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 GollyBest friends Zoe and Audrey take a trip inside the “Museum of Negrosity”, where 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. The museum's collection includes a giant, exaggerated character of color on the wall whose mouth serves as a doorway, a ‘children’s 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 a golliwog known as "Golly Gee".
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 isn’t offensive simply because she grew up with one in her household. Still, the curator 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. When the doll comes to life and grows to human size, Audrey's decision becomes one she’ll regret the rest of her life – which, to be fair, isn’t much longer.
The MediumThree hardened gangsters are beating a man to death in the privacy of a private parking garage as he sits bound to a chair, but he still won’t tell them where his money is. The man in the chair, Cliff Bettis, used to be a notorious pimp back in his prime, but that world is behind him now. All he wants to do is take his five million dollar fortune and use it for establish workplaces, schools, and charitable organization to improve the lives of the next generation. 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 known TV psychic John Lloyd’s (Bryan Batt) house and hold him hostage until he agrees to host a séance and help them channel Cliff to finally figure out where he’s hiding the bounty. Unfortunately, their plans go askew when Cliff does enter the medium’s body and refuses to leave, answer their questions, or do anything but return the favor they bestowed upon him when they decided that greed and power were 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, but 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 turn into vampires and bite back – both literally and figuratively.
The SacrificeIn the year 1955, two white men pick up two young African Americans, drive them to an isolated location, and viciously assault them. In the present day, an African American councilman named Henry Bradley and his white wife Emily, who has become crazed with pregnancy blues, hears Emily claim 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 William Cotton, the politician for whom he’s organizing a support group, and hopefully gaining many votes in their favor.
Henry fails to heed his mother’s 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 – 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 had spoken to 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 country. As the ghost of Till stands in Henry’s front yard, questioning his morals for supporting a man who wishes to take away what he died for, 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.
Followed by Tales from the Hood 3 in 2020.
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. Their racism and greed also couldn’t have helped.
- Affably Evil: Mr. Simms, who still has something up his sleeve, but is still disarmingly charming and likeable.
- 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 and were responsible for the murder of said former pimp.
- "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.
- Biblical Motifs: The Sacrifice has some similarities as the legend of Saint Peter, which involved st. Peter fleeing Rome to avoid persecution for being a Christian under the law of Emperor Nero. After fleeing Rome, st. Peter sees a vision of Jesus Christ and asks "Domine quo vadis?" (meaning "Lord, where are you going?") to which Jesus responds by saying that he is returning to Rome to be crucified again (Peter is dishonouring his sacrifice by abandoning his faith), which makes Peter return to Rome so he may carry out his faith despite the fear of execution. In The Sacrifice, Henry Bradley is seen as a coward for siding with William Cotton, a racist politician who is damaging the black districts. This act of cowardice causes Emmett Till to undo his own death (which in turn prevented future acts for the Civil Rights Movement) because Henry is dishonouring Emmett Till's sacrifice for the greater good. The damage is only undone when Henry sacrifices himself for the cause.
- 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.
- Black Republican: In "The Sacrifice", black councilman Henry Bradley is a Republican. His mother regards him as a Category Traitor for supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate William Cotton, who is targeting voting locations in predominantly black districts for closure.
- 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...
- Even Evil Has Standards: Mr. Simms, the Devil himself, is disgusted at Dumass Beach's behavior and crimes that he manipulates him into an early end just to minimize the damage he can do.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Gone Horribly Right: In "The Medium", the gangbangers want Phony Psychic John Lloyd to contact the spirit of dead pimp Cliff Bettis, as he died before they could learn where he'd stashed his cash. 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 kills Philip by disemboweling 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.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Henry in "The Sacrifice", though it takes some doing for him to finally get to that point.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Dumass Beach is killed by 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.
- Home Porn Movie: In "Date Night", Asshole Victims Ty and Kahad drug their intended victims set up their tripod to film their latest conquests, an act which, judging by their casual ritualistic routine, has happened many times before.
- 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 Token Black Friend and wasn't aware of their history.
- The Klan: In the For Want of a Nail alternate timeline Henry creates in "The Sacrifice", William Cotton leads a group called the Klan Patrol: an updated version of the slave patrols that existed in the antebellum south, who dress in KKK robes and operate with the full sanction of the law. Cotton and his men beat Mama Bradley and attempt to abduct Henry.
- Large Ham: Keith David dines on the scenery as Mr. Simms.
- Law Enforcement, Inc.: Dumass Beach runs a series of private prisons, and is 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's "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, Aunt Jemima, and Uncle Ben).
- "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.
- Welcome to Hell: In a very similar (and literal) variant as the original, Mr. Simms reveals that Dumass Beach was fatally wounded by the Robo-Patriot and is now in Hell in the hammiest and most epic way possible.Mr. Simms: WELCOME TO HELL, MOTHERFUCKER! AHAHAHA! AHAHAHAHA!
- 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.