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Gang Tapes


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Product Details

  • Actors: Darris Love, Darontay McClendon, Don Cambell, Six Reasons, Trivell
  • Directors: Adam Ripp
  • Writers: Adam Ripp, Steven Wolfson
  • Producers: Adam Ripp, Artie Ripp, David H. Goodman, Quentin Drew, Steven Wolfson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: December 10, 2002
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000714EN
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,670 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gang Tapes" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

A family on vacation in LA is car jacked, their camcorder is stolen, providing a birds eye view of life on the street in Los Angeles. Stars Andrew Stoddard, Darontay McClendon, Darris Love, Michelle Marie White, Sonja Marie, Trivell - Director: Adam Ripp

Customer Reviews

The ending which may seem predictable to some will grab most.
Erik O'Brien
By far the best "inside" attempt to capture the daily life of an active gang involved family and the never ending cycle of violence.
Lt. John Godsey
Rare is the film that succeeds in its attempt to thrust the viewer into a situation, and make one feel genuine, life-or-death tension.
Roy Opochinski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. L. Culberson on July 23, 2006
Format: DVD
This movie is a must see for anyone who enjoys genuine, true-to-life films. This film takes audiences to a world most of them would never see otherwise. I was born and raised in the streets of Long Beach and Los Angeles and was forced to experience in actuality the scenarios acted out in the film. I can attest to every scene in the film as being accurate in their portrayals of gang culture. I watched Boyz in the Hood, South Central, Colors, Menace to Society, Baby Boy and many other films portraying gang life in LA county, but all were more about sticking to the story line than about capturing the essense of the subject(s). If you like big budget actions films with gang members being shown as stunt men fliping over cars while shooting an assault rifle, then this film will not tickle your tastes. But if you want a quick lesson on true gang life with no sugar on top, Gang Tapes does the job.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alan on December 21, 2002
Format: DVD
Stuffy critics will undoubtedly describe Gang Tapes as: "Blair Witch meets Boyz in the Hood." Of course, this description doesn't do justice to Gang Tapes. Directed by Adam Ripp (in his directorial debut), Gang Tapes is far more coherent and engrossing than the dreadful Blair Witch, and succeeds in making the once-potent Boyz in the Hood now look like an after-school special. Like Kids (1995), Gang Tapes pulls no punches. Murders, sodomy, beatings, and drive-by shootings are all shown on camera, albeit in a way which serves the story and is unsensationalistic. So, if Gang Tapes deserves a nickname at all, that name should be "HOODFELLAS." The story begins when a young teenager named Kris "acquires" a garden variety camcorder from John and Jane Q. Tourist. Armed with his newly liberated camera and tape, young Kris proceeds to document everything: the violent, humorous, tragic and joyous ... moments of his world.
Gang Tapes works perfectly as a minimally plotted study of lost teenaged souls; it also feels like an informal rebirth of Italian neo-realist cinema. There are no "name actors" in the film. There is no hot young rapper, no comedian, and no heartthrob to look at. Instead, Gang Tapes offers a cast of mostly non-actors performing with gusto. If you're hoping Gang Tapes will "let you off the hook" with wall-to-wall, watered-down pop tunes, forget it. Gang Tapes' soundtrack is hardcore rap, which perfectly accentuates the equally rough-edged events. With a digital camera recording all of the goings-on, there are no Ophulsian tracking shots or lengthy Steadicam moves -- only a handheld look at the brutal concrete jungles of South Central Los Angeles. In Gang Tapes' world, all Hollywood presuppositions are thrown to the wind: even the nice guys get killed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Roy Opochinski on December 7, 2002
Format: DVD
It is the rare feature film that makes the viewer think that he is watching a documentary. At some point, the glare of the bright lights or some errors of continuity belie the illusion and the spell is broken. Rare is the film that succeeds in its attempt to thrust the viewer into a situation, and make one feel genuine, life-or-death tension. Gang Tapes, the stunning, new film from first-time director Adam Ripp.
The film, which will be unfairly compared to The Blair Witch Project (more on that later), is a stunning pseudo-documentary that takes the viewer on an enlightening, enthralling, intense, and often horrifying journey. Gang Tapes opens with a white family, on vacation, videotaping their trip to Southern California. Suddenly, the are attacked in their rental van, and suddenly, the camera is in the hands of the carjackers, still taping.
The camera makes its way into the hands of a 14-year old gangsta wannabe, Kris (Trivell) who, after acquiring the camera, proceeds to tape everything in his life. The camera becomes a window into his life. It records conversations with his mother, violent beatings, the loss of his virginity, drive-by shootings, drug deals, and all the other episodes that made up the fabric of Kris' existence.
Though some might accuse it of being episodic, that is what life is; a series of episodes strung together. Several aspects give this film its gritty realism. First, the razor-sharp editing by Tina Imahara is relentless. One forgets that this is a film because it truly feels like we are moving from one episode in Kris' life to another. Second, the film does an incredibly effective job of conveying violence. The viewer feels the punches. The gunshots are remarkably lifelike. When people get shot, you do not think that you are watching squibs and blood packets.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Evan Bernick on July 7, 2005
Format: DVD
I can't adequately describe how shocked I am. I picked this movie up on a kind of lark, simply looking for something that looked interesting. I wandered into a masterpiece. From the first frame, this film is captivating, confident, and shocking. It's so good that by the end, you're holding your breath, praying that it doesn't fall apart, as you assume it must. It never does. I don't know where this movie came from, who any of the actors are, who the directors are, nothing... but if you have any interest in gang behavior, or the human beings involved in it, you have no business not seeing this movie.

Lest you think I'm being uncritical in my praise, you should know that I thought "Boyz N the Hood" was overrated and sugar-sweet, and that I thought "Menace II Society" was the closest cinema was ever going to get to the streets. But "Gang Tapes" comes from a different reality than either of those films. You watch it in awe, because nobody seems to be acting, nobody seems to be directing... indeed, nothing seems to be being filmed. There is a scene where there is a home invasion and one of the women in the house is raped. I looked around the empty room I was sitting in, as if I had inadvertantly become a party to a felony.

But, you ask, what is this movie ABOUT? What happens in it? What am I walking into?

Trust me, it's better not to know. I walked into this movie cold, knowing nothing but what I got from the advertising blurb. Read the back of the DVD, and plunge in like I did. You will not regret it.

I can't stress this any more: if you love cinema, you owe it to yourself to see "Gang Tapes." And yes, if you told me that an hour and thirty minutes ago, I'd have laughed heartily at you.

This isn't a gold mine. This is a cache of platinum.
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