|Page 1 of 4:||   |
|Index||35 reviews in total|
This is one film that unfortunately seems to be doomed to obscurity. However, it is a goodie, albeit a nasty one. Poor Candy is kidnapped by three losers, who are involved with incest, drugs, murder, rape, and now kidnapping! This film is very lurid and sleazy (as many 'gone' '70's films were), yet has a great plot involving a number of fun twists, and is well acted. Parts of the film are clear precursors to Tarantino (ie Reservoir Dogs), and David Lynch (the idea of the family being the source of anxiety and horror). Little Sean's mother could have easily fitted into 'Twin Peaks'. Worth hunting this one out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Thanks to an excellent, unpredictable script, this has all the
hallmarks of a winner -- great acting, tight direction, solid
cinematography, sharp editing and a sleazy, disturbing tone; it is a
textbook example of how to make a great exploitation film.
The screenplay is always the primary ingredient of any successful film, and Bryan Gindoff's screenplay for "The Candy Snatchers" does so many things right. For starters, the set-up (a schoolgirl named Candy is snatched) comes quickly and the motivation behind the set-up (a ransom) is conveyed clearly. The main characters (a reprehensible trio) are well defined from the outset and Gindoff works hard throughout the story to give us interesting tidbits about them. But where the screenplay really shines is in its unpredictability. We think it's taking us in one direction, but it drops some great dramatic bombs at key points that nobody sees coming. Director Guerdon Trueblood keeps everything hopping and keeps his focus on the characters...and boy!, are these characters slimy.
Ben Piazza is truly, sickeningly convincing as a businessman forced into what looks like an unwinnable situation. How he extricates himself out of this dilemma is a pleasure to behold. Ditto the members of the trio (Tiffany Bolling, Brad David and Vince Martorano), a disloyal, bickering bunch who eventually manifest extremely convincing strengths and weaknesses that may or may not save their skins. A special mention should also go to a young lad credited as "Christophe". Playing the abused son of a pill-popping nutbag mother, he is the only person who knows of Candy's whereabouts and launches a solo campaign to save her -- his way! "His way", of course, makes for great drama because the lad can't speak and is being compromised at every turn by his mother.
The film is violent, nasty and even throws a rape into its sociopathic brew. Robert Maxwell's cinematography is sharp, colorful and moody and Richard Greer's edit is tight and lean.
Everything you need to know about making a great exploitation film is up on the screen, as is a riveting, fascinating thriller.
You'll get a real kick out of the ending, too.
THE CANDY SNATCHERS is among the proudest components to the druthers of
70s drive-in cinema, a smart, slick production that's well mechanized
and laden with dodgy allure...a highly original exploitation
mini-masterpiece, and a classic of its kind.
With a turbo-thrust pace, this nail-biter of a kidnapping/ransom story is steeped in noir, and presents three appallingly churlish amateur criminals intent on purloining a generous haul of diamonds from the shady stepfather of kidnapped young Candy(an appealing pubescent girlie who spends the entire film in various stages of bondage wearing a Catholic schoolgirl uniform). Plans run afoul, however, as the plot twists and shifts like a roller-coaster flying hot off its rails. A mute little boy is a key sideline character whose odd presence seems entirely superfluous until the unforgettable, head-smacking climax.
You do NOT want to miss this one.
Many exploitation films promised a lot but failed to deliver. Not "The
Candy Snatchers". This is as politically incorrect, sleazy, and
entertaining as one expects their exploitation films to be. It really
sets the standards for other grindhouse films to follow. Also, this is
one of those rare exploitation films thats actually competently made!
What more could you ask for? Flashy editing? Get outta here!
There are several aspects to this production that impressed me. First off, the direction by Guerdon Trueblood is very quickly paced, leaving out any filler. Its a shame this was his only picture. Also, the film ultimately comes across as a very dark and pessimistic comedy. However, whereas the comedy sequences and occasionally light-hearted tone in "Last House on the Left" diluted its original impact, the addition of humor to "The Candy Snatchers" just makes it all the more disturbing. Also, the addition of an autistic character in the 70s was a daring move, whether or not its simply a plot device.
What makes "The Candy Snatchers" stand out for me above all though is the dark world view. Absolutely none of the adult characters are likable, and the sleaziness in everyone is apparent. All of the finest grindhouse films should contain this, and its in spades in this one. Plus, Tiffany Bolling is a total hottie (and a decent actress to boot). For fans of vintage cult cinema, "The Candy Snatchers" comes with my strongest recommendation. (8/10)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
An innocent Catholic schoolgirl named Candy (played by Susan Sennett of
BIG BAD MAMA fame), daughter of a jewelry store manager, is kidnapped
by a trio of small time criminals who plan on handing her back over to
her family in exchange for diamonds from the father's store. In the
meantime, poor Candy is tied up, gagged and even buried alive with only
a pipe sticking out of the ground for breathing! If the criminals don't
get what they want, they claim they'll kill her. Trouble is, Candy's
father is actually a stepfather (not to mention an adulterous
sociopath!) and he's happy she's been kidnapped because he wants her
dead anyway so he can collect a multi-million dollar insurance policy!
And that's not even half the story!
THE CANDY SNATCHERS is a genuine sleeper that's well worth your time. It has what most other 70s exploitation movies lack; a well-written screenplay full of clever twists and turns. Just when you think you have an idea where the film is going, you're thrown for a loop. Also surprising is the overall quality of the acting. Playing the tough-as-nails female kidnapper, Tiffany Bolling (KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS) is the only one of the main stars I recognize in the cast, and this is easily the best performance I've ever seen from her. The other lead actors are also very competent, especially Ben Piazza as the most remorseless, cold, greedy, evil and completely unsympathetic stepfather imaginable.
There's a lot of brutality, two violent rapes, child abuse, some gore (a shotgun blast to the face, a stabbing, etc.), a little (retarded?) mute boy who knows what's going on but can't communicate it to anyone and a brief cameo by James Whitworth (THE HILLS HAVE EYES) getting beat over the head with a board. The ending is absolutely PRICELESS and effectively ties up all the loose ends.
Definitely a keeper. Check it out.
Judged in its own genre (70's sleazy no-budget exploitation flicks) this movie is a classic. It's well acted, the plot is interesting, and the twists near the end are really creepy. This movie will send shivers down your spine not because of gore but because of the monstrous nature of some of its characters.
S10 Rating: * * * * / * * * * * The Candy Snatchers is an interesting sort of film. On the surface is looks a bit like a standard movie-of-the-week thriller. It has 70's photography, 70's woka-woka music and so on. But the Candy Snatchers turns out to be a rather clever exploitation drama with a clever script. Three thugs hatch a foolproof scheme to get a briefcase full of diamonds by kidnapping a young schoolgirl and holding her for ransom. But the plan goes south when some unforeseen wrinkles appear. Even though the Candy Snatchers has a conventional feel to it the film is far from it. The director manages to make some good tension with the twists and turns of the thieves and Candy's plight. The acting is above average for this type of film. The thieves all have interesting personalities and most characters generate sympathy for them. The Candy Snatchers is a rare 70's treat that will satisfy exploitation fans and thriller fans alike.
I can't praise the film more than everybody else already has-It's an excellent 70's exploitation film, and a wicked dark comedy in it's own regard. I just saw it at a one-time midnight (well, closer to 1 AM before the movie actually started) showing at the Nuart in Santa Monica, with Tiffany Bolling (who played Jessie), Bryan Gindoff (the writer/producer), and a couple of other crew members in attendance. If you can track this rare gem down, it's worth a look-and fortunately, at the showing they announced that a DVD will finally be released soon, mastered from the original negative, complete with commentary and interviews of the cast and crew.
Even though the cover art and the tag lines used to promote this film are obviously blatant attempts to cash in on the "Last House on the Left" craze of the time this movie stands on its own 2 feet as a drive-in classic. Until it's recent DVD release, this film was rare and hard to find but well worth the search. It's difficult to categorize this movie because of it's humor it's not quite a horror flick and yet because of it's sex scenes it's not quite a comedy. Then again it's the comedy aspect of it that makes it not quite and exploitation flick either. "The Candy Snatchers" is in a unique class of it's own but whatever you categorize it as one thing is for sure you will be highly entertained when you view this rare little flick! The acting is above average and the storyline evolves quickly...there is little or no wasted film time or "fillers" in this movie. to top it all off there is a classic surprise ending to this one that will have you laughing till you pee! Classic line in "The Candy Snatchers"=any word coming from the mouth of the pint-sized deaf/mute child in the film. Check out this one...you'll be glad you did!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
THE CANDY SNATCHERS is a film that a lot of exploit fans have been
buzzing about since it received a "proper" DVD release recently - and
for good reason. This is definitely one of the better crafted films of
the genre - with a very well thought out story-line, good acting, and
just enough gritty sleaze (mostly towards the end of the film...) to
place it firmly in the exploitation genre. Also a kick-ass ending
really drives the whole production home...
THE CANDY SNATCHERS starts with two men and a woman abducting a girl on her way home from school. Turns out that her father is the manager of a jewelry store, and the kidnappers want diamonds in exchange for his daughter. They hide the girl away (which is witnessed by a young mute boy...) and wait for her father to bring the diamonds to the drop-site...but...he never shows. Unsure of what to do next, the abductors decide to confront the father with "evidence" that they mean business - but not all is as it seems, as we find that Pops may have his own agenda that may just include the kidnapper's plans. As things start to spiral out of control - all of the major players become more desperate in their greed, leading up to the unexpected (and very cool) ending...
THE CANDY SNATCHERS is a real gem of 70's exploit cinema. It is far more polished and well-done than some of the more "schlocky" entries - and this film could really have played as a mainstream crime film, if not for some of the "controversial" scenes and situations. Not all that shocking by today's standards as some would lead you to believe...but a very interesting and unique slice of 70's exploitation cinema history, and definitely a "must see" for fans of the genre. 8.5/10
|Page 1 of 4:||   |
|Ratings||External reviews||Parents Guide|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|