We studied Cabrini-Green in my high school sociology class. Before that, though I didn’t know it at the time, I had already been made familiar with the infamous housing projects through the sitcom GOOD TIMES. I was just a kid. I watched the show because JJ made me laugh. The times when it touched on more serious matters, like the poverty inherent in the family’s collective backstory, the threat of crime hanging over their heads, went mostly over mine. (My head, I mean.) As I entered into early adulthood, I found Cabrini-Green fascinating. And it was at this same time that I saw CANDYMAN in the theater.
Portions of Bernard Rose’s movie were filmed at Cabrini-Green. Reportedly, movie producers made deals with local gang members to guarantee the safety of the actors and crew. Rose’s insistence that filming be done there on location infused the movie with a sense of realism that wouldn’t have been possible had they filmed elsewhere. Today Cabrini-Green is, for the most part, gone. The last of the high-rises was torn down in 2011, though the original row houses remain. But Candyman is still there. Literally. It seems the fictional has become factual, and the manufactured myth has evolved into Myth with a capital M. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer killer.