Tales From the Hood (1995)
Directed by Rusty Cundieff

Starring Clarence Williams III De'aundre Bonds Joe Torry Samuel Monroe Jr. Wings Hauser

One of the better horror films of the 1990s—and one of the last 30 years—director Cundieff's homage to both "Tales From the Crypt" and "Boyz N the Hood" is a powerful mix of political anger, dark comedy and raw fear.

Cundieff cleverly uses the anthology horror film format to skewer everyone he feels is responsible for the plight of African Americans today—from blacks who choose to work with the system to racist cops to David Duke-like southern politicians to gang members who "murder their brothers."

In the opening tale, an African American who has just joined the racist L.A. police force is faced with a moral crisis when his fellow police officers murder and planet drugs on a black political leader. Quitting the force and becoming an alcoholic doesn't prevent his dilemma from following him, even from beyond the grave.

In a later story, a racist southern politician who does battle with killer dolls crafted by a slave who once resided in his mansion. "Little nigglings!" he shouts at the dolls, who kill a black man serving as his highly paid political adviser.

The highlight of the film is the tale of a gang member who is sent to a government rehabilitation facility, not unlike the one depicted in Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange," where he's shown all the violence inflicted on African Americans throughout this nation's history.

The tales are all being told to a trio of gang members who have shown up at a funeral home looking for a drug stash they believe is hidden there. The end of the film—although predictable—is the best part of the movie.

This is a kick-ass horror film. Not to be missed at any cost.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore


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