Film: Tales from the Hood

Tales From The Hood is a 1995 horror anthology film, directed by Rusty Cundieff. The film had four short African American-themed horror stories.

The film opens by introducing us to the four characters starring in a frame story. A trio of teenage drug dealers operating in South Central Los Angeles visit a mortuary to purchase drugs from its owner. The drugs are stored deep within the building and Ball (De'aundre Bonds), Bulldog (Samuel Monroe, Jr.) and Stack (Joe Torry) have to follow the mysterious Mr. Simms (Clarence Williams III) in a virtual tour of its locations. Meanwhile, he takes the time to narrate stories related to his recent "customers." In his words, "Death - it comes in many strange packages."

The first story, "Rogue Cop Revelation," deals with police violence and corruption, as a black politician murdered by racist cops seeks revenge from beyond the grave. The second entry, "Boys Do Get Bruised," touches on domestic violence as a young boy blames his prominent and frequent injuries on a monster that terrorizes him by night. The third story, called "KKK Comeuppance," explores racism in elected government. Senator Duke Metzger's (a character named for white supremacists David Duke and Tom Metzger) new campaign is interrupted by the ghosts of the slaves who used to live and work in his new house. Finally there's "Hard-Core Convert," a story about gang violence. Jerome John aka drug dealer Crazy K is wounded in a late-night ambush and wakes up in a Kafka-esque prison, where increasingly surreal and horrifying attempts to rehabilitate him are executed. Back in the frame story, the dealers grow tired of Mr. Simm's storytelling and resort to threats to procure their product, but Simms has one last surprise for the trio.

The film was a modest box office hit at the time of release. It earned $11,837,928 in the United States market, the 103rd most successful release of its year, almost double of what its budget was. It is not particularly well-remembered, although horror fans seem to enjoy its mix of dark humor and social themes.

This film provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Carl
  • Asshole Victim: Ball, Billy, Bulldog, Crazy K, Newton, Stack, and Strom were all murderers. Carl was an abusive husband and (step)father. Duke Metzger was verbally abusive even to his own staff members.
  • Conspicuous CG: Anything in the last few minutes of the film.
  • Dead All Along: Ball, Bulldog, and Stack. Possibly also Crazy K.
  • Death by Racism: Duke Metzger. Possibly Billy, Newton and Strom, though in their own case they had further motivations.
    • An interesting inversion in that Crazy K is shown a montage of pictures showing members of The Klan torturing or killing black men or standing over their corpses and dramatized shots of black gang members killing each other. He's essentially then asked "How are you any better than them?"
  • Dirty Cop: Billy, Newton, and Strom.
  • Domestic Abuser: Carl whips Sissy with a belt.
  • Defiant to the End: Crazy K when he was barely conscious when the 3 gang members from the mortuary shoot him to death.
    Crazy K: I don't give a fuck!!!
    • And Carl, even as he's been reduced to a crumpled heap of broken bones on the kitchen floor:
    "This shit ain't over yet, bitch!"
  • Dying Dream: Possibly the experience Crazy K underwent.
  • Fan Disservice: Crazy K actually has a pretty nice physique, and it's put on display when he opts for experimental aversion therapy for his crimes (he's in what amounts to a dark-colored speedo for the duration of the scene), but it's hard to appreciate it considering what happens to him.
  • Foreshadowing: "You'll get the shit. You'll be knee-deep in the shit."
  • Freudian Excuse: Mocked by Dr. Cushing, who expects Crazy K to start blaming his parents, teachers, etc. for his own crimes.
  • It's All About Me: The root of Crazy K's problems - he believes that he himself is the only person he needs to take care of, no one else.
  • Large Ham: Clarence Williams III absolutely goes to town as Mr. Simms. Justified by the fact that he's Satan toying with his latest victims.
    • Rosalind Cash as Dr. Cushing in "Hardcore Convert" starts out fairly regular but towards the end especially when she starts experimenting on Crazy K she starts Chewing the Scenery!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Walter's teacher telling Walter's abusive stepfather about the monster.
  • Perverse Puppet: The haunted voodoo dolls terrorizing Duke Metzger.
  • Precision F-Strike: Four words "Welcome to hell, motherfuckers!"
  • Police Brutality: Billy, Newton, and Strom.
  • Redemption Rejection: Crazy K rather than admitting to the guilt of his crimes, remained defiant, and ended his death.
  • Satan: Mister Simms.
  • Scary Black Man: Crazy K with any weapon in his hands.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Bulldog, on seeing what Mr.Simms really is.
  • Spooky Painting: Miss Cobbs.
  • Sympathetic Magic: Walter draws pictures of his enemies and then damages. The individuals suffer similar damages.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer reveals quite a few plot points, most noteworthy being the twist ending.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Crazy K's white supremacist inmate stated that black people like Crazy K will be spared and enjoyed the fact that his victims are African Americans.
  • Villain Protagonist: Duke Metzger and Crazy K. Possibly Ball, Bulldog, and Stack if thought as protagonists of the frame story.
  • Welcome to Hell: Quite literally, it turns out..
  • Wham Line: In a movie full of them, Mr. Simms drops the biggest one of all.
    Simms: After you killed Crazy K, a few of his boys... killed you. I guess you didn't make it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Clarence, the only non-corrupt cop on the force was called out by Moorehouse's zombie.
  • X Meets Y: As the name suggests, it's pretty much Tales from the Darkside Meets Boyz n the Hood.