Sunday, October 1, 2023



Courtney Gains, Pancho Moler, P.J. Soles, Tony Todd, Jimothy Beckholt, Cy Creamer, Madison Russ, Sky Elobar, Nate Chaney, a bucket of the greatest candy ever invented, and a budget broken by the dental bill.

More details here



The small town of Grove Hill welcomes the annual Halloween time visit of the scary in a mall-goth-kid way Dr. Death’s Sideshow Spookhouse Spectacular. Thankfully, Dr. Death chose not to market the carnival as a “Spooktacular” or otherwise I would have jumped off a roof. 

The carnival is led by the eponymous Dr. Death (Moler), a diminutive demonologist with serious anger issues and possible deep-set acne. Unfortunately, the spooktacular is poorly attended and business is the drizzling shits which could explain why Dr. D is always pissy.

Or it could be that Grove Hill appears to be inhabited by like twelve people including five deranged sociopaths.  Said five are a gang of twenty-something lowlifes led by the town Sheriff’s son Mike (Beckholt) who are planning their own annual tradition of beating the crap out of candy corn-loving local yokel Jacob (Chaney) on Halloween night. No reason is provided as to why they want to torment poor Jacob so I can only assume they hate the good people at Brach's

Jacob also happens to work at Dr. Death’s where the good Doc also treats him like shit. Mike and his crew including this upstanding Grove Hill citizen…

…proceed to attack the defenseless Jacob and accidently kill him and leave his body in the middle of the sparsely attended carnival. After a collective indifferent shrug, everyone bails the scene. The shouty Dr. Death discovers his body and proceeds to revive him through black magic or something.

The next day Sheriff Bramford (Gains) receives a report of the assault.  He and assistant Marcy (Soles) half-assed-ly interrogates unwilling witness Carol (Russ), a girlfriend of one of the attackers. Bramford visits Dr. Death and his minion Bishop Gate (Todd) and is greeted with anti-cop attitude. Rude!

Meanwhile the revived corpse of Jacob takes his jack o'lantern bucket of candy corn, goes on a Spirit Halloween shopping spree, and starts slaying the crumb bums who murdered him.

Besides sweet Halloween treats, Jacob is perhaps a little too inspired by Mortal Kombat video games. 

So everyone gets their comeuppance and um and that's pretty much it. The Sheriff declares martial law, Dr. Death's employees briefly consider filing a complaint about their boss' Hell-bound antics, Doc rambles about being oppressed by the pigs, and zombie Jacob just kinda wanders around waiting for his killers to bump into him. 

Meanwhile, precious candy corns go uneaten. 


I have never understood the hatred towards candy corn which I suspect is a relatively recent trend. No, not the movie, that hatred I can totally understand which I will get to in a moment. I mean the actual candy. Finding a bag of these ultra sweet treats in your trick-or-treat spread was a hallmark of my Halloween memories.  OK, so they're weird and pointy. They have no discernable flavor besides artery hardening sugariness. They have bright non-scary colors. They've been unjustly called the cerumen of sweets. But get over the threat of abject chronic disease and the assault on your aesthetic sensibilities! Candy corn, in its autumnal glory as a symbol of the Fall harvest,  represents the arrival of the greatest time of the year: the Halloween season. Just ask that cousin you never call who shops for Halloween decor in July (not that there's anything wrong with that). Seeing candy corn appearing on grocery shelves means the months of goodness, fright, and empty wallets is here. And I for one welcome it, and urge that you reconsider the candy corn as a permanent staple to your confectionary diet. Just fucking eat it!

Anyway, Candy Corn is not a good movie and there are many things wrong with it that could have been solved with a bigger budget, better script, and maybe considering not making it at all. That being said, it was good to see horror veterans Gains (Children of the Corn), Todd (Candyman), and Soles (Halloween) working again, even if it was for little return.  Rob Zombie cohort Soler as Dr. Death hams it up but has little to do but wear spooky make-up and scowl. Slimeball Elobar (The Greasy Strangler) makes an unsettling appearance that creeped me out for the few minutes he's on screen.  The dingy washed-out cinematography did evoke the micro-budget 70s horror feel at times, but most of the movie is murky and unpleasant to watch. Candy Corn denies us the sweet delicious promise of its namesake and is ultimately compromised by few scares, multiple plot points shown off-screen, a snail's pace, and a general befuddlement amongst the cast. 

I can't recommend this movie for your Halloween night marathon. It's too slow, not scary, and not even fun enough to mock with your chuckling horror dork friends. 

As of 10/1/23, Candy Corn is streaming on Tubi and Amazon Prime.

No comments: