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Film / Tales from the Hood

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Tales from the Hood is a 1995 horror anthology film, directed by Rusty Cundieff. The film features four short Hood Film-themed horror stories, with a Framing Device that is itself a horror story. The film opens when Ball (De'aundre Bonds), Bulldog (Samuel Monroe, Jr.) and Stack (Joe Torry) three young gangstas in South Central Los Angeles, visit a mortuary to pick up drugs from its owner, the mysterious and eccentric Mr. Simms (Clarence Williams III). The drugs are stored deep within the building, and as Mr. Simms guides the men through his funeral home, he takes the time to narrate stories relating to his four of his most recent "customers." In his words, "Death - it comes in many strange packages."

Rogue Cop Revelation

Rookie cop Clarence Smith (Anthony Griffith) witnesses his partner Newton (Michael Massee) and fellow cops Strom (Wings Hauser) and Billy (Duane Whitaker) brutally beat city councilman and black rights activist Martin Moorehouse (Tom Wright), who has been on a campaign against police corruption. When Clarence tries to stop them, Newton convinces Clarence that Strom and Billy will take Moorehouse to the hospital; instead, they kill Moorehouse and posthumously ruin his reputation by planting some of the drugs they've been dealing in his car and injecting him with heroin. Guiltridden, Clarence resigns from the force and becomes a drunk. One year later, he sees a mural of Moorehouse come to life, demanding Clarence to bring his killers to him. When he does, Moorehouse rises from the grave to exact his revenge.

Boys Do Get Bruised

Walter Johnson (Brandon Hammond) is a quiet and sensitive young boy with an interest in drawing pictures who is bullied at his new school. He often shows up to class with various bruises, none of which comes from the school bully. His teacher, Mr. Garvey (Cundieff), suspects that Walter is the victim of an abusive parent, but Walter claims that the bruises were caused by a monster that terrorizes him every night, to the point that he believes he must kill the monster before it kills him.

KKK Comeuppance

Duke Metzger (Corbin Bernsen), a character named for actual white supremacists David Duke and Tom Metzger, an obnoxious and highly racist former Klansman turned Senator, decides to set up his gubernatorial campaign in the former plantation of his ancestor, Nathan Wilkes, who killed all his slaves at the end of the Civil War rather than let them go free. It is rumored the plantation is haunted by the ghosts of the slaves, who now inhabit dolls scattered throughout the plantation created by a voodoo priestess, Miss Cobbs. True to form, Metzger ignores this, but the rumors are completely true, and the animate dolls are more than happy to settle for exacting brutal revenge on their killer's descendant.

Hard-Core Convert

In an apparent shout-out to Jacob's Ladder, violent and hardened gangster Jerome Johns, better known by his street name "Crazy K" (Lamont Bentley) is gravely injured in a late-night ambush. Before he can be killed, the police arrive and end up killing his attackers, but Crazy K is still arrested, sentenced to life in prison without parole. Four years later, Dr. Cushing (Rosalind Cash) aspires to successfully test an experimental rehabilitation program on prisoners, and enlists Crazy K to be her test subject in exchange for release. Although eager at the prospect of getting out of jail, Crazy K is transported to Cushing's private facility, where he is put through horrific experiences that become increasingly surreal and nightmarish.

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.

A sequel, Tales from the Hood 2, was released in 2018, with Keith David taking over for Williams as Mr. Simms as he assists Corrupt Corporate Executive Dumass Beach in laying the groundwork for the morality of a new model of artificially intelligent police robot. A third movie Tales from the Hood 3 (released on October 6, 2020) has Tony Todd starring, as William, a lumbering man in his 50s, trying to outrun an unseen evil with a six-year-old child named Brooklyn, who tells stories to William distract them from said evil.

This film provides examples of:

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  • Asshole Victim: Ball, Bulldog, Stack, Billy, Newton, Strom, and Crazy K are all murderers and drug dealers, making it quite hard to pity their demises.
    • Carl brutalizes his girlfriend and her son every night, and even starts beating up Walter's teacher when he tries to stop them. Watching him get crumpled into a heap and burned alive is truly cathartic.
    • Duke Metzger is verbally abusive to his own staff members, a massive racist, and a former member of the KKK, earning him the well-deserved fate of being killed by the dolls inhabited by the ghosts of the slaves his ancestor killed.
  • Downer Ending: Nearly all the stories, including the frame story, end on this note. Though it is zigzagged at times, depending on the context.
  • Hate Sink: The film is filled with characters that you will absolutely despise.
    • Strom is a sadistic and unbearably smug Dirty Cop who goes out of his way to be a gigantic dick to everyone.
    • His fellow corrupt cop Newton is less of an asshole, but his endless moralizing, smugness, and cruelty makes him just as hateable.
    • Duke Metzger, a slimy politician and white supremacist who can't go a sentence without saying something racist.
    • Carl is a short-tempered domestic abuser who beats both his girlfriend Sissy and her son Walter every night, to the point Walter has become convinced Carl is a monster who will eventually kill him (which is true, in a roundabout way). When Mr. Garvey tries to defend them, Carl quickly begins fighting him as well.
  • Jive Turkey: Most of the African-American characters speak this way, to the point of Chewing the Scenery mixed with Cluster F-Bomb, especially the gangsta characters.
  • Large Ham: At one point or another, nearly everyone in the film goes wild with their lines:
    • 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 "Hard-Core Convert", starts out fairly regular, but she really starts Chewing the Scenery during Crazy K's experimentation, at first rebuking him for murdering his own people without a second thought, and then begging him to repent his sins and redeem himself.
    • Duke Metzger also gets in on the hamminess.
    Duke Metzger: You'll get no reparations from me, you hear me? NO REPARATIONS!
    • Michael Massee and Wings Hauser also get into the ham when they're being chased by the zombified Moorehouse.
    • Carl, when he's in monster-mode, goes on furious profanity-laden tirades.
    • Ball, Bulldog, and Stack also chew the scenery like no tomorrow.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Metzger has a nice one when he sees that more voodoo dolls from the magical painting have gone missing, then hears the pattering of little footsteps from all around him.
    Metzger: GODDAMN. (turns around, hearing footsteps) God damn.
    • Newton and Strom have one when Moorehouse rises from the grave and kills Billy.
    • And of course the gangstas at the very end of the movie.
  • Scary Black Man: All sorts of flavors, from Crazy K with any weapon in his hands, to Ball, Stack, Bulldog, the zombified Moorehouse, the voodoo dolls, and Carl.
  • Smug Snake: Newton, Strom and Duke Metzger.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror, given its premise as a horror anthology where the Framing Device ends with the people listening to the stories learning that they're dead.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer reveals quite a few plot points, most noteworthy being the twist ending.

     Welcome to My Mortuary (Frame Story) 
  • Affably Evil: Mr. Simms is sinister and creepy, and is clearly toying with Bulldog, Stack, and Ball, but he's still pretty charismatic and affable towards them, if a bit too story prone. He only begins their eternal torment in Hell after they pull their guns and try to kill him.
  • Arc Words: Ah, the shit.
  • Big Red Devil: As detailed below, Mr Simms transforms into one at the end of the film.
  • Dead All Along: Ball, Bulldog, and Stack learn from Simms that they're actually dead, having been killed by Crazy K's associates as retribution for killing Crazy K himself, and that the funeral home they're visiting is actually Hell.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Mr. Simms, Satan himself, is legitimately disgusted with Carl after he finishes the second story, even calling him a monster outright. It should be noted that since the bodies in his caskets are an illusion that he created, he is choosing to exclusively portray Carl's corpse as burnt, horrifyingly disfigured, and screaming, in sharp contrast to the other corpses, which are peaceful and in pristine condition.
  • Evil Is Visceral: When Mr. Simms reveals his true form.
  • Exact Words: In the beginning, Mr. Simms assures the drug dealers who pay him a visit that they'll soon be standing knee-deep in "the shit".
  • Foreshadowing: When the gangbangers get impatient with Mr. Simms, he assures them "You'll get the shit. You'll be knee-deep in the shit."note 
    • In a subtler example, Simms blows smoke with a cigar at his lips in the interval before the final story… and then puts it in his breast pocket without extinguishing it: an early hint that he's the source of the smoke.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Invoked when Mr. Simms opens Carl's casket. We don't see the body at first, but the shocked gangsters ask, "What the fuck happened to him?" prompting Simms to tell the story.
  • Karmic Twist Ending: It comes with a memorable one.: Ball, Bulldog, and Stack have been dead the whole time and are left to burn in Hell. Then again, they're also murderous, drug-pushing gangsters who were willing to kill Simms, so they're given their just reward here.
  • Louis Cypher: Mr. Simms is actually the Devil.
  • Precision F-Strike: Four words :"Welcome to hell, motherfuckersss!"
  • Satan: Mister Simms is revealed to be the Devil himself in the twist ending, and was merely playing with his new victims before revealing that they've been in Hell all along.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Bulldog, on seeing who Mr. Simms really is.
  • Shout-Out: In Mr. Simms' final speech, his "terrordome" comment is a reference to a song included on the Public Enemy album Fear of a Black Planet.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: Stack's attempt to convince Bulldog that there aren't any zombies in mortuary by comparing them to refried beans quickly segues into a tangent about how much he hates refried beans.
    Stack: Man, I never understood that, man. Why the FUCK you gonna refry some beans, man? Why not just fry that shit right the first time, and get out?
  • Sssssnake Talk: As Mr. Simms is about to reveal his true form to Ball, Stack and Bulldog. He engages in a bit of slithering, complete with a forked tongue.
  • Villain Protagonist: The gangstas, who just want to get their drugs and get out.
  • 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.

     Rogue Cop Revelation 
  • Actor Allusion: Moorehouse is played by Tom Wright, and this isn't the first time he's turned into a zombie and proceeded to cling to a fleeing suspect's car.
  • An Aesop: Inaction has consequences; your first response will always leave the biggest impact. When Moorehouse was being harassed by the cops, Clarence was easily convinced not to do anything about it, and only decided to help a year after Moorehouse was killed in an effort to atone. After Moorehouse kills the corrupt cops, he turns his attention to Clarence, punishing him for failing to prevent his death in the first place.
    Moorehouse: "Where were you when I NEEDED you?"
  • And I Must Scream: Newton's final fate has him fused into the mural of Moorehouse, becoming a portrait of himself crucified and in endless pain.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Moorehouse kills the white cops who murdered him, then asks Clarence, the black cop who let them do it, "Where were you when I needed you?"
  • The Atoner: Clarence becomes haunted by his failure to save Moorehouse and decides to have the men who killed him face supernatrual justice. The only problem with his plan is that he's too late to earn the deceased Moorehouse's respect.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: Moorehouse kills Billy by tearing his heart out, holding it up for Newton and Strom to see.
  • Break the Haughty: The crooked cops gradually turn into spineless cowards when confronted with the zombified Moorehouse.
  • Cop Killer: Moorehouse returns from the grave to murder the corrupt cops who killed him. As punishment for failing to intervene in his murder, he frames Clarence, the only non-corrupt cop, for killing the others. The orderlies at the institution Clarence ends up locked in outright call him one, and find it baffling that he was also a cop.
  • Dirty Cop: Billy, Newton, and Strom deal drugs in an inner-city neighborhood and murder the public reformer who spoke out against them.
  • Dirty Coward: Clarence fails to prevent Moorehouse's death by being easily persuaded by his more experienced partner that he would be taken to the hospital. The zombified Moorehouse, rightfully blaming him for standing idly as the other cops assaulted and killed him, punishes him by framing him for the deaths of said cops.
    • Newton, Strom, and Billy are shown to be rather spineless, the former refusing to report the others for their corruption and turning a blind eye to it, while Billy follows Strom's orders without question, and even Strom is reduced to a nervous wreck when Moorehouse comes after him.
  • Downer Ending: Even though the corrupt cops are killed, Moorehouse also punishes Clarence for his inaction when he needed him the most by pinning his murder of the officers on him, whereupon he's locked into a psyche ward. If the framing story is to be believed, he also somehow ended up in Hell for it, too.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Newton is clearly disgusted when Strom begins pissing on Moorehouse's grave, while Billy proclaims that it's "pretty cool". When Strom starts demanding he join him, Billy is blatantly reluctant about it, prompting Strom to browbeat him into going along with it.
  • Excrement Statement: Strom pisses on Moorehouse's grave on the anniversary of the his, Billy, and Newton's murder of him, and nearly makes Billy go along with it.
  • Extreme Doormat: Billy is very weak-willed and is easily browbeaten by Strom into going along with him and Newton, though he followed along with their murder of Moorehouse of his own accord.
  • Foil: Newton is one to Moorehouse, a crusader against police corruption. While Moorehouse respects cops who do their jobs and follow the law, he desires to hold officers who abuse their authority accountable for their actions. Newton justifies every corrupt action he and his cohorts commit on the grounds that they are cops, people who protect others and come within a gnat's whisker of dying on an almost-daily basis, and genuinely believes that being one of these people means that engaging in downright criminal actions is okay.
  • Groin Attack: Moorehouse returns from the grave by dragging Billy underground, crotch-first.
  • Hearing Voices: Clarence hears Moorehouse's voice in his head, demanding that he bring his killers to him.
  • Immune to Bullets: Clarence shrugs off every bullet the officers fire at him when he's zombified.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: When his fellow officers are killed, Newton is reduced to crying and blabbing that he killed Moorehouse as he flees from him.
  • Jerkass: Strom, a smug, sadistic jackass who takes delight in taunting Moorehouse before killing him and gleefully pisses on his grave.
  • Last Disrespects: When the corrupt cops visit Moorehouse's grave, they take the opportunity to piss on his tombstone. The councilman himself rises from the grave to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge not long after.
  • Never My Fault: Newton, Billy, and Strom don't seem to comprehend that Moorehouse going after police corruption, which would endanger their drug dealing, is not the same thing as making life harder for the police.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: The zombified Moorehouse is able to appear from anywhere when he pursues his victims.
  • Off with His Head!: As Newton and Strom try to escape Moorehouse in their patrol car, Moorehouse jumps on their roof and tears Strom's head off with his bare hands.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Despite actor Michael Massee and his character Newton Hauser being unambiguously American, in some shots (such as when his character is Suddenly Shouting when scared off by the zombified Moorehouse), he slips to a French accent (likely due to not just Massee being of French descent as he was born in Kansas City to French parents, but at the time filming his scenes back-to-back as Free French soldier Frenchie in a television remake of Sahara (1943) (where he even stayed in character off camera), released around the same year as this film. As a result, Massee's French accent still lingers when playing Newton.
  • Police Brutality: Billy, Newton, and Strom conspire to murder Martin Moorehouse, a black politician who threatens to expose their drug dealing and corruption. Their victim subsequently rises from the grave to get revenge.
  • Post-Mortem One-Liner: Moorehouse, upon killing Newton and turning him into part of his mural, tells him "Welcome to my world."
  • Psychic Powers: Moorehouse gains telekinesis when he returns from the dead, and uses his ability to pin Newton to his mural with used needles.
  • Resurrection Revenge: A murdered black politician goes after the three racist white cops who killed him.
  • Taken for Granite: A variation occurs when Newton is pinned to Moorehouse's mural by the reanimated man himself. He gradually melts and fuses into the painting, turning into a portrait of himself, crucified and still screaming in agony.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After Moorehouse is finished killing the three racist cops responsible for his death, he then turns on Clarence, the only non-corrupt cop in the story, for his inaction in preventing the murder.
    Clarence: Are you satisfied now, brother?
    Moorehouse: (seizes Clarence by the throat) Where were you when I NEEDED you, "brother"?

     Boys Do Get Bruised 
  • Abusive Parents: Carl isn't actually Walter's father, but he still plays the role, beating him and his mother Sissy for the flimsiest of reasons.
  • Badass Teacher: Mr. Garvey, upon seeing Carl whip Sissy through the window, runs back into the house and attempts to fight Carl off himself, leading to a fistfight between the two.
  • Beard of Evil: Carl, a truly vile domestic abuser, sports one.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mr. Garvey, who fights back against Carl to save Walter and his mother.
  • The Bully: Tyrone, the bully at Walter's new school. Walter's ability to inflict damage on people through drawings of them is first seen when he crumples up one of Tyrone, causing the bully to break both arms and legs.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Carl, who brutally abuses Walter and his mother over the slightest things, has a tattoo reading "Monster" on his arm.
  • Creator Cameo: Rusty Cundieff, the director of the film, has a leading role as Mr. Garvey.
  • Defiant to the End: Carl, even after he's been reduced to a crumpled heap of broken bones on the kitchen floor:
    "This shit ain't over yet, bitch!"
  • Disappeared Dad: Walter reveals to Mr. Garvey early in the story that his father died some time ago, with "the monster" entering the picture a while after it happened.
  • Domestic Abuse: Carl regularly whips Sissy with a belt, and that's after he beats her son. He goes into overdrive when Mr. Garvey tries to intervene, beating up a total stranger relentlessly and almost killing Sissy with a frying pan. Walter even tells Garvey that he and Sissy had to move once because the abuse likely attracted police attention, hence why he's in his new school.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Carl, the abusive "monster" who Walter fears above all else, gets his comeuppance by the boy and his mother, who are finally free of his abuse.
  • Foreshadowing: The shadow the of the "monster" on the wall is a monster we will see again. It's actually Satan.
  • Friend to All Children: Mr. Garvey is gentle and considerate with Walter, not trying to forcefully learn the truth behind the kid's bruises.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: As Sissy tries to defend herself from Carl with a frying pan, he wrestles it out of her grip prepares to bash her head in with it, until Walter decides to take care of the "monster" once and for all.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The monster Walter is so afraid of turns out to be a disturbingly real type of monster: Carl, a run-of-the-mill domestic abuser.
  • Meaningful Name: Walter's mother Sissy is a weak-willed, go-to punching bag for her abusive boyfriend, and usually isn't strong enough to fight back.
  • Nice Guy: Mr. Garvey, who takes a strong personal interest in Walter and tries to help him out with his troubled home life. He never tries forcing any answers out of Walter, either, preferring to let Walter talk when he's ready.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Mr. Garvey telling Carl, Walter's abusive stepfather, about the monster. He was only trying to help, but it becomes the catalyst of the climactic showdown.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Mr. Garvey. Seeing Walter come into school with a new injury each day, and learning that these injuries were apparently caused by a "monster" that he keeps obsessing over, prompts him to get to the bottom of Walter's plight by any means nessecary.
  • Sympathetic Magic: Walter has some kind of magical ability, where he draws pictures of his enemies and then damages them, causing the depicted individuals to suffer similar damage, which is how he gets rid of Carl once and for all. He is said to have learned about the skill from the student who sits behind him.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Walter curls into a ball when Carl confronts him for his drawing, then begins beating his mother.
  • Voice of the Legion: Carl slips into a deep, resonating voice when he's revealed to be the "monster" Walter's been fearing, and keeps slipping in and out of the voice during the climactic fight.
  • You Wouldn't Believe Me If I Told You: Carl apparently told Walter that no one would ever believe him if he said where his bruises came from.
    • In the end, Sissy points out that no one will believe their story when Carl dies, prompting Mr. Garvey to burn the body by burning Walter's monster drawing on the stove.

     KKK Comeuppance 
  • As You Know: Duke and Rhodie discussing the legend of Nathan Wilkes and Miss Cobbs is pretty much there to bring the audience up to speed.
  • The Atoner: Duke claims to be one of these as part of his campaign. It's complete bullshit, and he's still a massive racist.
  • Category Traitor: The ghostly slaves come to believe that Rhodie is one for siding with the descendant of their killer, and cause him to fall down the stairs to his death. It's shown that they may be right about him, as while demonstrating how to improve his superior's defensive media skills, Rhodie playfully cracks an insult about his own people. He immedieately regrets that he's been working with Duke for too long.
  • Creator Cameo: Director Rusty Cundieff's parents both have roles in the segment. His mother plays Miss Cobbs, and his father is the minister delivering the eulogy at Rhodie's funeral.
  • Creepy Changing Painting: The large painting of Miss Cobbs, the voodoo priestess who once bought the house and created the dolls the ghostly slaves inhabit, slowly changes when the dolls are released one by one, with blank shapes appearing in their place. The painting also appears to bleed when Metzger attacks it with an American flag.
  • Creepy Doll: The voodoo dolls, which carry the souls of murdered slaves from the plantation home that torment Duke.
  • Death by Racism: Duke Metzger is an avowed white supremacist who glorifies the legacy of his slaveholding ancestor. The voodoo witch whose spirit resides in the house decides to punish him by having the reanimated dolls she created torment and kill him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In spite of his massive racism, Duke is genuinely friendly (as much as he can be, anyway) to the black Rhodie, even attending his funeral with a remorseful look on his face.
  • Evil Is Petty: When Duke Metzger's slaveholding ancestor Nathan Wilkes had to free his slaves at the end of the Civil War, he instead decided to massacre all of them.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Metzger makes an effort to come across as a polite, reformed gentleman even behind closed doors, but the affect is heavily diminished by his casually racist attitude, as well as his disgusting pride in both his days in the KKK and his ancestor's massacre of his slaves.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The doll Rhodie trips over can briefly be seen as he falls. Duke takes the trope literally by rewinding and slowing down the footage he captured of Rhodie's death, where he discovers the doll for himself.
  • Hated by All: Duke, whose lawn is occupied by a variety of protesters in the opening scene alone. Even his own staff think of him as a sick man, but they still go along with him because he pays them to do so.
  • Jerkass: Duke, the slimy, racist politician who is a former KKK member and can't go a single sentence without saying something deeply offensive. When he talks about how his ancestor executed all his slaves rather than let them go free at the end of the Civil War to Rhodie, he seems legitimately proud of this.
  • Laughably Evil: Despite being a Hate Sink Politically Incorrect Villain, Duke can be pretty goofy in quite a few scenes.
  • Marionette Master: The army of possessed dolls tormenting Metzger is controlled by Miss Cobbs, an elderly voodoo witch who previously lived in the house, and whose soul is contained inside an old mural.
  • Meaningful Name: Duke Metzger shares his name with David Duke and Tom Metzger, a pair of infamous real-life Neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
  • Motor Mouth: Eli, the old man who rants about how Wilkes Manor is essentially a haunted "dollhouse".
  • Person of Mass Destruction: If Duke is to be believed, his ancestor Nathan murdered the thousands of slaves he owned by himself.
  • Perverse Puppet: The haunted voodoo dolls that terrorize Duke, which contain the souls of the slaves murdered by his ancestor.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Duke is a slimy white supremacist politician who moves into the slavery-era plantation that belonged to his ancestor, a slave owner who had all his slaves massacred at the end of the Civil War. The spirits of the slaves, contained in a doll army, proceed to torment the guy, who — true to form — replies with threats peppered with racial epithets.
  • P.O.V. Cam: There are some brief scenes where we see from the first doll's point of view, as it breaks into the mansion and chases after Duke.
  • Predecessor Villain: Duke is proudly banking on the legacy of his slave-holding ancestor by taking up residence in his old plantation. While Metzger is more of a slimy Jerkass with his racist views, his ancestor brutally murdered every slave he owned when the Civil War ended, simply because he couldn't stand other people not being his property anymore.
  • Resurrection Revenge: The spirits of murdered slaves go after the racist descendant of their master, with strong intent to kill.
  • Sins of the Father: Played with. This is part of the reason the dolls go after Metzger, since his ancestor murdered all the slaves possessing them, but it mainly seems to be motivated by him being an ungodly racist who really deserves some form of comeuppance.
  • Sleazy Politician: Duke Metzger is a smarmy, racist politician and a former KKK member who decided to move into an old plantation house that once belonged to his ancestor, a slaveholder who was responsible for massacring all his slaves at the end of the Civil War.
  • Staircase Tumble: Duke's assistant Rhodie is killed when he trips over one of the animate dolls and falls down the stairs.
  • Stealth Pun: Duke's gubnetorial campaign ad calls him "an original American". We later learn that it's meant in some of the worst ways.
  • Villain Protagonist: Duke Metzger is a sleazy politician and a white supremacist, so it's a given that he's not a good person.

     Hard-Core Convert 
  • A God Am I: The Neo-Nazi in Crazy K's adjacent cell envisions himself as the commander of a white supremacist army, ranting and raving about rallying his "brothers" to exterminate all other races, escpesially blacks.
  • Ambiguously Human: Given the symbolism surrounding her experimental therapy facility, and the fact that she just appears inside Crazy K's sensory deprivation chamber moments after putting him in there, Dr. Cushing may be some kind of angel or similar entity who wants him to repent his sins.
  • An Aesop: When Crazy K tries to justify some of his murders as killing those who had wronged him, a little girl with a hole in her chest points out "I didn't do anything."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Crazy K keeps holding to his gangsta persona during his imprisonment and punches a creepy Neo-Nazi for calling him the N-word. A moment later, Crazy K is genuinely shaken when the Neo Nazi asks him, "Those guys you killed. What color were they?"
  • Broken Record: Crazy K keeps repeating "I don't give a fuck!" at the end of the story, even as his dying words.
    • One of his vicitms' ghosts keeps repeating "That shit was wrong." for how he killed them without mercy.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Crazy K's therapy, which includes meeting a white supremacist, forced viewing of gang and Klan violence, and confrontation of all those he's killed from the grave.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Crazy K initially shoots Lil' Deke for killing a friend. In his later rehabilitation, he is confronted by the ghosts of all the people he killed, many as parts of other cycles, including some guys who hadn't even done the killing he killed them for, and a little girl who was hit by one of his stray bullets. In the end, he is gunned down by three other men in revenge for that last killing. Those men happened to be Stack, Ball, and Bulldog, the protagonists of the wraparound tale. In the end, it turns out that they too were slain for killing Crazy K, and are currently in Hell.
  • Defiant to the End: Crazy K violently rejects redeeming himself, and continues to deliriously spout out defiant rebuttals in the real world, where he's barely conscious as the gang members from the mortuary shoot him to death.
    Crazy K: I don't give a fuck!!!
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Crazy K's birth name is "Jerome Johns", and Dr. Cushing keeps refering to him by the name to rile him up.
  • Downer Ending: Crazy K refuses redemption, which drives Dr. Cushing to tears after doing everything in her power to get him to repent, and is revealed to have possibly hallucinated everything after he was originally shot. The gunmen then finish him off and leave him dead in the street.
  • Dying Dream: Crazy K is shot by three rival gangsters and arrested by the cops. In prison, he agrees to be put through an experimental therapy where he's shown pictures comparing black gang violence to KKK violence against blacks. Then the souls of the people he murdered show up to ask him why they deserved to die. As he ultimately rejects redemption, it's revealed that the whole segment was a hallucination he had after being shot, after which his killers shoot him dead.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: The near-entirety of the sensory deprivation sequence has shrouded in said flashing lights, meant to induce the paranoia and claustrophobia of such a chamber.
  • 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 wearing a black speedo for the duration of the scene), but it's hard to appreciate it considering what happens to him.
  • Forced to Watch: As part of his therapy, Crazy K is forced to watch a collection of photos of the KKK lynching black men, as well as stylized footage of black gangs shooting each other, meant to tell Crazy K that he's no better than them.
  • Foreshadowing: The rival gangsters that shoot Crazy K are shot themselves by the police. Even when that part and the rest of the story turn out to be a Dying Dream, there's still one detail that turns out to be right. Ball, Bulldog, and Stack really were shot to death afterwards.
    • The fact that several cop cars just appear across from the rival gangstas can easily hint that everything up to this point is Crazy K's Dying Dream.
  • Freudian Excuse: Mocked by Dr. Cushing, who expects Crazy K to start blaming his parents or teachers for his life of crime. Instead, he blames the world, deciding that anything that doesn't involve him is meaningless.
  • Gangland Drive-By: Several drive-bys appear in a stylized montage about gang violence when Crazy K is being Mind Raped.
  • Genius Bruiser: Crazy K is noted by Dr. Cushing to have a high intellect, though he seems to have traded most of his smarts for street smarts.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Crazy K's final step in the therapy process is to be thrown into a sensory deprivation chamber. In seconds, he's visited by the ghosts of everyone he's ever killed, intentionally or otherwise, tearing into him for killing them.
  • Homage: The segment can easily be seen as one to Jacob's Ladder.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Crazy K almost comes to an epiphany several times about his crimes and actions, only to then begin justifying them even more.
  • It's All About Me: The root of Crazy K's problems. After implying that he's lived a life of hardship and abuse, he believes that the only person he needs to take care of is himself, no one else.
  • Karmic Butt-Monkey: Crazy K goes through a lot of suffering, whether it be psychological torture or being shot multiple times.
  • Never My Fault: Crazy K refuses to accept any responsibility for his actions. When confronted by the people he killed, he casts himself as the victim, even when a little girl politely points out she had been killed as collateral damage during one of his drive-bys.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Crazy K is shown a montage of historical pictures showing members of The Klan torturing or killing and/or lynching black men and standing over their corpses, mixed with dramatized shots of black gang members killing each other. Dr. Cushing essentially asks him at this point, "How are you any better than them?"
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Crazy K starts refusing redemption, Dr. Cushing, who had previously been cold and condescending towards him, breaks into tears and begs him to repent.
  • Purgatory and Limbo: It's highly implied that the facility where Crazy K undergoes his "experimental treatment" is actually Purgatory. It would fit with a lot of the symbolism in the segment, including the fact that he's brought there after he was shot, the staff tend to dress in all white, the offer of redemption being accompanied by the need for purification, the state of torment while there, etc.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Dr. Cushing gives a scathing bucketload of them to Crazy K during his "therapy", rebuking him for his crimes, his killings, and his blatant deniability in the face of the undeniable.
  • Redemption Rejection: In the end, Crazy K, rather than admitting to the guilt of his crimes, remains defiant in the faces of those he's killed, and the story ends with him being shot to death and no doubt damned to Hell.
  • Tattooed Crook: The white supremacist Crazy K meets is covered with Nazi tattoos.
  • Tragic Villain: Crazy K hints near the end that he became the murderous psycho he is today by being subjected to abuse from supposedly the world, and became who he is now to survive.
  • Villain Protagonist: Crazy K, the homicidal gangster and drug dealer.
  • Would Hurt a Child: One of Crazy K's bullets accidentally shot a little girl in her room. When her ghost confronts him, he's noticeably more upset at her presence than those of his friends and acquaintances, though he still denies doing anything wrong.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race / Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Crazy K is a murderous drug dealer who, during his therapy, is imprisoned next to a proud white supremacist who unashamedly raves about killing blacks, prompting Crazy K to punch him in the face. When the supremacist voices his approval of him because his victims happened to be black, Crazy K becomes silent and visibly upset, especially when the guy states that some black people will be spared if they think like him.