Tales from the Hood 2 is an American horror-comedy anthology film directed by Rusty Cundieff and Darin Scott and executive-produced by Spike Lee. The film is the sequel to Cundieff and Scott's 1995 horror anthology Tales from the Hood. The segments "Good Golly", "The Sacrifice", and "Robo Hell" were directed by Rusty Cundieff. The segments "The Medium" and "Date Night" were directed by Darin Scott.
At some unknown time in the future, Dumass Beach is a prison operator who is constructing an army of AI "Robo Patriots" which can learn from firsthand experience as well as from secondhand stories and function as law enforcement officers. He recruits the great storyteller Mr. Simms (Keith David) to fill their heads with information from his stories to help them better determine who is a criminal and thereby fill his prisons, suggesting "Black Lives Matter" as the theme.
The four tales Mr. Simms tells are:
Good GollyWhen best friends Zoe and Audrey take a trip inside the Museum of Negrosity, they learn first hand about the vast and troubling history of racist iconography as they walk in and out of rows filled with a plethora of xenophobic historical evidence. Theres a giant, exaggerated character of color on the wall whose mouth serves as a doorway, a childrens book filled with prejudiced perceptions of young black boys, and even a shout out to the infamous voodoo puppet from the KKK Comeuppance segment in the first film. But all Audrey wants is the Good Golly doll.
When the museum owner refuses to sell the doll to her, explaining how slave owners used to brand people, but when people became free, they used pen, ink, and art to brand people in new ways, Audrey argues that the doll isnt offensive simply because she always grew up with one in her household. Still, the shop owner sticks to his guns, so Audrey takes it upon herself, along with her brother Phillip (Andy Cohen) and a reluctant Zoe to break into the place after dark and steal what she deems rightfully hers. Its a decision shell regret the rest of her life although to be fair, as a result of her ignorance, she doesnt have much longer to live.
The MediumThree hardened gangsters are beating an old friend to death in the privacy of a private parking garage as he sits bound to a chair, but he still wont tell them where the money is. The man in the chair, known as Cliff, used to be a pimp back in his prime, but that world is behind him now, and all he wants to do is take his five million dollars and use it for his charitable organization to help put kids through college in his community. After making a wisecrack that goes a touch too far, one of the gangsters beats Cliff to a lifeless pulp, leaving the other two men without a cash prize or a person to hit for information. Desperate, the trio decide to invade a known TV psychic named Mr. Lloyds house and hold him hostage until he agrees to host a séance and help them channel Cliff to finally figure out where hes hiding the bounty. Unfortunately, their plans go askew when Cliff enters the mediums body and refuses to leave, or answer their questions, or do anything but return the favor they bestowed upon him when they decided that greed was more important than encouraging a positive change within the toxic environment that birthed them into the criminals they are today.
Date NightTwo notorious players Ty and Kahad fib to two attractive aspiring actresses Carmen and Liz that they are casting directors, looking for possible subjects for their upcoming projects. Once the bait is on the hook, the pair mosey on over to the ladies surprisingly lavish estate, starting out the evening with a harmless game of Cards Against Humanity and ending it with a dangerous dose of GHB. As the guys set up their tripod to film their latest conquer, an act which, judging by their casual ritualistic routine, has happened many times before, they witness for the very first time the tables being turned, as the women suddenly and without warning bite back both literally and figuratively.
The SacrificeTold across two timelines, this segment demonstrates the ease with which bigotry can become normalized if given the prospect of ascending the sociopolitical ladder. The first timeline occurs in the year 1955, and it shows two white men picking up two young African Americans, driving them to an isolated location, and viciously physical assaulting them. The second timeline occurs in present day, and tells the story of an African American man named Henry and his white wife Emily, who becomes crazed with pregnancy blues, claiming that the ghost of a boy in their front yard is coming for their baby. Concerned with appearances for his boss campaign, Henry shuts Emily up in her room while he hosts a gathering downstairs for Mr. Cotton, the politician for whom hes organizing a support group, and hopefully gaining many votes in their favor.
Henry fails to heed his mothers warnings about supporting a man who is so overtly racist in the name of power and financial gain, and as a result, he is confronted by the apparition of the little boy who was beaten to death in the 1955 timeline none other than Emmett Till, a real life victim of skin based hatred. Fourteen-year-old Till was infamously murdered by a gang of white men during the 1950s after he whistled at a white woman, and his mother responded with an open casket at his funeral to show the world the injustice that had been committed. Most historians would argue that this moment helped spark the Civil Rights Movement, ultimately paving the way for voting rights and equal treatment for African Americans across the board. As the ghost of Till stands in Henrys front yard, questioning his morals for supporting such an evil man, he gives the traitor two choices: either step down as the campaign manager for Mr. Cotton, or bear the repercussions of history becoming undone in the name of cowardice. Henry must make a sacrifice, just as Emmett did years ago, or else all of the fighting the men who came before him carried out will have been in vain.
Tales from the Hood 2 provides examples of:
- 20 Minutes into the Future: The "Robo Hell" Framing Device is a set at some unspecified point in the near future, where Mr. Beach is preparing to launch a line of robots featuring artificial intelligence capable of self-learning.
- Accomplice by Inaction: The Robo Patriot judges Mr. Beach's two aides to be just as guilty for their complicity in his crimes, as neither of them ever objected to his behavior.
- Asshole Victim: Present in every segment except "The Sacrifice".
- "Robo Hell" has Dumass Beach, whose antics are described below.
- "Good Golly" has pretty much all the teens, who break into the "Museum of Negrosity" after the owner refuses to sell the titular Golliwog to Aubrey.
- "The Medium" has a Phony Psychic get hijacked by a generous former pimp's soul, and eventually kill a trio of robbers who were holding a woman hostage.
- "Date Night" features a duo who not only lie about who they are in an attempt to pull a Casting Couch, but also drug their dates to make it even easier.
- Black Best Friend: Practically name-dropped in "Good Golly".
- Black Is Bigger in Bed: Alluded to in "The Medium", as the robbers try pointing out that they did Cliff a favor by killing him, as he now inhabits the body of a rich white guy. His counterargument is that it doesn't outweigh the loss of his bigger dick.
- Casual Kink: Zoe and Philip engage in some literal Master/Slave roleplay when breaking into the "Museum of Negrosity", dirty-talking to each other as he holds a whip and she holds onto a literal whipping post.
- Category Traitor: Councilman Henry Bradley, a Republican who is pushing for closing down polling stations in largely black (Democratic) neighborhoods in exchange for the returned endorsement of the Republican running for Governor, as he has aspirations to become Mayor. This leads to Emmett Till deciding that his martyrdom was a Senseless Sacrifice, so he'd simply apologize to the white men for flirting with a white woman, rather than suffer his fatal beating at their hands for refusing to do so.
- Chestburster: Audrey suffers Death by Childbirth when dozens of golliwog dolls rip their way out of her abdomen.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Dumass Beach, who wants Mr. Simms to tell the police robot stories of crimes so it knows better which people should go to jail.
- Death by Childbirth: Happens to Audrey, although her death is a trifle more...explosive than most examples of this trope. Be warned if your midwife starts hanging plastic sheeting around your bed...
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: Audrey is impregnated by Golly Gee and then suffers a Death by Childbirth as the offspring rip their way out of her abdomen Chestburster-style.
- Fat, Sweaty Southerner in a White Suit: Minus the fat and sweaty parts, but William Cotton sports one, and jokes about how Henry would have been serving the party in the good ol' days, rather than hosting it.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: For a given value of "friendly", but the vampiresses in "Date Night" do their best to target only the worst offenders they can ensnare.
- For Want of a Nail: Pretty much the crux of "The Sacrifice". The old man explains to Henry that if Emmett Till chooses to live instead of die then his sacrifice will never occur and the civil rights movement will not progress to the point where Henry has a choice at all.
- Gone Horribly Right: In "The Medium", the gangbangers want Phony Psychic John Lloyd to contact the spirit of dead pimp Cliff Bettis. John Succeeds, but perhaps the gangbangers should have pondered the wisdom of contacting the spirit of a man they murdered...
- Gutted Like a Fish: In "Good Golly", Golly Gee kill Philip by disembowelling him with a bullwhip.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: In "Good Golly", Zoe gets cut in half by a rapidly descending door—shaped like a set of teeth—in the museum.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Dumass Beach is killed by his the Robo-Patriot robot he intends to become America's police force when he detects him to be a clear and present danger to America's future.
- Implausible Deniability: Councilman Bradley insists that he's merely trying to disenfranchise Democratic voters, not black ones - his family points out that in this situation, it's a Distinction Without a Difference.
- Innocently Insensitive: Aubrey doesn't see anything wrong with wanting to own Golliwogs despite their blatantly racist origins, feeling she should get a pass because she has a Black Best Friend and wasn't aware of their history.
- It Is Pronounced Tro Pay: Corrupt Corporate Executive Dumass Beach pronounces his name 'DUE-mahs Beach'. The Robo-Patriot robot keeps calling him "Dumbass Bitch".
- Law Enforcement, Inc.: Dumass Beach runs a series of private prison, and looking to create a force of robots to allow him to take over all law enforcement activities in the US.
- Living Toys: In "Good Golly", a golliwog comes to life (and grows to human size) to teach some racially insensitive teenagers a lesson.
- Missing Reflection: In "Date Night", the vampire girls don't show up in the camera being used to film them. Their clothes, however, do.
- Mythology Gag: The main doll from the "KKK Comeuppance" story of the first movie makes an appearance in "Good Golly."
- Neck Snap: After possessing John in "The Medium", Cliff uses his telekinetic powers to snap the neck of one of the gangbangers: twisting his almost 180 degrees.
- Phony Psychic: In "The Medium", TV psychic John Lloyd records the chatter among his audience members before the show and uses the notes provided by his staff to present the illusion of psychic abilities.
- Police Brutality: In the changed reality Henry finds himself in in "The Sacrifice", the Klan Patrol have no reservations about beating to death a black man they think raped a white woman.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Mr. Beach. He hits on his subordinates (who quietly accept the sexual harassment), believes rapists should pay heavily, but still maintains a "boys will be boys" attitude, talks about how Simms' "people" have a predilection for crime, and even calls Mr. Simms the N-word in the closing segment.
- Similarly reflected with Mr. Cotton, the Republican gubernatorial candidate who jokes about how Henry would have been serving the party instead of hosting it in the good old days.
- Private Profit Prison: Mr. Beach's bread-and-butter is this, which is why he wants to create a robotic police force - to make it easier to jail people quickly.
- Punny Name: The aforementioned Mr. Dumass Beach - the Robo Patriot even pronounces it as "Dumb Ass Bitch" at the end.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: So much so that the vampiresses of "Date Night" exclusively target online predators to drink from.
- Ripped from the Headlines: Most of the segments involve some hot-button political issue that has emerged since the first movie was made.
- "Good Golly": reflects the controversy over the continued use of images and ideas with racist origins (e.g. the Confederate Flag).
- "Date Night" deals with sexual predation, especially in the age of online dating.
- "The Sacrifice" invokes Emmett Till (whose memorial sign is still being vandalized) to shame a Republican Category Traitor for not honoring that sacrifice, and instead aiding the continued disenfranchisement of black (Democrat!) voters.
- As for the Framing Device, Dumass Beach may as well have been called Tonald Drump for all the subtlety he had by the end of the movie.
- Slipping a Mickey: In "Date Night", Ty and Kahad drug their dates and carry their unconscious bodies upstairs, planning to film and rape them.
- Whip It Good: In "Good Golly", Golly Gee whips Philip to death; disemboweling him with a bullwhip.
- Womb Horror: In "Good Golly", Audrey tells Golly Gee that she loves him and expresses her desire to simply stay with him. Months later, Audrey is ready to give birth and tells the owner of the museum that she wishes to go to a hospital for the delivery for the sake of the child but the owner says that he would not be able to explain the situation. Multiple golliwog dolls then burst out of her stomach. As more Gollys are born, Audrey dies.