When you think of Halloween or getting into the spirit of Halloween, some go-to films can be of course John Carpenter’s Halloween, 2008 cult favourite Trick r Treat, and many others from Hocus Pocus to Aliens. Looking to throw its hat into that conversation is the new Halloween-centred film, Bad Candy, from directors and writers Scott B. Hansen and Desiree Connell.
Their film is set in the fictional town of New Salem, picking up with a pair of radio DJs – Chilly Billy (played by Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor) and Paul (Gremlins’ Zach Galligan) – who are telling scary stories over the radio. These stories are often cautionary tales, stories where morally corrupt people are punished, especially horrible people or those who disrespect Halloween traditions.
These tales visit different aspects of horror, ones that are more supernatural (a morgue scene or a story about a group of ghost hunters), to ones just about horrible people, like a creepy guy handing out Halloween candy, putting tricks in the treats.
This structure seems to best label Bad Candy as an anthology film, though in my interview with the pair of directors they suggest it’s more like vignette storytelling, as each story is set in New Salem about local myths, but some intersect.
The radio hosts tell stories that have happened in the past; and then some that are happening in real time, as they merely work as a framing device for the film. Each story has variety; with some boasting some neat special effects by Wayne Anderson, especially in terms of creature design.
Many of these effects definitely have an indie charm. You can tell there’s a love for this genre from directors Scott Hansen and Desiree Connell, and can also tell there’s a great love for the holiday in a film that can easily get you in the mood for the spooky season.
For my podcast The Filmcraziest Show, I was able to speak with the minds behind Bad Candy. They are Desiree Connell and Scott B. Hansen, who share directing duties, as well as writing duties. In our conversation, we touch on the vignette shooting and how they don’t personally consider it an anthology film and adding to the Halloween resurgence and playing by Halloween rules.
They also talk about scenes they were most excited to film and collaborating with VFX specialist Wayne Anderson, collaborating with Corey Taylor and Zach Galligan, and creating their horror villain seen in the film.
You can find that conversation directly above on YouTube. You can also listen to it below or download it here. Bad Candy premiered last year at Grimmfest, and is currently playing in select theatres, with a VOD date slated for Tuesday, Sept. 14, and a Blu-Ray release date for Oct. 12.