Hoagie in the shark drama, Caine admitted that, “I have never seen [the movie], but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.”

5. BUCKY LARSON: BORN TO BE A STAR (2011)

Adam Sandler co-wrote and produced this totally misguided “comedy” about a buck-toothed grocery bagger from Iowa who, upon discovering that his ultra-conservative parents were two of the 1970s’ biggest porn stars, decides to head to Hollywood and attempt to follow in their footsteps. There’s just one very, well, small problem: Bucky is not very well endowed. Ultimately, he manages to use this shortcoming to his advantage.

“I’m not sure how many tedious sex jokes and humorless physical gags people can take before they run out of the theater screaming, but Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star certainly tests the limits,” wrote We Got This Covered’s Amy Curtis.

6. MAC AND ME (1988)

In the wake of the amazing success of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, every studio in Hollywood wanted in on the alien action. The most memorable of them, for all the wrong reasons, just might be MAC and Me. It’s the story of a family of aliens who are kidnapped from their home planet and brought back to Earth to be studied. After a brazen escape attempt, the youngest alien, MAC—short for Mysterious Alien Creature—befriends a young boy named Eric. Yes, it’s as blatant a rip-off as it sounds, but with none of the sincerity of the Spielberg classic. Oh, and it’s so full of product placement that it may as well have been a commercial for McDonald’s and Coke.

“Possibly aware that they have something less than a classic on their hands,” wrote the Philadelphia Daily News, “the makers of MAC and Me have cut their losses by making the film into a kind of cinematic billboard: all space is for sale.”

7. ALONE IN THE DARK (2005) 

More than a decade before Christian Slater won a Golden Globe for his role in Mr. Robot, he starred in what might have been the very worst film of 2005. Alone in the Dark, a loose adaptation of the video game, follows a detective (Slater) with a heightened sixth sense that allows him to observe the paranormal. Frankly, the plot doesn’t really matter. All you need to know is that Tara Reid co-stars as Slater’s love interest, a curator at a natural history museum, and it was directed by Uwe Boll, the temperamental moviemaker who once challenged his harshest critics to a series of boxing matches. That list only grew with the release of this bomb, with Rue Morgue’s Jovanka Vuckovic declaring that, “How Uwe Boll manages to scrape together enough investment money to give wing to this type of overblown, amateurish gibberish is truly a mystery of the cosmos.”

8. DISASTER MOVIE (2008)

The jokes practically write themselves here. For more than 20 years, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have made a career out of spoofing popular movies and genres. They’re the guys behind the Scary Movie franchise, and are currently at work on Star Worlds Episode XXXIVE=MC2: The Force Awakens the Last Jedi Who Went Rogue. In between, there was Disaster Movie, which is arguably their biggest disaster yet, and led critic Elizabeth Weitzman to wonder: “Why would you watch a bad movie about better movies, when you could just rent the originals instead?”

The Village Voice’s Jim Ridley had an even harsher criticism: “Rushed into production with no better drape for its threadbare gags than Cloverfield, this carpet-fouling mongrel of a movie no more deserves release than do anthrax spores.” Also: It stars Kim Kardashian.

9. SIMON SEZ (1999)

We’re really not sure who told Dennis Rodman that he should try his hand at acting, but we’re holding that person responsible for the many travesties he has brought to the screen, including 1997’s Double Team (co-starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and a pre-Comeback Mickey Rourke) and this abominable actioner, in which Rodman plays the titular Simon—an Interpol agent who is tasked with saving the world from an evil arms dealer. “If you must watch it—and I shudder to imagine the circumstances under which one must—watch it in a light mood, perhaps under the influence of something,” advised critic (and Mental Floss contributor) Eric D. Snider.

10. ED (1996)

Being a star of one of the most popular television shows ever can be a double-edged sword: Sure, it brings you fame and fortune and the opportunity to hone your skills in front of an enormous audience. But when the credits on that show roll for the final time, it can be hard to escape that character. Which is probably why Friends star Matt LeBlanc thought starring in a family movie would be a smart career move just a couple seasons into Friends’s run. But there’s a difference between starring in a kids' movie and starring opposite a monkey. Unless you’re Clint Eastwood, it rarely works out.

Such was the case with Ed, in which LeBlanc stars as a minor league baseball player who could learn a lesson or two from his new teammate—a chimpanzee named Ed. Or, in most of the scenes, a dude in a chimp suit that doesn’t even bother trying to make it look realistic. Yet it was LeBlanc who got most of the blame. Writing for The New York Times, Stephen Holden said that, “Mr. LeBlanc ... is so blank that the only impression he makes is of having teeth that are very large and unnaturally white.”

11. A THOUSAND WORDS (2012)

Eddie Murphy has been one of Hollywood’s biggest comedic movie stars. He’s also been nominated for an Oscar. In addition, he has starred in a handful of truly terrible films. Just when you thought he could sink no lower than 2007’s Norbit, along came A Thousand Words. The film sees Murphy playing a fast-talking literary agent who, after lying to a spiritual guru, becomes cursed and can only speak as many words as there are leaves left on a Bodhi tree on his property. Yes, it’s all a bit of a stretch and watching Murphy trying to find ways to express himself without using words is a gag that loses its funny pretty quickly. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Eddie Murphy should have just said the word ‘No’ to this tired, formulaic comedy."

12. SURFER, DUDE (2008)

A few years before he surprised the world by winning a Best Actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club (2013), a pre-McConaissance Matthew McConaughey was better known as a mediocre actor whose good looks and slacker charm made him an alright, alright, alright choice to headline a movie—usually as some sort of laid back stoner dude who’d find a reason to be shirtless much of the time. Surfer, Dude sort of did away with any pretense of a real plot … unless you think seeing a surfer have his mellow buzz chilled by an existential crisis has the makings of something you’d want to invest 83 minutes in.

Instead, the movie served more as a starring role for McConaughey’s abs. While it seems it was meant to be a stoner comedy, it even fails at that. The Houston Chronicle’s Louis B. Hicks wrote that, “Surfer, Dude is a bizarre throwback. It feels 25-30 years out of date and seems to be meant to be watched on VHS, oops, make that DVD, while stoned."

13. IT’S PAT: THE MOVIE (1994)

With the exception of Wayne and Garth, Saturday Night Live characters have a terrible track record when it comes to making the transition from small to big screen. While Julia Sweeney’s androgynous Pat brought laughs on the sketch comedy show, the joke—is Pat a man or a woman?—is simply not enough to sustain even a meager 77-minute running time.

Not even when Pat finds love with Chris, yet another person of an indeterminate gender, which just exacerbates the tediousness of the one-joke plotline. “Ever hear the one about the pic that was too bad to be released, so it escaped?,” wrote Variety critic Joe Leydon. “Well, that old joke now has a new punch line: It's Pat, a shockingly unfunny Saturday Night Live spinoff.”

14. STOLEN (2009)

The past and present collide in Stolen (also known as Stolen Lives), a less-than-enthralling murder mystery in which a detective (Jon Hamm) searching for his missing son stumbles upon a 50-year-old murder of yet another young boy, which he desperately tries to solve as a way to help find closure in his own loss.

The story unravels in two different time periods, 1958 and 2008, and is riddled with clichés in both decades. “One poorly told story would be bad enough,” wrote critic Coley Smith, “but with Stolen we have two.” To be fair, had the film not featured an impressive cast—Jessica Chastain, Josh Lucas, Morena Baccarin, and James Van Der Beek all join Hamm in this overwrought journey—it probably would have just fallen off the radar completely. But a bad film filled with familiar faces is always going to be judged more harshly.

15. KIRK CAMERON’S SAVING CHRISTMAS (2014)

“Do you ever feel like Christmas has been hijacked?” That’s the question that kicks off the trailer for this holiday offering from outspoken Evangelical Christian Kirk Cameron. Yes, the man formerly known as Growing Pains’s Mike Seaver apparently isn’t a fan of the inclusiveness that has led many people and businesses to exchange “Merry Christmas” for “Happy Holidays,” and this movie was his attempt to do something about it. So much so that, in the trailer alone, the filmmakers manage to compare the commercialization of Christmas to a carjacking, “but like of our religion. And guess what? Santa got in the car, kicked Jesus out, and was like, ‘Rolling, rolling, rolling’ and took it.” Cameron’s goal? For audiences to join him and his family and “put the Christ back into Christmas.” Not a lot of people were buying it, not even its intended audience.

The Chicago Sun-Times’s Bill Zwecker declared that, “This may be one of the least artful holiday films ever made. Even devout born-again Christians will find this hard to stomach.” Peter Sobczynski, writing for RogerEbert.com, was even more direct: “Perhaps the only Christmas movie I can think of, especially of the religious-themed variety, that seems to flat-out endorse materialism, greed and outright gluttony.” Within a month, the movie made headlines when it managed to become IMDb’s lowest-rated film.

8 Surprising Facts About Eddie Murphy

David Shankbone via Flickr // CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons
David Shankbone via Flickr // CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Few entertainers have enjoyed the kind of success comedian Eddie Murphy has had. Born in Brooklyn, New York on April 3, 1961, Murphy originally found fame on Saturday Night Live, then went on to dominate the box office throughout much of the 1980s with hits like 48 Hrs., Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop I and II, The Golden Child, Eddie Murphy: Raw, and Coming to America, which went unrivaled in Hollywood. Switching from his trademark role of a streetwise, fast-talking fish out of water, Murphy moved on to a string of successful family comedies (The Nutty Professor, Doctor Dolittle) in the 1990s and beyond.

Having taken some time off following the lukewarm reception to Bruce Beresford's 2016 drama Mr. Church, in which Murphy starred, the 58-year-old is coming back into the spotlight with the Netflix biopic Dolemite Is My Name, a return to Saturday Night Live (on December 21), and a sequel to Coming to America (coming in December 2020). The actor also plans on a return to stand-up comedy after a 32-year hiatus. In the meantime, check out some lesser-known facts about Murphy’s life and career, including his plans for a cartoon series and an idea to cross paths with Crocodile Dundee.

1. Eddie Murphy wasn’t always live on Saturday Night Live.

Eddie Murphy stars in 'Dolemite Is My Name' (2019)
Eddie Murphy stars in Dolemite Is My Name (2019).
François Duhamel, Netflix

After enjoying success as a stand-up comedian, Murphy arrived on Saturday Night Live in 1980 at age 19, where he spent four seasons drawing renewed interest to the show that had once been declared “Saturday Night Dead” by critics following the departure of original cast members Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and John Belushi, and series creator Lorne Michaels. By the time Murphy was ready to depart the show in 1984 to pursue feature films—1982’s 48 Hrs. and 1983’s Trading Places had been hits—SNL's producers were so desperate to hold on to their star attraction that they offered Murphy a deal to essentially stick around for a portion of the 1983-1984 season. Murphy would appear live in studio in 10 of the 20 scheduled shows and tape 15 sketches that they could insert throughout the season.

“We basically just did a private show that was one Eddie sketch after another that we taped with a studio audience,” writer Pam Norris told Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller for their 2002 book, Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests. “And then those were later put into the shows.”

2. Eddie Murphy hosted Saturday Night Live while he was still a cast member.

Before departing SNL, Murphy was scoring box office hits, including his debut in 1982’s 48 Hrs. His co-star, Nick Nolte, was scheduled to host SNL on December 11 to promote that film. When Nolte fell ill the week of the show, Murphy was selected to host at the last minute—the only time a then-current cast member took over hosting duties. “This summer, Nick and I had the opportunity to work together in a motion picture called 48 Hrs.,” Murphy told the audience during his introduction. “Uh, Nick and I grew together, and Nick taught me a lot about myself, and a lot about acting, and he’s a real great guy. You know, we were sitting around in Paramount’s lot this summer, and I said, ‘Nick, why don’t you come and host Saturday Night Live?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, sure, Eddie, anything for you.’ That’s the kind of guy Nick was. When Nick got here, got off the plane, he vomited on my shirt. And we realized Nick was too sick to do the show. And that’s too bad, because Nick was gonna be in some real great stuff tonight. But I know you folks tuned in to see one of the stars of 48 Hrs. host the show, and dammit, you’re gonna see it. ‘Cause I’m gonna host the show. Live, from New York, it’s the Eddie Murphy Show!”

3. Fred Rogers liked Eddie Murphy’s impression of him.

While on Saturday Night Live, Murphy repeatedly returned to a sketch character named Mister Robinson, a less-than-wholesome version of Mister Rogers. Rather than be dismayed by the parody, Rogers was reportedly very amused by it. He once visited Murphy at Rockefeller Center where SNL was broadcast and met Murphy in his dressing room to congratulate him on the character.

4. There was almost an Eddie Murphy Saturday morning cartoon.

In 1987, at the height of Murphy’s powers in the entertainment industry, he was nearly granted one of the biggest honors of any performer: his own Saturday morning cartoon series. Murphy was reportedly in discussions with Hanna-Barbera for a series—the premise was never disclosed—that would presumably have offered a G-rated interpretation of his comic sensibilities.

The idea was not without precedent. One of Murphy’s comic inspirations, the similarly adult-oriented Richard Pryor, headlined Pryor’s Place, a children's show that ran on CBS for one season beginning in 1984. The untitled Murphy production never saw the light of day, though Murphy did eventually find his way back in the Hanna-Barbera fold. He was set to voice the title character in Hong-Kong Phooey, a live-action and computer-animated adaptation of the ‘70s cartoon featuring a martial arts-proficient dog, in 2011. That project was also shelved.

5. Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop character almost met Crocodile Dundee.

Eddie Murphy stars in 'Beverly Hills Cop' (1984)
Eddie Murphy stars in Beverly Hills Cop (1984).
Paramount Home Entertainment

Released in 1984, Beverly Hills Cop was a gigantic hit, with its $235 million in ticket sales beating even Ghostbusters to become America's highest grossing film of the year. Murphy starred as Axel Foley, a Detroit police detective whose investigation of his friend’s murder leads him to a culture clash in Beverly Hills. The film spawned two sequels in 1987 and 1994. For the third installment, Paramount kicked around the idea of teaming Murphy’s Foley with Paul Hogan’s Crocodile Dundee character, the star of his own fish-out-of-water franchise. The idea was suggested by Brandon Tartikoff, Paramount’s then-president. Another idea would have Foley in London and working with a Scotland Yard inspector played by Sean Connery. The 1994 film ultimately featured Foley attempting to solve his boss’s murder and chasing a lead back to an amusement park in California.

6. Eddie Murphy shot a Beverly Hills Cop television pilot.

Though the Beverly Hills Cop sequels were not as well-received as the original, the role was still important to both Paramount and Murphy. In 2013, the studio launched a pilot for a television series that would see Foley become the chief of police in Detroit and spar with his cop son, Aaron Foley (Brandon T. Jackson). Murphy appeared in the pilot and was expected to recur throughout the series, but CBS failed to pick it up. Murphy is now expecting to shoot a fourth Beverly Hills Cop feature film once he finishes the Coming to America sequel.

7. Eddie Murphy has a deep vault of music he’s recorded.

Though he drew a mixed response to his musical albums in the 1980s, Murphy has never stopped recording music. Following the release of “Party All the Time,” the performer has been steadily using home recording studios to produce material. Speaking with Netflix’s Present Company podcast in 2019, Murphy said there are a lot of songs left unreleased. “I’ve never stopped doing music … I stopped putting it out, though, because the audience gets weirded out by it. And I don’t want to be that guy.”

8. Barack Obama may have gotten him back into stand-up.

Murphy is expected to return to stand-up comedy beginning in 2020, a move that may be the result of a massive $70 million Netflix deal. But according to Murphy, resuming that career might be the product of a meeting with Barack Obama. He met up with the President in 2015, when Murphy was accepting the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Obama asked when he would be doing comedy again. “When you go into the Oval Office and the President asks when you are doing stand-up, it’s time to do some jokes,” Murphy said.

15 Fascinating Facts About Candyman

PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) is a Chicago graduate student with a deep fascination with urban legends, which she and her friend Bernadette (Kasi Lemmons) are using as the basis for a thesis project. After they stumble across the local legend of Candyman, a well-to-do black artist who fell in love with a white woman in the late 1800s and was murdered for it, Helen wants to learn more. When she’s told that Candyman still haunts Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing project, and that his spirit can be summoned by repeating his name into a mirror five times, Helen does just that … and all hell breaks loose.

What began as a low-budget indie film has morphed into a contemporary classic of the horror genre, and essential Halloween viewing. In 1992, English filmmaker Bernard Rose—who got his start working as a gopher on The Muppet Show—turned Clive Barker’s short story “The Forbidden” into Candyman. Here are 15 things you might not have known about Candyman.

1. Eddie Murphy was considered for the lead in Candyman.

Though the role of Candyman turned Tony Todd into a horror icon, he wasn’t the only actor in consideration for the film’s title role: Eddie Murphy was also reportedly a contender for the part. Though it’s unclear exactly why he wasn’t cast, sources have reported that it had to do with everything from his height (at 5 feet 9 inches, he wouldn’t seem nearly as intimidating as the 6-foot-5 Todd) to his salary demands.

2. An unexpected pregnancy landed Virginia Madsen the lead.

Virginia Madsen stars in 'Candyman'
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

When asked by HorrorNewsNetwork about how she got the role of Helen in Candyman, Virginia Madsen shared that it was almost by accident: She was supposed to play Bernie, Helen’s friend and classmate, the role that eventually went to Kasi Lemmons.

“I was actually very good friends with Bernard [Rose] and his wife Alexandra,” Madsen said. “She is a wonderful actress, who actually brought Clive Barker’s short story ‘The Forbidden’ to her husband. She thought this would be a great film, and he could direct her. She was supposed to be Helen. I was going to play [Kasi Lemmons'] part, until they made the character African American. Then I was out.

“Right before shooting, Alexandra found out she was pregnant. It was great for me, but it was so sad for her because this was her role; she found this story and really wanted it. So when I was asked to step in I felt like ‘I can’t take my friend’s role.’ She actually came over one day and said ‘It would just kill me to see someone else play this role, you have to be the one who plays it.’ So with her blessing I took on the role. I really tried to work my butt off just to honor her.”

3. Candyman could have starred Sandra Bullock.

On the film’s DVD commentary, producer Alan Poul said that had Madsen been unable to step into the role of Helen, the part would have likely been offered to Sandra Bullock, who was still a relative unknown actress at that point. Though she had played the role of Tess McGill in the television adaptation of Working Girl, she was still a couple of years away from Speed (1994), the role that launched her into stardom.

4. Candyman's title sequence was groundbreaking.

The film’s opening credits feature a great aerial view of Chicago, which was pretty revolutionary for its time. “We did that with an incredible new machine called the Skycam, which can shoot up to a 500mm lens with no vibration,” Rose told The Independent. “You've never seen that shot before, at least not done that smoothly.”

5. Not all of the film's creepy details sprung from Clive Barker's imagination.

While investigating one of Candyman’s crime scenes, Helen and Bernie discover that the design of the apartment’s medicine cabinet made it a possible point of entry for an intruder. This was not a made-up piece of horror movie fiction: While researching the film, Rose learned that a series of murders had been committed in Chicago in this very way.

6. Bernard Rose sees Candyman as a romantic figure.

Tony Todd stars in 'Candyman'
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

Viewers may think of Candyman as one of the horror genre’s most terrifying villains, but Rose said that “the idea always was that he was kind of a romantic figure. And again, romantic in sort of the Edgar Allan Poe sense—it's the romance of death. He's a ghost, and he's also the resurrection of something that is kind of unspoken or unspeakable in American history, which is slavery, as well. So he's kind of come back and he's haunting what is the new version of the racial segregation in Chicago.

“And I think there's also something very seductive and very sweet and very romantic about him, and that's what makes him interesting. In the same way there is about Dracula. In the end, the Bogeyman is someone you want to surrender to. You're not just afraid of. There's a certain kind of joy in his seduction. And Tony was always so romantic. Tony ties him in so elegantly and is such a gentleman. He was wonderful.”

7. The bees in the film were bred specifically to appear onscreen.

No, that is not CGI! The bees that play a key role in Candyman are indeed real. So that they looked appropriately terrifying, but were less dangerous to the cast and crew, the filmmakers used newborn bees—they were just 12 hours old—so that they looked fully grown, but had less powerful stingers.

8. Tony Todd was stung 23 times, and got a bonus each time it happened.

Photo of Tony Todd in 'Candyman'
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

In addition to allowing the filmmakers to cover his face with bees, Todd actually agreed to film a scene in which he had a mouthful of bees—and that, too, was all real. He told TMZ that he wore a dental dam to prevent any bees from sliding into his throat—which doesn’t mean that he didn’t suffer a sting or two … or 23, to be exact, over the course of three Candyman movies. Though it might have been worth it. “I had a great lawyer,” he told TMZ. “A thousand dollars a pop.”

9. The bees weren't great news for Virginia Madsen.

Madsen, too, had to get up close and personal with those bees—a fact that almost forced her to pass on the role. “When Bernie was first asking me to do the role I said, ‘Well, I can’t. I’m allergic to bees,’” she told HorrorNewsNetwork. “He said ‘No you’re not allergic to bees, you’re just afraid.’ So I had to go to UCLA and get tested because he didn’t believe [me]. I was tested for every kind of venom. I was far more allergic to wasps. So he said, ‘We’ll just [have] paramedics there, it will be fine!’ You know actors, we’ll do anything for a paycheck! So fine, I’ll be covered with bees.

“So we a had a bee wrangler and he pretty much told us you can’t freak out around the bees, or be nervous, or swat at them, it would just aggravate them. They used baby bees on me. They can still sting you, but are less likely. When they put the bees on me it was crazy because they have fur. They felt like little Q-tips roaming around on me. Then you have pheromones on you, so they’re all in love with you and think you’re a giant queen. I really just had to go into this Zen sort of place and the takes were very short. What took the longest was getting the bees off of us. They had this tiny ‘bee vacuum,’ which wouldn’t harm the bees. After the scene where the bees were all over my face and my head, it took both Tony and I 45 minutes just to get the bees off. That’s when it became difficult to sit still. It was cool though, I felt like a total badass doing it.”

10. Philip Glass composed the score, but was disappointed in the movie.

When Philip Glass signed on to compose the score for Candyman, he apparently envisioned the final film being something totally different. According to Rolling Stone, “What he'd presumed would be an artful version of Clive Barker's short story ‘The Forbidden’ had ended up, in his view, a low-budget slasher.” Glass was reportedly disappointed in the film, and felt that he had been manipulated. Still, the haunting music is considered a classic score—and Glass’s own view of it seems to have softened over time. “It has become a classic, so I still make money from that score, get checks every year,” he told Variety in 2014.

11. Many of the film's scenes were shot at Cabrini-Green.

In 2011, the last remaining high-rise in the Cabrini-Green housing project was demolished. Over the years, the property—which opened in 1942—gained a notorious reputation around the world for being a haven for violence, drugs, gangs, and other criminal activities. While the project’s real-life history weaves its way into the narrative of Candyman, it only makes sense that Rose would want to shoot there. Which he did. But in order to gain permission to shoot on location, he had to agree to cast some of the residents as extras.

“I went to Chicago on a research trip to see where it could be done and I was shown around by some people from the Illinois Film Commission and they took me to Cabrini-Green,” Rose said. “And I spent some time there and I realized that this was an incredible arena for a horror movie because it was a place of such palpable fear. And rule number one when you're making a horror movie is set it somewhere frightening. And the fear of the urban housing project, it seemed to me, was actually totally irrational because you couldn't really be in that much danger. Yes, there was crime there, but people were actually afraid of driving past it. And there was such an aura of fear around the place and I thought that was really something interesting to look into because it's sort of a kind of fear that's at the heart of modern cities. And obviously, it's racially motivated, but more than that—it's poverty motivated.”

12. Candyman's producers were worried that the movie would be considered racist.

During pre-production, Candyman’s producers began to worry that the film might draw criticism for being racist, given that its villain was black and it was largely set in an infamous housing project. “I had to go and have a whole set of meetings with the NAACP, because the producers were so worried,” Rose told The Independent. “And what they said to me when they'd read the script was 'Why are we even having this meeting? You know, this is just good fun.' Their argument was 'Why shouldn't a black actor be a ghost? Why shouldn't a black actor play Freddy Krueger or Hannibal Lecter? If you're saying that they can't be, it's really perverse. This is a horror movie.'”

13. Still, some filmmakers complained that it was racist.

In a 1992 story in the Chicago Tribune, some high-profile black filmmakers expressed their disappointment that the film seemed to perpetuate several racist stereotypes. “There’s no question that this film plays on white middle-class fears of black people,” director Carl Franklin (Out of Time, Devil in a Blue Dress) said. “It unabashedly uses racial stereotypes and destructive myths to create shock. I found it hokey and unsettling. It didn't work for me because I don’t share those fears, buy into those myths.”

Reginald Hudlin, who directed House Party, Boomerang, and Marshall, described the film as “worrisome,” though he didn’t want to speak on the record about his specific issues with the film. “I've gotten calls about [the movie], but I think I'm going to reserve comment,” he said. “Some of my friends are in it and I may someday want to work for TriStar.”

For Rose, those assessments may have been hard to hear, as his goal in adapting Barker’s story and directing it was to upend the myths about inner cities. “[T]he tradition of oral storytelling is very much alive, especially when it's a scary story,” he told The Independent. “And the biggest urban legend of all for me was the idea that there are places in cities where you do not go, because if you go in them something dreadful will happen—not to say that there isn't danger in ghettos and inner city areas, but the exaggerated fear of them is an urban myth.”

14. Candyman is still the role that Virginia Madsen is most recognized for (especially at airports).

Kasi Lemmons and Virginia Madsen in 'Candyman'
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

Though she earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination in 2005 for Alexander Payne’s Sideways, in 2012 Madsen said that Candyman is still the role she is most recognized for—especially at airports.

“More people recognize me from that movie than anything I’ve done,” she told HorrorNewsNetwork. “It means a lot to me. It was after years of struggling. As an actor, you always want a film that’s annual, like It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story. I just love that I have a Halloween movie. Now it’s kind of legend this story. People have watched it since they were kids, and every Halloween it’s on, and they watch it now with their kids. That means a lot to me. The place I get recognized the most is the airport security for some reason. Every person in airport security has seen Candyman. Maybe it makes them a little afraid of me.”

15. There was an actual Candyman killer.

Though the Chicago-based legend of Candyman is a work of fiction, there was an actual serial killer known as “Candyman” or “The Candy Man.” Between 1970 and 1973, Dean Corll kidnapped, tortured, and murdered at least 28 young boys in the Houston area. Corll earned his sweet nickname from the fact that his family owned a candy factory.

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