Revenge/horror motif played out again and again and again, but this time with racial implications. Three drug-dealing thugs look for a stash in a funeral parlor and get the grand tour from Mr. Simms, the truly creepy morti... more »cian. As they pass the open caskets, Simms relates gruesome stories about the occupants' deaths to the increasingly restless young men. Each one of them falls to the vengeance of the supernatural theme, and it gets truly old. Nothing original is introduced, except that most of the stories take place in an urban setting. Produced by Spike Lee in an attempt to prove that bad horror doesn't discriminate, either. --Keith Simanton« less
Brad S. (Snibot) from DALLAS, TX Reviewed on 8/23/2011...
There is a lot to like about this movie...
The credit sequence was cleaver and enjoyable. It allows you to be gently led into the film.
Clarence Williams is just creepy, and helps continue the mood.
The first tale really doesn't quite make it due to the very poor effects that were used, though the acting does a fairly good job of holding the story it just seems like a high school production instead of a Hollywood movie.
The second story has David Alan Greir and his performance is excellent, and despite its complete lack of any basis in reality (seriously the series of events are impossible) and horrible effects the story actually does take a step up and set up our next story.
Corbin Bernsen really puts on a show in the third story, and now we actually get some scary moments despite the terrible effects, the story is cleaver, but has a bit of a fairytale feel.
The final story is somewhat of a masterpeice. We have good performances, interesting writing, and the cleaver use of effects actually does a great job of selling this story. I am not sure I would call it scary, but it was entertaining. Clearly this is the story that got the most attention.
Overall the movie was a 3 stars, an entertaining film, but not something to spend money on or make room on your shelf.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
"Death...it comes in many strange packages."
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 05/16/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"All right, obviously originality isn't the strong point in the film Tales from the Hood (1995), but it does have enough inspiration to get past being labeled a black Tales from the Crypt horror anthology (revenge tales with a racial spin are still revenge tales). Now, I had seen this film in the theater when it originally came out some ten years ago, and haven't seen it again since recently. I did remember most of what happened in the film, but the one thing that I had forgotten about was how much profanity was actually in the movie. I'm not a prude, but I think it's important to throw that out there if you have a problem with characters cursing ad nauseam (I suppose the argument could be made this reflects a certain aspect of society, so I can deal with it)...written and directed by Rusty Cundieff (Fear of a Black Hat, Sprung), with Spike Lee listed as executive producer, the film features Clarence `Linc' Williams III (The Mod Squad, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka), Joe Torry (House Party 3, Sprung), Wings Hauser (Vice Squad, Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time), David Alan Grier (Jumanji, McHale's Navy), Corbin Bernsen (Major League, The Dentist), and Rosalind Cash (The Omega Man, Uptown Saturday Night), among others...
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.
I'VE NEVER SEEN A BLACK HORROR MOVIE THAT WAS THIS GOOD!
MICHAEL TAYLOR | RICHMOND, VA USA | 07/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A MORTICIAN TELLS 4 STORIES TO A GROUP OF THUGS. THE 1ST AND 3RD ARE STANDARD TALES WITH AN AFRICAN AMERICAN TWIST BUT THE 2ND AND FOURTH TALES ARE DIFFERENT.
1ST TALE; A MAN IS BRUTALLY MURDERED BY RACIST, CROOKED COPS. AND THE BLACK COP THAT WITNESSED IT IS HAUNTED BY THE MAN'S VOICE. GOOD TALE AND WITH A COOL ENDING. 2ND TALE; A BOY IS BEING TERRORIZED BY A MONSTER AT HIS DOOR. HE TELLS A TEACHER THAT HE'S ALWAYS IN BRUISES BECAUSE OF THE MONSTER, BUT THE TEACHER DOESN'T BELIEVE HIM UNTIL HE COMES TO HIS HOUSE. NOW THIS IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT. THIS TALE WAS THE LEAST OF THE WHOLE MOVIE, BUT IT'S NOT BAD. IT'S JUST NOT AS GOOD AS THE OTHER 3.3RD TALE; A WHITE MAN WHO'S RUNNING FOR MAYOR LIVES IN A FORMER SLAVE HOUSE THAT HAS DOLLS IN IT THAT ARE ALIVE. THIS IS GOOD, AND IT WAS PURE GENIUS HOW THE DOLLS CAME TO LIFE AND JUST SCARED THE LIVING SH.. OUT OF HIM. GREAT TALE.4TH TALE; A THUG IS SENTENCED TO BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION. THIS IS THE BEST TALE THAT THIS MOVIE HAS TO OFFER. IT SHOWS WHAT OFTEN HAPPENS TO THUGS. HE KEEPS SAYING HE DON'T GIVE A F... BUT THEN WE HE BLOWS HIS CHANCE AT REDEMPTION, HE WAKES UP AND GETS KILLED.GREAT MOVIE. THIS BEATS THE ''TALES FROM THE CRYPT'' MOVIES. THEY SHOULD MAKE MORE HORROR MOVIES LIKE THIS. THIS WAS VERY THRILLING AND ALL THE TALES HAD A LOGICAL PLOT TO THEM. DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS ONE!"
Great for fans of CREEPSHOW and TALES FROM CRYPT.
Church of The Flaming Sword | 11/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a horror anthology film CREEPSHOW or the HBO series TALES FROM THE CRYPT, only it is told from more of an African-American perspective. And unlike many horror films, TftH puts together fictional horrors with real-life horrors like racism, child abuse, police brutality, and gang violence. The story deals with three hoodlums who enter a funeral home ran by a mysterious mortician effectively played by Clarence Williams III. The mortician, who turns out to be a lot more than just a simple mortician, tells the thugs four stories:1. A honest cop is tormented by the fact that he failed to save an activist's life from his corrupt superiors.2. An abused child is victimized by his stepfather and a monster everyone thinks is imaginary.3. A racist politician, modeled after David Duke, moves into a former plantation where the slave master murdered his slaves.4. A homicidal thug, who blames everyone except himself for his problems, undergoes a government sponsored rehabilitation program. This story has a connection with the three thugs also. And it has the best message out of all the stories.For a horror film, I found TftH unusally well written and acted. However, I do have a complaint with its treatment of white people. It depicts white people as being skinheads, racist cops, or former Klansmen. If the filmmakers wanted to make a statement about racism, they went about it the wrong way by demonizing white people. Finger-pointing does not cure racism, it only aggravates it.Overall rating : 3.75 stars."
Horror in African American and White
M. Fields | Brooklyn, New York USA | 01/05/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While this film hasn't won any Oscars it's important viewing for some. Yes the tales within are moralistic but sorley needed at the time the film was released. The most important of the tales is the story of the gangbanger who becomes a victim of his own violence. Laying on the ground bleeding and dying, the young brother is offered a chance at redemption and salvation. He is placed in a facility for behavioral modification. He finds himself placed in a cell next to a white supremist skin head. The skinhead taunts the young brother and basically tells him that he likes him. Why? Because he's doing the supremists job for him. He's killing other black youths that the skin head wants to get rid of any way. After that the gangbanger is forced to watch images of dead African Americans who have been shot, lynched, and beaten to death. Some by the KKK and some by black on black crime. The scenes are very graphic. The last treatment for this criminal is sensory deprevation. His mind feeds on itself and produces images of the people that he has killed either accidentally or purposely. He refuses to be turned and give up his violent ways. The doctor that tries to modify his behavior is really an angel who is trying to get him to heaven but the gangbanger is too blinded by hatred and violence to see it. The scene returns back to the street where the punk still lies. The gang members that shot him shoot him again. He dies and goes exactly where you think he goes. To hell.
There is quite a bit of foul language and lots of violence in the film but that's what our young people go to the movies for these days. I've got to believe that at least one young person got the message here. Hopefully, not just the black kids but all the others too. I applaud this films efforts even if it's not the most wonderful film in all of film making history. One more important note. There was still time for the gangbanger to repent and go to heaven even though he had killed many and was dying himself. As long as there is life, there is a chance to change. Even the thief that was being crucified on the cross next to Jesus was welcomed into heaven that very day. It doesn't matter what you've done as long as you repent and accept the gift He's given!
Not suitable for those 13 years or younger."
I'll have to watch this again!
AFP | 08/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I kind of turned off the t.v after being freaked out during the night, WHOA especially the ending, now that was so freaky, I dont remember much, a bunch of drug dealers go to a funeral home to deal some drugs or something? or they go to buy some, forgot, funny when the guy hits his head on the porch. Well I remember some stories one of dolls that kill people, and has something to do with a painting on the wall, another story of police brutality, lets leave it like that. I think anyone should watch this really interesting movie, one of my all time favs, it did scare me half to death! But I'll have to watch it again to refresh my memory!"