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Old 10-22-2013, 05:16 AM   #1
rhett
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Tales From the Hood

There's been some talk of this film in previous threads, but this clever urban anthology from 1995 has never had its own thread. It deserves one. I had a blast with this one, definitely the morality play answer to all the south central flicks that were all the rage back in the day. The film topically covers a number of hot button issues at the time, like Rodney King style police brutality, blacks-killing-blacks gangster life, domestic abuse, racism in politics and drug culture. Each of the four segments had its own spin, so while this is ultimately a "message movie", it did it in a way that was entertaining and but never repetitive or preachy. There needs to be more cautionary tales like this one. Great anthology flick.

It has long been out of print on DVD, but thankfully right now there's a version on Netflix instant that's worth the watch. It's only standard def full screen, but at least it's open matte. Any Crazy K fans in the hizzouse?
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:57 AM   #2
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I haven't seen the film myself but I've watched some reviews for it and it did seem like a fun and silly little flick. I find most of these "urban" horror films suck as they have tiny budgets, terrible acting, script and usually whatever else you can name.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:09 AM   #3
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I saw the film when it first his VHS. A bunch of white suburbans kids, watching this while parents were in bed. Ha ha. Now that it's streaming I need to revisit.
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Well as the video explains, I do not think it is a great film, nor do I think.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:15 AM   #4
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Fun flick and one of my first Laserdisc purchases. Too bad I never bought the now OOP DVD when I had the chance, because I sold all of my Laserdiscs.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:12 AM   #5
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Love this film, always have. And I've got a low tolerance of Spike Lee and his rapid downward spiral into one note film making. Tales From the Hood tries to straddle the line between over bearing social message and campy episodic horror, and for the most part succeeds quite handily.

This film does sometimes pander to some seriously tired cliches in handling its racism messages - particularly strong in the police brutality and clansman politician segments. But even in those segments, it manages to put some clever elements in the mix - the first in the torment inflicted on the story's true target of contempt (the silent witness), the second in a haunted doll rampage almost as fun as a certain Zuni doll classic.

The film does detour from the obvious moral message paths, to some interesting angles of varying effectiveness. The child abuse story is inspired in tackling an often ignored subject in black America social concern focus, but it is too clean in how its resolution is handled here. Itís a terrifying real world subject victimizing those least able to cope, with no easy solutions and plenty of bad ones, and here it deserved a better wrap up than a simple bit of wish fulfillment. Itís the one area in the film where the campy EC style horror handling of the subject matter comes up short, even if the acting is quite competent (David Alan Grier adeptly busts type with frightening effect as the abusive father). On the other hand, the final story of the culture demolishing aspect of black on black predation is expertly chilling in its presentation, taking a hard core street slant on A Christmas Carol redemption story with an unrepentant murderer in the Scrooge seat. Itís a case of best story saved for last, and it would be worth the wait even if the rest of the film wasn't also well worth the time.

And then there is Clarence Williams III. An episodic horror film wouldn't be the same if it didn't wrap with a twist ending from the narrator character, an effort a lot of such films flounder at. Not so here, mister William's over the top schizoid delivery is an absolute treat to watch as it builds to his own dishing out of karmic payback torment.

Itís a damn shame this film is out of print, itís a solid entry in the genre as much because of its social messaging as despite it.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:16 AM   #6
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This movie is so much fun! I first stumbled across it on the USA network, back before they switched to 24 / 7 Law & Order. My favorite segments are "Boys Do Get Bruised" and "KKK Comeuppance".

I grabbed the DVD from a $5 bargain bin at Circuit City many years ago. Seems like a steal now, given what the DVD is selling for.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:50 PM   #8
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"Awww da shit! You'll get the shit."
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Well as the video explains, I do not think it is a great film, nor do I think.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:26 PM   #9
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"Awww da shit! You'll get the shit."
"Don't worry. You'll get the shit. You'll be...knee-deep...in the shit."

And, almost as good...

Spoiler:
This ain't no funeral home! It ain't the Terror Dome, neither! Welcome to Hell, motherfuckers!


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Old 10-22-2013, 09:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGBRadioMoskow View Post
Love this film, always have. And I've got a low tolerance of Spike Lee and his rapid downward spiral into one note film making. Tales From the Hood tries to straddle the line between over bearing social message and campy episodic horror, and for the most part succeeds quite handily.

This film does sometimes pander to some seriously tired cliches in handling its racism messages - particularly strong in the police brutality and clansman politician segments. But even in those segments, it manages to put some clever elements in the mix - the first in the torment inflicted on the story's true target of contempt (the silent witness), the second in a haunted doll rampage almost as fun as a certain Zuni doll classic.

The film does detour from the obvious moral message paths, to some interesting angles of varying effectiveness. The child abuse story is inspired in tackling an often ignored subject in black America social concern focus, but it is too clean in how its resolution is handled here. Itís a terrifying real world subject victimizing those least able to cope, with no easy solutions and plenty of bad ones, and here it deserved a better wrap up than a simple bit of wish fulfillment. Itís the one area in the film where the campy EC style horror handling of the subject matter comes up short, even if the acting is quite competent (David Alan Grier adeptly busts type with frightening effect as the abusive father). On the other hand, the final story of the culture demolishing aspect of black on black predation is expertly chilling in its presentation, taking a hard core street slant on A Christmas Carol redemption story with an unrepentant murderer in the Scrooge seat. Itís a case of best story saved for last, and it would be worth the wait even if the rest of the film wasn't also well worth the time.

And then there is Clarence Williams III. An episodic horror film wouldn't be the same if it didn't wrap with a twist ending from the narrator character, an effort a lot of such films flounder at. Not so here, mister William's over the top schizoid delivery is an absolute treat to watch as it builds to his own dishing out of karmic payback torment.

Itís a damn shame this film is out of print, itís a solid entry in the genre as much because of its social messaging as despite it.
Great critique, I agree in every way. Although I do agree that the monster segment lets the topic off easy, it still does address the notion that outsiders, like a teacher who would recognize such symptoms, should get involved if they see a trend of abuse. I also think the resolve in that segment has the most creative and best executed effects in the film.
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:27 PM   #11
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:13 AM   #12
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I'd welcome a rerelease of the dvd if thats all that's available.
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:55 PM   #13
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Yeah this is definitely one of the better anthologies. One of the darker and more serious ones as well. We are going to be doing an anthology special for the 10th episode of our podcast and I can't wait to revisit this one!
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