Tales from the Hood

“Chill or be chilled.” Back in 1995 O.J. was acquitted, Jerry Garcia finally admitted he was dead, and Rusty Cundieff released his gangsta-horror masterpiece “Tales from the Hood.” An anthology or four racially charged themes, all in a nice wrap around package.
“Tales” begins with a wrap around story involving three gang members heading to a mortuary to pick up a stash of drugs that the mortician, Mr. Simms, (Clarence Williams III) found in an alley. While Mr. Simms leads Bulldog, Ball, and Stack to where the dope is hidden, he tells the stories of some of the corpses in the mortuary.

The first story is of Clarence (Anthony Griffith), a rookie cop who, on his first night patrolling, witnesses three other cops murder a civil rights leader and cover it up. Clarence quits the force and becomes an alcoholic. Way to go Clarence! Clarence keeps hearing the voice of the murdered civil rights leader, Martin Moorehouse (Tom Wright), calling to him saying “Bring them to me!” Clarence agrees, and gets the three murderous cops to meet him at the cemetery where Moorehouse is buried. “I brought them, are you happy?” Clarence asks Martin’s tombstone. Then, while one of the racist cops is pissing on his tombstone, undead Martin Moorehouse explodes out of his grave and rips his dick clean off. Marty’s corpse chases down the remaining two bad cops like some terminator-zombie hybrid. When Clarence asks zombie Moorehouse if he’s satisfied, the undeadinator replies “Where were you when I needed you, brother?” and proceeds to choke Clarence. Flash to a sanitarium where we see Clarence enjoying the comforts of a padded cell.

The next tale is of a young boy named Walter and how he gets the shit beat out of him by “In Living Color” cast member, David Allen Grier. Walter’s teacher Richard (Rusty Cundieff) doesn’t like the recurring bruises he sees or the pictures of monsters he’s been drawing. Walter believes that if he draws a picture of whoever’s fucking with him and destroys it, that will kill said fucker. Good guy teacher Rich decides to pay Walter’s mom (Paula Jai Parker) a visit, a sort of parent-teacher house call. Walter’s mom gives Dick a boner, and Walter’s step dad Carl (David Allen Grier) doesn’t appreciate it too much. Richie gets kicked out by evil step dad and hears Walter and his mom getting beat up so he runs back into the house to help. Carl beats Dick within an inch of his life when Walter twists up one of the monster pictures he’d drawn, and Carl’s body gets twisted up too. Dick then pops up and tells Walter to burn the picture. Hot Carl burns up and everyone lives happily ever after. Grier is fucking evil in this one as the abusive step dad, a role that is the polar opposite of everything else he’s ever done.

Back at the mortuary, our wrap around story continues as Stack, Loco, and Bulldog are getting impatient with Mr. Simms’ stories, and just want to “Get the shit.” Mr. Simms assures them that they will be “knee deep in the shit” and proceeds to tell the straight up gangstas a story about dolls.

Our third story stars Corbin Bersen as Duke Metger, a David Duke type asshole running for governor. Bernsen is hilarious as the racist politician acting out every racist cliché in the book. He takes up residence on an old plantation much to the chagrin of protesters. This plantation’s house contains a large painting of an old woman and her dolls. Legend has it that when the slaves were freed, the plantation owner went nuts and started murdering his slaves. A local voodoo woman transferred the souls of the murdered slaves into little dolls. One man warns Duke of the dolls that will serve him his comeuppance in the old house. Metger laughs this off, until his paid Image Maker dies after tripping over a doll. He then is attacked by a small wooden doll that chomps at his neck flesh. Duke ties the doll to a dartboard and blows it apart with a shotgun while spewing racial slurs. Meanwhile, the picture in the house of the old lady and her dolls is missing more and more dolls. More dolls attack Metger and eventually devour him while he tries to shield himself with the American flag. This segment is ripe with symbolism and social satire, but is also just a great story about cannibalistic dolls eating some dickhead who had it coming.

Back at Simms Funeral Home, our gangster-trio is getting fed up with the story telling and want the dope. “Fuck a Barbie, where’s the shit?” Stack says. Simms leads them to another corpse that was the result of gang violence.

Crazy K (Lamont Bentley) is a ruthless drug dealer who kills whoever gets in his way. In a shoot out one night, he gets his ass capped but gets saved by “the mutha-fuckin’ police.” He goes to prison, and agrees to take part in behavioral modification experiments. Cundeiff pays homage to horror classics as K is driven to a medical facility that bares a striking resemblance to the House on Haunted Hill. Crazy K is bound up and exposed to violent imagery a la Clockwork Orange in an attempt to cure him of his violent ways. Well it doesn’t work, and K is teleported back to the point in time right before the cops save him and gets smoked by none other than Stack, Loco, and Bulldog. Fearful that he’s going to call the cops on them for killing Crazy K, the gangster trio bitch slap Simms and pull guns demanding the drugs. Simms leads them to three coffins. Where else would he hide it? When they open the coffins, Bulldog, Stack, and Ball find their own corpses laying in them. Turns out that after they killed Crazy K the police killed them. Clarence Williams III then let’s them know where they really are with the famous line “Welcome to Hell, mother fuckers.” Simms morphs into the devil and the boys start to burn.

“Tales From the Hood” is like “Creepshow” in South Central. The stories are well done and, like “Creepshow”, all give the evil characters their comeuppance. That, and some serious over acting by Clarence Williams III make this one of the best horror anthologies of all time. Check it out if you like your horror anthologies and “pass the bud you little bitch!”

**This review is of the laserdisc edition of “Tales From the Hood.” The laserdisc I bought off ebay was cracked and the seller gave a full refund after I emailed a picture of the cracked disc. Then I found another LD copy and bought it. So I have one copy for the wall in my bar, and another one to watch. Sellers with 100% ratings will do anything to keep that perfect rating.

**Tales From the Hood trivia: The laserdisc deluxe edition has a separate audio track with commentary by creator Rusty Cundeiff. DVD’s can suck it with their compressed format.

D.A.G. = Tough guy?

Managing to stay right outside your peripheral vision,

DeadMike

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~ by exploitnation on May 14, 2008.

One Response to “Tales from the Hood”

  1. I went and bought this for $3.25 at HMV the other day. It is way fab.

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