Movie Review: TALES FROM THE HOOD (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray
TALES FROM THE HOOD was directed by Rusty Cundieff and stars Clarence Williams III, Joe Torry, Anthony Griffith, Michael Massee, Brandon Hammond, David Alan Grier, De’Aundre Bonds, Paula Jai Parker, Wings Hauser and Corbin Bernsen. The movie was executive produced by Spike Lee.
It’s a place where your worst fears can come to life. A place where it’s hard to tell nightmares from reality. A place where you will discover Tales from the Hood. Lauded for its take on complex social issues like police brutality and domestic abuse. In 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 you’re in the ‘hood, even everyday life can lead to extraordinary terror.
Tales from the Hood features four short stories and a wraparound segment that features a creepy funeral director who serves as the host of festivities. The wraparound segment is “Welcome to my Mortuary” and follows three drug dealers who meet up with this strange funeral director who shares some terrifying stories as well as a shocking surprise. “Rogue Cop Revelation” takes the whole dirty cop hot topic and mixes it with a supernatural element that features an unstoppable zombie demon who is out to get some sweet revenge. “Boys do get Bruised” follows this young boy who is getting abused at home and the monster that’s hurting him ends up on the receiving end once the young boy has had enough. “KKK Comeuppance” follows a corrupt and racist politician who has to fight for his life against some angry puppets that have leaped right off an old painting and come to life. “Hardcore Convert” deals with black on black violence and follows this unlikable gangsta who simply kills for no good reason at all.
This 1995 horror anthology takes these real life topics and mixes them in with a lot of horror and a little dark comedy. The stories for each segment were well conceived and really smart because they blend in these real life topics with horror just right. Where most horror anthologies use different directors for each segment, all of Tales from the Hood‘s segments are helmed completely by Rusty Cundieff and he did a great job telling each story and bringing it all to life on screen. All of the acting was also really good. There are a few exaggerated stereotypes but it’s all in good fun and the actors do a good job performing these characters. Since this is an African American horror anthology each story takes place in an urban setting or at least includes some kind of an urban theme to it. There are some fantastic special effects used in this horror anthology with lots of blood and gore to boot. Fans of old school practical effects and makeup tricks are sure to appreciate all of this work.
The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the all-new artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features the original artwork and movie credits. The Blu-ray disc also features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.
Bottom line is, Tales from the Hood is a horror anthology that I’ve watched countless times over the years and this is easily the best home video release it will ever get. I remember when the movie first released in theaters and I thought it was just a cheap ripoff of Tales from the Crypt but it ended up being so much more. Sure, it’s got the horror elements throughout but it also smartly incorporates real life issues like dirty cops, crooked politicians, racism, child abuse, and black on black violence. These are all hot topics and heated issues that continue to be front page news to this very day. Anyway, I didn’t give this one much of a chance at first but I quickly caved in and checked it out and really ended up liking it, to the point that I’ve caught it numerous times over the years whenever it would air on television. It’s been over two decades since this horror anthology first released and Scream Factory has given it a really nice and deserving Collector’s Edition Blu-ray so now I’ll be able to watch it whenever the urge strikes. Tales from the Hood makes its Blu-ray debut on April 18th and is definitely worth adding to your collection.
Distributor: Scream Factory
Run Time: 98 Minutes
Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)
Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 / Alternate DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Special Features: This release only includes one new bonus feature but it’s a pretty darn cool bonus feature! Scream Factory has included an all-new documentary that clocks in at just under an hour. There’s also some vintage extras that have been imported over from a previous home video release. These include a vintage making of featurette, original theatrical, TV spots and still gallery. You can see the full list below.
- NEW Welcome to Hell: The Making of Tales from the Hood – featuring interviews with director/writer Rusty Cundieff, producer/writer Darin Scott, actors Corbin Bernsen Wings Hauser and Anthony Griffith, special effects supervisor Kenneth Hall, doll effects supervisors Charles Chiodo and Edward Chiodo (56:13)
- Audio Commentary with director/writer Rusty Cundieff
- Vintage “Making of” Featurette (06:04)
- Original Theatrical Trailer (01:41)
- Original TV Spots (03:26)
- Still Gallery (09:46)