Tales from the Hood (1995) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
59 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
7/10
Surprisingly Good
ReelCheese8 September 2006
An eccentric funeral director shares four tales of horror from an African American perspective with three young thugs. The first involves a man who exacts his revenge from beyond the grave after being murdered by crooked cops. The next tells of a boy alleged torment at the hands of a monster may not be tall tales. A white supremacist politician haunted by forces of injustices past highlights the third story, while the fourth focuses on a gangbanger undergoing frightening behavior modification.

TALES FROM THE HOOD benefits enormously from solid writing and an entertaining pace. With a running time of under 100 minutes, director Rusty Cundieff does an admirable job of cramming everything he's got into each vignette. Few of us have the stomach for a horror movie with a message, but this is one that succeeds. It has things to say about racism in our society and says them in ways in which they've never been said before. Though definitely not for all tastes, TALES FROM THE HOOD is a surprisingly solid horror anthology.

* *Cast Note: Clarence Williams III, who plays the funeral director, is best known as Linc from THE MOD SQUAD television series.
23 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Mediocre horror anthology film with one excellent tale
pooch-828 June 1999
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.
19 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
One of the better horror anthologies
krachtm9 September 2011
Yes, it's flawed, and it's cheesy, and it's over-the-top. It's equal parts clever satire, straight-up homage, and occasionally even a parody. There are many horror, exploitation, and black humor elements sprinkled throughout the movie. I just can't understand why this movie isn't beloved by more people. Maybe it's because the cast is mostly black, and the stories revolve around inner city, black youth? Well, as a white guy from the suburbs, I absolutely loved this movie. It's flawed, of course, but when it works, it works better than most other movies of this type.

If you're not familiar with it, this is a horror anthology highly influenced by Tales from the Crypt, an old 50s horror comic book series that birthed several spin-off movies and an influential TV series. It also takes ample inspiration from the Twilight Zone, Tales from the Dark Side, and Creepshow franchises. If you're a fan of any of these, I'd have to highly recommend Tales from the Hood, especially if you're also into Blaxploitation, from which it also takes some inspiration.

In the time honored tradition of horror/exploitation movies everywhere, the guilty are punished with gory deaths and lessons are learned (frequently too late). Is it preachy, didactic social satire? Perhaps, at times. But it's also entertaining as hell. It has a great cast, some really cheesy, over-top-the-top acting, and was produced by Spike Lee. For me, that makes it almost required viewing.
11 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
"Horror" is not the right word here folks
dee.reid7 April 2002
"Tales from the Hood" centers around three drug-dealing youths. The movie opens up with the three of them walking up to a funeral home run by a creepy mortician named Simms(Clarence Williams III). They are at the funeral home to pick up a stash of drugs. Instead of getting right down to business, Simms entertains the three men with some rather grisly stories.

In the first story, "Rogue Cop Revelation", three white, racist cops murder a black politician; all the while a black police officer is watching the entire thing. The black officer is then told that if he opens his mouth, he will join the politician. A year later, the politician from beyond the grave contacts the officer so he can get revenge on the cops who killed him.

In the second story, "Boys Do Get Bruised", as some people have claimed, is an interesting twist right out of "The Twilight Zone". A new boy at a school shows up the first day with a bunch of bruises on his arm. His teacher begins to get very concerned about this. The boy tells the teacher he got the bruises from the "monster" that lives in his house.

In the third story, "KKK Comeuppance", a former Ku Klux Klansman-turned-politician moves into a mansion that was once the sight of a horrible slave massacre that occurred around the end of the Civil War. There is a lot of distrust towards him, because of his shady history. He is told by many of the protesters that a bunch of voodoo dolls, which are inhabited by the souls of the murdered slaves, are still on the mansion grounds. The politician shrugs all of this off as just local superstition, until his assistant (who might I add is black) dies mysteriously. Soon it becomes clear that the politician is not alone in his brand new house.

In the fourth story, "Hard Core Convert", a gangster is arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. Some years after being sent to prison, he's offered a chance to be released, if he agrees to be a participant in a brand new experiment. It is here that elements of "A Clockwork Orange" begin to come into play.

Being African-American myself I feel "Tales from the Hood" is one of the most important "horror" films to come out of the nineties. I really like the fact that all though most of these stories are fiction, they all are based on reality and have many issues surrounding the African-American community that need to be addressed. Issues such as police brutality, child abuse, racism, and black-on-black crime are all brought to light here. I admit that although the horror elements of the movie are a bit cheesy, it does get its message across without much trouble. The stories themselves, while they aren't too original, are very well written.

The first segment, which may be the weakest of the four stories, has one of the more important issues, which is police brutality. The idea is sooner or later, the cops would get their comeuppance. You see the three white officers probably still would not have been proved guilty, even if the black officer had said something. Surprisingly, the black officer is not spared from the dead politician's wrath.

The second story is probably the one that I find the most ironic. This story proves that monsters do exist in real life, although they may not always be in the form of what we've come to expect.

The third story is probably the mediocre of the bunch. This story gives a new meaning "reparations". It also shows us that racism really is ugly and that sooner or later, somebody in the present is going to pay for someone else's past evil deeds.

The fourth story will prove to be the most important as it revolves around the topic of black-on-black crime. The main character of this story is an uncaring and unsympathetic young man who would kill everyone on Earth given the chance. The best example of this is during the sensory deprivation scene where he begins seeing hallucinations of all the people he's killed. It also shows when innocent people are caught in the crossfire. The scariest part of this whole movie takes place during this segment of the film. It is in the part where the main character is sitting in the cage before his treatment and he starts a conversation with the man sitting beside him. The man as we quickly see, is a white supremacist. The man then begins talking about how the gangbangers are always killing each other off, thus helping along his theory of "cleansing". What makes this so scary is that it is true and that nothing is being done about it. The issue of gang violence is something that really needs to be addressed.

"Tales from the Hood" is a very good movie no doubt, despite its flaws. But you need to watch this movie, not expecting a horror film, but a very important social studies lesson.
40 out of 57 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Underrated
LostHighway10129 August 2007
"This ain't no funeral parlor. This ain't the terrordome. Welcome to HELL mothaf*#%@!" In not too many words I want to express my respect for one of the most underrated horror movies of the 90s. Like The Twilight Zone it is a segmented film (although all directed by Rusty Cundieff) that spans across a good variety of horror genres. The real horrorshow here, though, is the domestic/racial issues against the black community. Cleverly (and without being preachy or offensive to white people), Cundieff disguised his agenda with rich characters and a bone chilling conclusion.

The HIGHPOINT of this movie for me is the film's proverbial ringleader- a funeral parlor director. The man, brilliantly and hilariously underplayed by a bug-eyed Clarence Williams III, finds a stack of drugs he wants to sell to three young hoods. As you watch you begin to wonder what eerie agenda he really has in store. These scenes tie all the vignettes together.

Also, the final segment is a very profound statement on gang violence (although beware, this is the preachiest segment). I like to call it A Clockwork Black because it applies Anthony Burgress's idea of reversing violence onto the offender onto a gang leader called Krazy K. Those K's in his name aren't a mistake either! Cundieff underlines a necessary argument about between black-on-black violence by comparing K to a neo nazi.

Like any memorable work of horror, Tales remembers to keep its monsters metaphorical. Police brutality, domestic violence, racial profiling, and gang violence are the most hideous creatures found here. I complement Rusty Cundieff on a job well done there. Excessive campiness and at-times generic camera work keep this from being great, but nothing stops its relevance in the genre.

STAR RATING: *** out of 4.
16 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Surprisingly great movie!
whoTheFuqRyou12 April 2003
Not really scary of a movie, but this movie really did serve a good purpose. I noticed that the four stories in this movie touched on four topics in today's society: Domestic Violence(David Alan Grier, Brandon Hammond, Paul Jai Parker, Rusty Cundieff), Police Brutality(Anthony Griffith, Tom Wright, Michael Massee), Racism(Corbin Bernsen, Art Evans, Roger Guenveur Smith) and Black-on-black crime(Lamont Bentley, Joe Torry, De'Aundre Bonds, Samuel Monroe Jr., Ricky Harris). There is basically a message in all of them but the 4th story in this film was probably the best one. Not an unpredictable movie but not at all bad, and the ending was fantastic as well...
11 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A superb mid-90's horror anthology tale with macabre humor and confronting topics
Vomitron_G16 August 2010
I had to wait more than 10 years to finally see this one. Not one single copy seemed to be available over here in Europe. That was until 2007, when I finally got my hands on a Region 1 DVD copy.

If you like anthology movies, then you have no excuse for not seeing this one. One of the best anthology movies of the 90's (it's up there with "Tales From The Dark Side: The Movie" and "Necronomicon", if you ask me). And probably the best horror movie from the hood with a nearly all Afro-American cast ever made (because I can't really say I've ever seen a ghetto-horror flick that was actually any good). Three hood-rats, out to collect some 'shiiit', visit a freaky coroner who tells them 4 terrifying tales of the supernatural.

The first tale is about three corrupt white cops who had it coming... Wings Hauser is especially enjoyable in this one. He already evoked my interest at the time after having seen his enjoyable performance in "Night Shadows" (AKA "Mutant"). And by know I simply love the man. Second story is about a boy and his bruises, which are being caused by... a monster supposedly living in his house. Great and fascinating conclusion this one had. The third tale has some killer-puppet action going on in it of which Charles Band could easily be very jealous. Corbin"The Dentist"Bernsen stars in this segment that revolves around voodoo and slavery. The fourth and last segment gives a big nod to Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange". Enough said about that one. The wrap-around story wraps it all up nicely, and has a very satisfying conclusion.

"Tales From The Hood" is actually more than 'just a horror movie'. With Spike Lee being executive producer, you can rightfully expect that this movie will carry important themes & topics like racism, politics, police brutality, guilt, child abuse, brothers killing brothers, etc. The message always comes across, but possible statements & points of view never become too dominant. This film's primary goal is to entertain a horror audience. And it splendidly succeeds in that. The filmmakers also clearly know the rules of the horror-anthology-genre as well as the tricks of the trade, all to great success. Need I even say that the make-up and special effects are darn excellent too? The tales from this hood, are all winners.
8 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Hoodwinked
sol12187 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** In "The Hood" three homeboys Stack Ball & Bulldog are mysteriously drawn to the Simms Funeral Home to get their hands on a stash of, what they call illegal drugs in gangster jive, "The Sh*t" thats supposedly hidden there.

Forcing their way in they get the owner of the place the mortician Mr. Simms to take them where "The Sh*t" is threatening to murder him if he doesn't do "business" with them and lead them to it. Mr. Simms, who's new in the business of drug selling and who's also a bit weird and screwy but, for some strange reason, seems to show no fear at all of these dangerous hoodlums! Who are all armed with handguns and ready to use them in an instant.

Simms tells the homeboys that they'll get "The Sh*t" all right in fact by the time the night is over they'll be knee deep in "The Sh*t". But before he takes them to where " The Sh*t" is he's got a few nice little stories to tell them about some of the stiffs, that are now being prepared for burial in his funeral home, stories that he calls "Tales from the Hood".

The first tale that Simms tells the hoodlums is about a former black cop Clarence who went insane from guilt in not doing anything to save the life of a popular black community activist Martin Moorehouse when he was brutally beaten and then shot up with drugs, that caused him to die from an overdose, by three of his fellow cops. Clarence ended up murdering the three criminally-corrupt policemen on the one year anniversary of Moorehouses murder and then lost his mind and later his life.

The next Tale from "The Hood" is about little Walter who's dad Mr. Johnson constantly and brutally beats him and his mom to a pulp for the slightest reason. Back in school a bully who also beat up Walter had for some strange reason both his arms and legs broken when Walter drew a picture of him and then crushed it. Having his teacher Mr. Garvy go to see Mr. Johnson about Walter's fears of going home Mr. Johnson shows up and, true to his nature, starts to attack the teacher as well as Walter and his mom. The brutal and mindless Mr. Johnson soon ends up broken to pieces and burned to a crisp by Walter doing the same thing to him like he did back in school to the bully with his strange and destructive powers.

The third "Tale from the Hood" has to do with this racist politician Duke Metger who bought this old southern plantation, that he'll run his campaign out of, where the owner had all his slaves slaughtered just before they were to be set free by the Union Army after the Civil War. Stirring from their graves the souls of the murdered slaves came to life by taking over a number of voodoo dolls buried in the mansion who then vengefully and ferociously do the arrogant Metger in.

And finally the last "Tale from the Hood" is about local homeboy gang-banger Crazy K which seemed to strike a cord with the three thugs. Crazy K was brutally shot down in the streets by his fellow homeboys who he was at war with over the control of the already mentioned "Sh*t" that killed so many in "The Hood", like black atavist Moorehouse, over the years. The story about Crazy K really shook up the three who it turned out where the one's who did in the vicious and unrepentant Crazy K. Now with all the tales and stories from "The Hood" finished Mr. Simms takes the three hoods, who by now are getting very inpatient with him, down to the cellar to get the valuable "Sh*t" all for themselves. And they do get "The Sh*t" but it's not "The Sh*t" that they expected! And worst of all Mr. Simms didn't turn out to be the wacky harmless and non-offensive eccentric that they thought that he was! But "The Sh*t" and the person-Mr. Simms- who took them to it turned out to be their, the three homeboys, worst darkest and most terrifying nightmare! A nightmare that dwarfs anything that they could have ever imagine in their wildest drug-induced hallucinations to be really "Bad" in "The Hood" or for that matter anywhere else!
8 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
parts are greater than the whole
Special-K8814 March 2002
An interesting, at times totally innovative take on the horror film genre. Three young black hoodlums go to a funeral home where a bizarre mortician (an eerie Williams) takes them on a tour and shares four terrifyingly twisted ghost stories. The first involving corrupt cops is routine and obvious; the second is a unique take on child abuse that is creative and fairly creepy; the third involving vengeful voodoo dolls is at times shocking, at times corny, but eerie and crafty in its own right; the fourth about gang violence and rehabilitation is highly imaginative and something to marvel at; the film's unique amalgam of horror and social commentary isn't always on target, but the special effects are convincing, and the performances rock solid, making this a fairly impressive showing for all those involved. **½
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Well Done!!!
I loved this movie. I am a big fan of the whole "tales" type of movies and i thought that this film had a great way of taking four horror stories and giving them an urban twist. Clarence Williams III is hillarious and spooky as mortician Simms and David Alen Grier who is mostly known for his comedic talents gives a frightful performance as an abusive stepfather. Of the 4 tales told int the film i mostly enjoyed "Boys Do Get Bruises" which offered an interesting way of dealing with child abusive by showing how a "monster" doesn't necesarily look like one. The other story i enjoyed was the final one: "Hard Core Covert" which gives an eerie look at racial and gang related violence. The other two stories which mostly dealed with racism and corruptness were good although predictable and kind of slow but were still entertaining. A somewhat suprise ending was well done and this remains as one of the best horror films of the "teen slasher" filled 90's genre. FINAL RATING: ****/*****
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
crap on a stick
evilution7318 September 2005
I guess since I am a white male from the South my views will not be posted. I love horror films, and always have. This movie makes every white guy in existence a bigot/racist, but would that not be the view of this director. I say it is. All indications aside the movie is not well written or acted except for Clarence Williams III. A superb actor in my reckoning. I make no support for the Klan or for racism, but this flick speaks of it in leaps and bounds from the other side of the fence. If this is a cry for help my only guess is that they needed some good actors and a lot better budget. Again I don't expect my opinion to be posted nor allowed to make further postings even though it is my right, and the only film i have ever felt this way about.

Proud from the South
8 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
More than just a Black Tales from the Crypt
chvylvr8014 October 2003
At first glance Tales from the Hood is very similar to Tales from the Crypt. They just put a black culture spin on the stories. There is more to the movie than that though. Although there is some run of the mill plots to some of the stories, others show a surprising amount of originality and creativity. The stories vary in quality.

The first story concerning a murdered black activist rising from the grave is boring and hardly original. It's not scary either and the makeup is some of the worst I've ever seen. It's like they bought their supplies at Rite Aid. The second story about a boy that suffers abuse is a lot more original but not what you would call scary. It does feature David Alan Grier in a role that he was surprisingly good in. The writer and director Rusty Cundieff plays a concerned teacher in this story. The third story shows Corbin Bernsen as a racist politician who gets what's coming to him. This story is the most eerie and shows the most imagination. The last story is not scary but shows what can happen when you lead a life of evil and submit to experimental re-education.

The story is narrated throughout by Clarence Williams III, obviously having lots of fun. I was surprised that this film received so few votes, it must not be too well known. Bottom Line: If you haven't seen this yet then check it out. It is decent horror even by the horrible standards the film set itself up for by being named Tales from the Hood.
8 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
your own private mortality
lee_eisenberg9 August 2011
A tribute to movies like "Dr. Terror's House of Horrors" and "Tales from the Crypt", "Tales from the Hood" presents some horror vignettes centering on life in the black ghetto. Some drug dealers go to a funeral home to pick up their "s**t", only to have the eccentric owner (Clarence Williams III) tell them about the fates of some recent customers...with a twist at the end. At once a fun horror flick and also warning about getting mixed up with the wrong people, this is a cool one. A particular scene in the fourth vignette appears to be a tribute to "A Clockwork Orange". All in all, a real credit for director Rusty Cundieff and executive producer Spike Lee.

Featuring Tom Wright (the hitchhiker in "Creepshow 2"), David Alan Grier, Corbin Bernsen and Rosalind Cash (in her final role).
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Impressive.
Hastur15 August 2000
A collection of four vignettes that while telling moral tales, do so without being trite or heavy handed. This was an excellent film that did not get the chance it deserved.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Dousing Racial Fires With Gasoline
ccthemovieman-13 June 2007
This is four short movies-in-one: four "tales,"' so to speak. I liked the first three when I first watched this back in the mid 1990s. I did not like the fourth story. The "good" is that the stories are basically interesting and feature good sound and neat visuals. The "bad" is that they are racially-motivated and very slanted. If the roles were reserved in here - blacks and whites - people would have screamed "racism." It's the typical double standard we have seen for awhile. Imagine if all the black people were villains and all the white people the good guys? That's what you have here in reverse.

Even on the IMDb plot line, it says the stories are "with an African American focus." Excuse me?? What if it said, "made with a Caucasion American focus? Come on, folks - stop the double-speak.

Another negative is the extreme profanity, including blasphemy. Why I am not surprised that Spike Lee had a hand in this movie?? Those negatives sound like a typical film made by him.

I really liked Clarence Williams III as the funeral parlor director spinning these stories. I thought he was consistently the best character. The punks listening to him were the worst.

All four stores are horror ones and have different casts in them. All the villains were white racists. Do you think these stories help race relations, or inflame them?
12 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
There's nothing fun about this
utgard1416 July 2014
Horror anthology movie directed by Rusty Cundieff and produced by Spike Lee. Features four stories plus a framing story that ties it all together. The first story is about a rookie black cop who knows three white cops killed a black politician but doesn't say anything. He's then compelled by the spirit of the politician to bring the murderers to his grave. The second story's about a little boy who shows up to school with bruises he claims he got from a monster in his home. The third story is about a doll terrorizing a former Ku Klux Klansmen running for office. The fourth story is about a killer who agrees to participate in a behavioral modification program in order to get early release from prison. The framing story sees three gangbangers visit a funeral home where they intend to buy some drugs from the eccentric mortician (Clarence Williams III). If you've seen any horror anthology movies before, you'll easily predict how this turns out. Violent, profane, and ugly. The much-ballyhooed social commentary is obvious and insulting. None of the stories are fresh and you'll probably feel the need to bathe after watching this.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Not a "horror' movie, a call the the problems facing American society...
Miss_MiChiMi5 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie for the first time as a teenager. I thought this was going to a be a "black" version of Creepshow of Tales From the Crypt. It wasn't. This movie opened peoples eyes to "horrors" that plague Americans every day. The movie touched upon domestic abuse and the psychological effects it can have upon a child who experiences it or witnesses it. Police brutality and the "brotherhood" that calls for cops to cover each other made for a great story. The intolerance against those who vocalize the wrongs plaguing today's society is a part of that same "phase" in the movie.

The one part of the movie that affected me the most was the gang banging episode. Joe Torry is a gang banger out for the almighty dollar and couldn't care less about who he hurts to get it. When he is shown what his actions are perpetuating, the images are haunting and get anyone's attention.

The movie has it's share of gore, but uses horror to show viewers that the sociological, economical, and racial problems in this country are more horrifying than any idea a writer can produce.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Two out of five....
Wizard-828 February 1999
Out of the five (including the wrap-around) stories in this movie, only two work. Both are excellent.

The wrap-around story actually is okay, but its punchline isn't really surprising or anything. Clarence Williams is a hoot to watch, though

The first real story, involving racist cops, is lamely written and directed. You KNOW what's going to happen before it does. It even rips off a gag from the movie DEAD ALIVE

The second story is a little predictable, but it's well-executed and manages to be creepy. You'll discover what a REAL monster in a closet is like...

The third story plays like an episode from "The Twilight Zone". It's okay, but not surprising. And most viewers will have seen something like it before.

The last story is the best. Kind of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE for the 90s, it involves a gang member going through a new kind of rehabilitation. Very intense, and with a pow of an ending.

Bottom line: Not quite enough for a rental (unless it's 99 cent day at your video store)...but if it's on cable, it might be worth a look for lovers of these multi-story movies.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Is this supposed to be a horror movie?
preppy-315 July 2005
Weak anthology black "horror" film. It has three urban youths being told a bunch of purportedly "horrifying" tales by a creepy funeral director (Clarence Williams III).

The first deals with a black police officer who does not stop his white cop friends from beating a black man to death. The guy comes back to extract revenge.

The second deals with child abuse. Just barely a horror tale.

The third has a Ku Klux Klan man buying an old Southern mansion where he is attacked and killed by little dolls containing the souls of the black people who were killed by whites.

The fourth deals with a black youth being cured of his violent behavior with VERY extreme tactics.

This is very well-acted and has a few (very few) moments but I mostly hated it. This is NOT a horror film (which is what it's marketed as). It tells these "horror" stories but every single one of them, in a very heavy-handed way, hammers us over the head with a moral message. Such as: racism is bad, violence is bad, child abuse is bad etc etc. I mean NO KIDDING! I KNOW all this! I go to see a horror film to be scared NOT preached to. If they had handled it subtlety it might have worked but they hammer it at you. It's badly directed to boot.

This gets a 5 only for some cool violence, acting and an admittedly bravura finale. Williams is just great going WAY over the top but in a fun manner. I wish I could recommend this (how many black horror films are out there?) but I can't.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Hide Your Film in Shame.
tfrizzell12 November 2003
A trio of African-American adolescents go looking for illegal narcotics in a spooky inner-city funeral parlor run by the creepy Clarence Williams III. He pulls their chain over and over by telling stories of terror that all have an African-American flair to them. Silly venture of an anthology series only comes to life when Williams is doing his unintentionally hilarious routine. The ending is predictable and strangely silly as the true reason for the youths coming to the parlor is shown in a would-be frightening sequence. Good for a few laughs (not meant to be that way), but critically speaking another in the long line of horror film wastes. 2 stars out of 5.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
What a waste of film!
VCRanger15 July 1999
Was this movie supposed to be scary? Or was it supposed to be funny yet thoughtprovoking? It think it was supposed to be a piece of CRAP, which in that case it succeeded greatly. This was a waste of my 2 hours I'll never be able to get back, so I would suggest others to do someting with their time that watch this film. The thing that brings this film down is it's lack of imagination and originality. Williams is absolutely horrible and a "Spooky" mortician (how original) who is the storyteller to three young gangbangers, who are stereotypical as hell, who are looking for their "s**t" (drugs). The ONLY story worth anything was the story of a hardcore gangbanger who is set to undergo a strange rehabiliation process, but it isn't what it seems. The rest can be thrown in the trash. A rating of 3 out of 10 was given.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Rented this for the first time at age 15, own it now, very enjoyable for any horror fan
tbald1980-112 January 2011
I wrote a review for this on Amazon a couple years ago, I figured I'd do one here as well. The first time I saw this, I expected a comedy, boy! I was dead wrong! To be honest, the first two stories were so freaky, I had my mom turn it off. Obviously, I'm a lot harder to scare now and like it overall, despite the constant language. It's kind of a social commentary with realism and supernatural overtones mixed together. This was my first horror anthology, followed by several others It's got a decent script, even though some will say 'I've seen all this before' but to me, clichéd doesn't have to mean bad, if the right people are in it/behind and in front of the camera, this was also my first Spike Lee film, so I won't judge it on those merits. I know he didn't direct it, but I've heard about a lot of his movies, some look pretty good. By the way, I'm not black either, but I have a large amount of respect for them. I'm getting off track here, bottom line: if you like horror stories with some semblance of reality, you'll probably enjoy this too, but you'll have to overlook the language.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
You Died
TEAQUIEMORO21 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This was excellent and very familiar and/or a remake but only not a skeleton and black people from Tales from the Cyrpt.The first one was about a black man who knows the white policemen are trading drug dealing and three white cops kill him and the black cop felt so bad and heard Clarnce and told to bring the tree cops to his grave.He did it and then it became a party,he killed all tree in horrible ways you can imagine.The next was about a boy who has a daddy and thinks he is a monster and gets help from his teacher,and found how to kill him...by drawing him and then destroys the paper which killed him.Next was a white man who didn't respect the black people who fought for this house he is in and doesn't care.Later so black dolls in the picture came in and taught him a lesson not to forget.And lastly Crazy K who kills white and black but a woman tries to help him and ended up by being shot by his homes.And great ending when the three black dudes are in hell and didn't know and tough they were alive.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Aka BOYZ IN THA CREEPSHOW
MisterWhiplash29 October 2018
Like many anthology films, this one has its gigantic home runs and merely ground singles. The first and third stories - where three terrible white cops, one of them Wings Hauser (which is kind of a redundant statement) get picked off and chased by the un-dead corpse of the black activist they killed a year later; and, the least "Hood" set one where Corbin Bernsen plays the slimiest mix of David Duke (marking this as a Spike Lee production that beats out making fun of David Duke in Blackkklansman by 23 years) and Donald Trump (that hair!) as he is surrounded by tiny black devil dolls - are the major highlights.

The second story has the benefit of David Alan Grier (or should I say here, David Alan DAMN) though he's only on screen for seven minutes as the "Monster" that keeps attacking a boy and his mother, though it takes time to get to the finale and up until then dances around what is a bit of an obvious conflict. And the fourth ends up tying in sort of with the wrap-around conceit of the three guys looking to get "the S***" from Clarence Williams III, and is basically a way more preachier Clockwork Orange but with a gang-banger instead of Little Alex and lots and lots of strobe light effects (seriously, if you have that kind of seizure-inducing reaction to stuff like Incredibles 2, well, you've been warned).

It's the one segment that feels too... I don't know how to pinpoint it except it seems to be going into crazy exploitation mode when it doesn't have the same horror conceit of the other three, and the filmmaker (I have no idea if by Spike Lee's suggestion but I wouldn't put it past him) goes nuts with an editing montage mixing film clips from gangsta flicks, hangings and the Klan. It shouldn't bother me so much, but it's the one segment that ages the worst in a film that on the whole really feels alive and angry and has a lot of potent things to say - at least in a consistent EC Horror comics way - about things like police brutality and abusive parents and reparations from slavery - and it's a movie that tries a lot harder (those stop motion dolls nearly steal the show) than it needed to for a flick that had a title sort of capitalizing on the formula of the period.

This has cajones, Clarence Williams eating the entire set whole and asking for seconds, and the very ending made me want to applaud.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed