Played By: Tony Todd
Movie: Candyman (1992)
Clive Barker understands what makes monsters permanently reside in fiction-lovers' minds. And fortunately, writer-director Bernard Rose recognized the same thing when he turned Barker's short story "The Forbidden" into the underrated 1992 horror flick Candyman.
The film's titular antagonist (played by Tony Todd) embodies a similar duality to that of Dracula: He's a bloodthirsty, undead killing machine, but he's also seductive, charming, and, to one lady in particular, irresistible. Given a tragic backstory, he's also powered by a compelling vengeance. In his pre-evil lifetime, he was a painter who fell in love with, and impregnated, a white woman, got lynched as a result, lost his hand, had honey smeared all over his body, and was feasted upon by bees.
Now, he haunts Chicago's Cabrini-Green projects. Whenever someone says his name five times into a mirror, he dishes out gory payback, one victim at a time. Except when it comes to the beautiful Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen), whom Candyman sweet-talks to the point of getting her to almost sacrifice an infant. How's that for a gift of gab? —MB