Tales from the Hood (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]
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Welcome to the hood of horrors!
Its a place where your worst fears can come to life. A place where its hard to tell nightmares from reality. A place where you will discover Tales From The Hood.
Stack, Ball and Bulldog arrive at a local funeral parlor to retrieve a lost drug stash held by the mortician Mr. Simms (Clarence Williams III). But Mr. Simms has plans for the boys. He leads them on a tour of his establishment, introducing them to his corpses. Even the dead have tales to tell and Mr. Simms is willing to tell them all. And you better listen: because when youre in the hood, even everyday life can lead to extraordinary terror.
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Top Customer Reviews
While many will avoid this b/c of its connection to Spike Lee, assuming that it takes one position and shoves it down your throat, they would be doing themselves a disservice not to view it.
While the CGI is dated, the stories are not. In 2017, the very themes in each vignette are still alive and well in the United States. Irrespective of your political ideology, you will find something here to connect with and discuss.
If you are an educator, post - secondary, give thought to using this to connect to current themes. You may well have to explain who David Duke is; but, it's an opportunity to discuss, using film, the politics of race.
It's to be hoped this will "return to print."
"Awwww Yes, THE SHIIT!"
The film is actually four separate stories bookended by a fifth...of Jack Daniels...no, by a fifth story (when I say `bookended', I mean there is a set-up story which starts the film, and then appears after each of the other stories ends, finally finishing out the film). The film begins with a story called Welcome to My Mortuary, as three street toughs arrive at a funeral home, one run by the wild-eyed Mr. Simms (Williams). Somehow (this aspect isn't really made clear) Mr. Simms has come into a load of drugs apparently once belonging to these three chaps, and now they've arrived to retrieve said stuff, to which they're engaged in four tales about various deceased individuals now occupying coffins within the funeral home, the first called Rogue Cop Revelation. This one is about a group of racist cops, one played by Hauser, who take revenge on a local politician for his efforts in trying to clean up the police force by pushing for the prosecution of corrupt cops. The do-gooder ends up getting killed, but what is buried don't always stay buried. The 2nd tale is titled Boys Do Get Bruised and features a young boy whose teacher (looking a lot like Whoopi Goldberg with his dreadlocks) notices the signs of abuse as the boy continually shows up at school with bruises, which he claims were caused by a monster. This one features Grier in an uncharacteristic role as an extremely rancorous individual. The third story, titled KKK Comeuppance, features Bernsen as a racist politician/ex-klansman who buys an old plantation house in the hopes that it will assist him in winning an upcoming election. Apparently the house has a violent history in that of a slave massacre that happened many years prior, and now the ghosts of the past have been re-awakened by the intrusion of this repugnant individual. The fourth story, titled Hardcore Convert, is about a vicious street hood/killer who, after being captured and sentenced to life in prison, is offered a 2nd chance if he consents to a radical new program including behavioral modification techniques administered by a doctor played by Cash. After this the initial tale, the one featuring Mr. Simms and the three gang members, comes to a spectacular and memorable conclusion.
I did enjoy this film overall, but found the slinging of racial epithets to get a bit excessive at times, especially in the first and third stories. I know the intent was to create characters so odious and noxious that when eventually presented with their mortal fate, they would appear completely deserving, but I felt their despicable nature could have been better portrayed through a less obvious tactic. I suppose because there were a number of different stories presented here there may not have been the time to create fully realized, three dimensional characterizations, so the director had to opt for the quick and dirty method. Anyway, the strongest tale was the last one involving the hardcore thug named Jerome aka Crazy K, and the attempt to alter his perception by giving him an opportunity to see the never-ending path of escalating violence he, along with many others, follow often times by choice. The imagery presented in this story is very harsh and will evoke a sense of anger and disgust, as the director uses actual photographs of past atrocities (lynchings, burnings, etc.) as Jerome undergoes a bizarre rehabilitation process. The special effects overall looked pretty good and featured a mixture of CGI work along with some good old fashion stop motion animation. The direction and pacing are strong, and most of the actors are very good (Clarence Williams III really drives the film with his wiggy, over-the-top performance), even if the script falters at times. One aspect I did like was while there was focus on white racism in some of the stories, it wasn't the only motivating factor throughout as black-on-black violence is also reflected in some of the tales. All in all this film could have been a lot worse. There are no real surprises as the various stories don't really offer any shocking or twist endings, but it does feature a real hum dinger of an ending and some strong, moral messages that may relate to some audiences.
The widescreen non-anamorphic (1.85:1) picture looks very sharp and clear (Amazon states the aspect ratio at 1.33:1, but this wasn't the case, at least on my copy). The audio, presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, is decent, but sometimes seems a little muddled and soft. Special features include a `making of' featurette, theatrical trailer, TV promos, and cast and crew bios. I give this 3 ½ stars.