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Where in the Horror are they Now? Candyman's Tony Todd!

01.16.2015by: JimmyO

TONY TODD

Then: According to not altogether factual IMDB, Tony Todd has appeared in about 185 films. My guess, it’s probably more. That being said he certainly must be one of the hardest working actors in the business. And while many are familiar with him due to his iconic CANDYMAN persona, as well as his cryptic performance in the FINAL DESTINATION franchise – there is much more that he has to offer. This intense talent started his career earlier than those beloved horror heroes. In fact, Mr. Todd was in one of my all- time favorite Oliver Stone films. After only a couple of credits, the powerful and charismatic actor was cast in PLATOON in 1986. And he has stayed busy ever since.

Since we are putting the focus on genre – and possible a little sci-fi for fun – let’s jump to one of my favorite horror remakes ever made. I’ve always had an appreciation for Tom Savini’s retelling/remake of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, a huge part of that was the incredible leading actors. Todd was great as the sympathetic but forceful Ben while the lovely Patricia Tallman gave Barbara a whole lot of strength and kick ass girl power. This is the type of movie that if I find on cable, I most certainly will give it a watch. This was the first time that I really became aware of Tony, and I’ve been a fan ever since.

The 1992 classic CANDYMAN still gives me the creeps. What made this character so electrifying was just how much of a romantic hero Todd played him as. With equal parts menace, plus a spooky adoration for Virginia Madsen, there is something more humanly scary about the horror icon. While the sequels didn’t always live up to the Bernard Rose directed original, Todd is so good as The Candyman in FAREWELL TO THE FLESH and DAY OF THE DEAD that it would be fun to sit through a night of urban legend inspired terror. I loved CANDYMAN because of Todd. And let’s face it, you’d be hard pressed to find any horror fan not only familiar with him, but I bet most of us have probably been too afraid to say his name five times.

Todd continued to make an impression in the genre over the years, but was able to balance a very fascinating career while doing so. He returned to play ‘Kurn’ as well as ‘Adult Jake Sisko’ in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” in 1995-1996. He was featured on the hit series “The X-Files” as ‘Augustus Cole’ in 1994. And if that wasn’t cool enough, he also appeared in a couple of my personal favorite flicks, THE CROW in 1994 as well as THE ROCK two years later. And just to show his horror cred, he had a fun cameo in WISHMASTER in 1997 along with a number of neato icons including Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Angus Scrimm, Reggie Bannister and a number of others.

That brings us to the year 2000 when death came calling for another one of my favorite peeps, Mr. Devon Sawa, as well as Ali Larter and Kerr Smith. The original feature is such a fun and freaky flick that it inspired a number of sequels. Todd was featured in most of them. And aside from the original, FINAL DESTINATION 5 (2011) – so far, the final FINAL DESTINATION - was a great return to form for the gruesome happenings on display. This darkly humorous sequel managed to feel fresh, yet still ably bring itself back to the original film. And yes, Todd once again played William Bludworth and he was fantastic per usual. In fact, I had the pleasure of chatting with him back in the day when he was promoting this frighteningly cool flick and he was amazing.

NOW: Once again, I have to say that this guy has 185 credits as an actor on IMDB! That is astonishing. He even appeared in a small cameo in a little movie directed by a talented fellow by the name of Seth Landau called BRYAN LOVES YOU (2008) – I had the pleasure of doing the commentary for with a fine group of folks so check that out. Some of his many credits include HATCHET (2006) and HATCHET 2 (2010) – damn he was great in that – as well as MINOTAUR (2006), THE GRAVES (2009), SUSHI GIRL (2012) and so much more that it makes my head hurt just thinking about it! What I love about this guy is that he really truly loves making horror movies. And he is great in them, but he is pretty much great in anything. At 6’5” it is hard to imagine any other actor with his unique charm. Yes, I’m a huge Tony Todd fan!

As mentioned, I had the chance to interview him a couple of times. I’ve also had the opportunity to chat with him on a number of occasions and they don’t get nicer than Tony. In fact, I just saw him at a signing for the Blu-ray release of CANDYMAN: FAREWELL TO THE FLESH at one of the best places in Burbank, Dark Delicacies. And guess what? He's still always working like crazy. The man has a number of upcoming projects – ones that you will find on IMDB and maybe some of them are even correct – and many of them are in the horror genre. Very few actors of his stature continue to treat genre – as well as its fans – as respectfully as he does. If you’d like to see what is coming up for Tony, you can check him out on his official Facebook page. You can – and should – follow him on Twitter. If that isn’t enough, you can be that we here at Arrow in the Head will keep you posted on what this incredible talented thespian has in store.
Extra Tidbit: What is your personal favorite performance of Mr. Todd's?

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