Four short, moralistic horror vignettes (a la EC Comics) that deal with mostly black characters. The framing story introduces three youths out to pick up a drug shipment at a funeral parlor from the strange director, Mr. Simms. As the three punks wind their way through the parlor, Mr. Simms tells them the last stories of some of his more interesting clients. Written by
Renee Ann Byrd <email@example.com>
Mediocre horror anthology film with one excellent tale
Tales From the Hood, another horror anthology film dripping with EC comics-style ghoulishness, strings together four stories told by a wild-haired, macabre funeral director (Clarence Williams III) to a trio of gangbangers seeking their missing drug stash in a mortuary. Virtually all of the tales are familiar -- walking corpses and voodoo dolls are staples of the format -- but director Rusty Cundieff makes every effort to inject the proceedings with social morality. Child abuse, racism, and police brutality each get a pretty heavy-handed treatment, but the last story, involving a voluntary "behavior modification" technique for an unrepentant killer (ala A Clockwork Orange) explodes off the screen. In the film's most powerful sequence, Cundieff serves up a quickly cut montage of unsettling images culled from a number of state historical archives depicting vicious, stomach-churning lynchings meant to deter the rapacious young killer from wanting to harm any more people. It's potent stuff, and makes one wish the rest of the film had this kind of intensity.
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