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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tales from the Hood (1995) - Rusty Cundieff



Tales from the Hood's narrative is broken up into four short stories that tell haunting tales of child abuse, police brutality, racism, and black on black violence. The movie is an anthology horror movie like Creepshow or Tales from the Darkside with a central hub storyline tying together several stand alone narratives. The producer for the film is Spike Lee and it stars Clarence Williams III (Samson), Joe Torry, De'Aundre Bonds, and Samuel Monroe Jr.

The main storyline follows three gang members who have been called to a local mortuary to retrieve a cache of drugs the mortuary's owner, Mr. Simms, has found. However, before Mr. Simms will agree to hand over the drugs to the three gangsters he forces them listen to a number of horror stories, each one with a moral. There is an African American cop who wants to turn the tables on some dirty cops that killed a prominent leader in the community, there is a story that deals with an abusive step-father who turns into a monster and beats his wife and step-child, there is a story of a corrupt politician who is a former member of the KKK and lives in a plantation home, and the last story is about a gang banger that gets busted and is sent to an extreme rehabilitation program. Each story ties into the main storyline somehow which is pretty cool.

The writing and acting in this movie are really awesome. The first three stories are the best ones, with the last story being the weakest and weirdest. My favorite is the tale of the abusive step-father with David Allen Grier acting like you have never seen him act before. He gets really hardcore. The failing factor here is that the monsters in the movie are all exaggerations of real life people and situations; which kind of transforms this movie from being a horror film to a sort of public service announcement. 

The movie is really well done and the effects are spectacular, however the movie is not scary and I think it goes about one story too long. They could have cut out either the racist politician story or the rehabilitation story; which would have made the movie more concise and enjoyable.

This ain't the Terror Dome, This is Hell!

As of Oct. 2010 this film is out of print with no plans to release it again. 
The soundtrack topped the Hip-Hop charts in 1995 with the single "Tales from the Hood" by Domino and Chill 
Filmed in the beautiful South Central, Los Angeles.


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