Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Tales from the Hood (1995)

Tom:
Tales from the Hood,1995,USA
Director: Rusty Cundieff
Stars: Lamont Bently, Corbin Bernsen & Clarence Williams III
Newton: Damn it, man, this is no time to panic!
Strom: Then when the FUCK do we begin to panic?

I was ready and excited to watch 'Holy Motors' I began the film, only to realize my English subtitles did not work, in disarray and disappointment I stopped the film, I searched my hardrive for another film to watch, finally coming across 'Tales from the Hood' a film I have started watching many times but have never made it past the ten minute mark, today was the day I was going to complete this film!

As you may be able to tell from the title, this film is a Horror anthology revolving around African- American citizens, an obvious take on 'Tales from the Crypt'. The film is centered around three drug dealers who attempt some supply from an eccentric funeral house director, who tells the dealers of four gruesome and terrifying tales of terror (from the hood!)

I was expecting this film to be a full blown Horror-Comedy, but to my surprise it was more of a serious statement on racism, which shouldn't really comes as a surprise seeing as its produced by Spike Lee. The film was pretty effective in its own right, some segments really hit the nail on the head when it comes to racism. Some segments have dated very poorly and just comes off as more amusing than terrifying when its obviously intended to be. 

I'm not racist in the slightest, but this film makes you feel pretty horrible for being white, at times it can feel more like a vehicle of propaganda then a fully fledged film that everyone can enjoy. I despise the idea of racism and I don't need a horror anthology to inform me of this.

Also the film is the subject of a misleading title, couldn't they have thought up a better title than 'Tales from the Hood'? I know its a reference to 'Tales from the crypt' but come on! people could get this confused with 'Leprechaun: In the Hood'.

The film opens with a segment titled 'Rogue Cop Revelation' about a rookie cop who witnesses the beating of a City councilman and black rights activist who stands up against corrupt policeman, Decent segment that features the message of karma.

Secondly is 'Boys do get bruised', we have probably the best segment of the film in my opinion, a new child arrives at school and his teacher discovers bruising on him, which the child claims came from a monster. Its really a symbolic and frightening realistic (I use the term lightly) tale, that is well executed and decently performed.

Next is 'KKK Comeuppance', Which features obligatory KKK themes, revolved around a former member running for the senate, his wicked past comes back to haunt him though. This segment is weak and way to cheesy.

Finally we have 'Hard-Core Convert', A African- American murder is sent to prison to repent his sins. Easily my least favorite segment of the film, very over the top and preachy.

'Tales from the hood' was a surprisingly serious statement on racism, but unfortunately it was far too preachy and over the top for it to be very effective. In my opinion, there is no need to go back and search this one out, go watch 'Do the right Thing' instead, that's a great film,this is a below average one.

Quick Rate of the segments:

- Rouge Cop Revolution **1/2
- Boys do get bruised ***
- KKK Comeuppance *1/2
- Hard - Core Convert *

Overall: **

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