Several young men and one woman discover an isolated home on a small island in Candle Cove, North Carolina, where a young 6-year-old girl lives with her "imaginary" puppet friends: Horace the Horrible, the Skin-Taker, and Pirate Percy. The only problem is, the "puppets" are really made from human skin, and the girl is 23-years-old...
The rights for the Candle Cove TV series have been on dispute for more than 30 years, mainly because of a legal conflict between the production house and distributors.
While the rights to syndicate the series and broadcast old episodes is likely to not be resolved, from 2007 onwards the SyFy Channel fought for the rights to develop a movie adaptation. The rights to develop spin-off material were assured by SyFy Channel producers on 2010, and the movie was to be produced by the end of 2012. It supposedly premiered on December 19th 2012, even though SyFy claims they had canceled production because of controversy and a change in the copyright deal. Details about SyFy suddenly losing the copyrights are not available. Rumours claim that when the film 'supposedly' aired, there was nothing but static and an amber alert. Still, many claim to have seen the film. There are also rumours that SyFy made the film despite not having the copyrights, and claimed to know nothing when it aired.
Relation with the TV Series
According to the producers, the TV movie is both an interpretation and an update of the original series. The characters are older and more realistic than the original ones, but they retain part of their original role for the story. As well, the film is a straight mystery and horror film, and unlike the original show, depicts more graphic violence and gore than the puppet show TV series.
Real Name: Altman Bachmeier
Born: January 29th, 1895
Died: April 2nd, 1949
Occupation: Heerführer (General), Serial Killer (later)
Born in an upper-class family, Altman was a child prodigy by age 8, with his paintings and drawings. He established his career as a painter and sculptor by age 13, making money to support his family.
When Altman was 16, his abusive, alcoholic uncle wrecked his art studio, and told him he would never amount to anything. He stuck his nephew's hands in the fireplace, burning his hands to the point where he had to have skin grafts done. This left him with extensive nerve damage in his hands, and he was required to wear gloves as his hands were so sensitive. As an act of retribution, he murdered his uncle and ran away from home.
During World War II, he earned an Iron Cross for his service, and became a Commandant of a concentration camp in 1941. Though the nerves in his hands had healed overtime, his past had not. Altman went on an 8-year killing spree, murdering random men who reminded him of his uncle. He then took their skin as trophies, making lampshades and curtains out of his victims. He had no desire to kill women, children, or infants; it was just men who reminded him of his crazed uncle.
Altman was executed by hanging in 1949 at age 54 for his crimes. It was also revealed during his death that he was also executed for delivering meals and supplies to families in a Jewish ghetto.
As a human-looking marionette, he is dressed with his Nazi commanding officer outfit restored.
Horace the Horrible
Real Name: Horace Atkins
Born: February 3rd, 1960
Died: August 29th, 1989
Occupation: Professional Wrestler
Standing in at 6' 6", 297 lbs, Horace was a feared professional wrestler, who not only earned respect from the rulebreakers, but fan favourites (Faces) as well.
Trained by Stu Hart and Killer Kowalski, he earned five successful TV title reigns during his stints with the N.W.A. (National Wrestling Alliance), WCW (World Championship Wrestling), and WWF (now World Wrestling Entertainment). He had teamed up with such names as Andre the Giant, Jimmy Snuka, Sting, The Midnight Express, The Funk Brothers, and many more.
One of the writers for the WWF had paid Horace's opponent to hit him multiple times with a steel chair, until he died from blunt force trauma. The opponent was asked by Vince McMahon to only hit him two times. However, the writer turned out to be a jilted, bitter ex-girlfriend, whom Horace did not want to have anything more to do with. "The Million Dollar Man" Ted Debiase, who was close friends with Horace, overheard everything from the ex-girlfriend, and he, along with fellow wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage, were going to report her to not only to Vince McMahon, so that she would be suspended from the company forever, but also to the police.
Captain Lou Albano, who was managing Horace at the time, witnessed his demise in the ring, and screamed for the match to end. Charges were dropped to his opponent, after he admitted that he was paid by Horace's ex-girlfriend to intentionally beat him to death in the head with a steel chair. Everyone thought that it was all just part of the act, until it was too late. Horace's ex-girlfriend was fired from World Wrestling Entertainment and faced a sentence of 20 years to life.
Horace returned as the Skin-Taker's sidekick.
Real Name: Samuel Whitfield
Born: April 19th, 1946
Died: October 11th, 1975
Occupation: Kid's Show Personality/Actor
Samuel was an actor who appeared on the 1964 kid's TV show, "Pirate Percy and Friends". The show ran successfully for a few years, until the show's director had to lay off some people, even Samuel himself. After being in a deep depression, Samuel tried to find work on other shows during the months of 1971. However, no studio would hire him, as he was labeled a has-been due to the fact that he 'lived' in his Pirate Percy outfit.
By 1975, during a Broadway production of "Fiddler on the Roof", Samuel was put in prison as a result of mistaken identity and was sentenced to death by electric chair. The two issues were that he was innocent, and that the police refused to listen to him, since they thought that they had captured a killer who was dressed as Samuel's character on "Pirate Percy and Friends". He died in the electric chair a humiliated, broken, framed man.
It was later revealed that the director of "Pirate Percy and Friends" had sent Samuel to the electric chair because he (the director) was getting senile.
He returned in his Pirate Percy persona, with his full outfit, still hopeful to get back on TV...
Although the film was completed, the Caroline Barker Foundation, owner of the Candle Cove rights, interposed a copyright controversy after the film was screened to them, to prevent it from being released, as they didn't consider it a worthy adaptation. SyFy tried to sue the copyright holders, but was instead greeted off-courts by the Foundation with an undisclosed amount, allegedly covering the production costs.
A sequel, already penned by Norman Rackham, was announced to be in works. It was going to be titled "Candle Cove: Loose Strings", but with the canning of the first film, it's unlikely it will ever be made.