But a new series of short documentaries about the politics of film by The Onion’s A.V. Club is beginning by looking at an older cinematic take on Chicago’s inner city life.
“Candyman” — the classic 1992 horror movie set in the Cabrini-Green Homes housing project — gets a once over from film critic Sergio Mims, WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore and the founder of the People’s Institute for Housing Justice, Michael Donley, in the first of the “Popcorn Politics” series. All weigh in on the significance of the film, which broke the mold for horror movies by abandoning the lily-white suburbs where slasher flicks were traditionally set.
Roger Ebert was a fan — he described “Candyman” as a “horror movie that was scaring me with ideas and gore, instead of simply with gore.”
And though the Cabrini-Green high-rises depicted in “Candyman” are now gone, the film’s lighting director, Dan Strickland, tells an anecdote in the new documentary that shows how little Chicago’s reputation has changed since 1992:
Unofficially, the production company gave us T-shirts that… normally you would see ‘Candyman – shot in Chicago’ on a jacket or t-shirt [but] our t-shirts were ‘Candyman – shot at in Chicago — so that’s what everybody went back to L.A. with.