Tales From The Hood
My perception of the new Shout Factory Blu-ray "Tales from the Hood" was that it must be a spoof of the often-copied "Tales from the Crypt" movie and TV series. After all, it follows the same concept of a ghoulish host that presents horrific tales with a twisty, ironic ending. This "Tales," however, features a predominately African-American cast and is quite serious in tone than one would think.
Filmmaker Spike Lee even has his name attached to "Tales from the Hood" as Executive Producer, upping the quality quotient for the 1995 cult film.
Instead of the one-liners spewing from the Cryptkeeper's mouth, we get the Funeral Director Mr. Simms (Clarence Williams III), a corrupt drug dealer who tells four morbid stories concerning the dead bodies in his funeral home. Listening on are three hoodlums who visit the funeral home to gain drugs from Mr. Simms. Of the four tales told, all concern African-American topical subjects of the mid-1990's: racial profiling, white supremacists, gang violence, and inner-city child abuse.
None of the tales seem preachy (even with the touchy subject matter), but one could argue that a horror film isn't the place for such heavy drama. "Tales from the Hood" boasts such disparate actors as Corbin Bernsen ("Major League"), David Alan Grier (TV's "In Living Color"), and Wings Hauser ("Mutant"). The wraparound story also ends the horror film on a gleefully silly note.
Of all of the bonus material on the Blu-ray (under the Scream Factory imprint), only one of them is brand new. That sole honor belongs to "Welcome to Hell: The Making of Tales from the Hood," a long documentary featuring interviews with the film's actors and crew. All cite the relevance of the film in today's world. A vintage making-of featurette has its tongue firmly in cheek, as the character of Mr. Simms takes the viewer on a journey of what "Tales from the Hood" is about. The director's audio commentary gets culled from the laserdisc edition, of all places.
"Tales from the Hood"