That’s right. It’s time for some black tales of terror!
SNOOP DOGG’S HOOD OF HORROR (2006)
Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror is raw, ghetto, low-budget anthology fun. It also happens to have a surprisingly notable cast despite its b-movie status: Ernie “Ghostbuster” Hudson, Danny “Machete” Trejo, Jason Alexander, Billy Dee Williams, and the amazing Lin Shaye.
The animated wraparound story perfectly captures the tone and feel of a Tales from the Crypt/Creepshow-esque comic. Snoop Dogg appears in the flesh between segments and delivers some subtle, dry humor as our demonic narrator. This isn’t atmospheric, frightening horror. The three main stories are all about the dark humor, gore, and ironic twists.
The first story is about a young graffiti artist who wants revenge on the punks that painted over her work. When she runs into an extra creepy Danny Trejo, you know it’s not going to turn out good. Awesome kills in this one. Let’s just say bottles and balls don’t stand a chance….
The second story is high on camp and over-the-top gore. It involves this asshole white dude and his blonde bimbo coming to take over a home his father left to some vet-buddies. They, of course, enact a violent revenge.
The 3rd story is my favorite. There’s no doubt it is inspired by the Notorious BIG/Puff Daddy relationship and Biggie’s murder—which is given an evil little supernatural rewrite. Lin Shaye comes in briefly and steals the show, the dead return from beyond, and payback for a young rapper is a bitch.
You need to watch the closing credits on this one because it’s a gorrific Snoop Dogg video.
TALES FROM THE HOOD (1995)
The stories in Tales from the Hood are creepy and effective. The wraparound about a group of thugs going into a funeral home can’t compete with the animated short in Hood of Horror though. And veteran actor Clarence Williams III is a worthy storyteller, but he just doesn’t have the charisma that Snoop Dogg has as “the Cryptkeeper” in Hood of Horror.
Tales from the Hood is a Creepshow caliber horror anthology. In fact, the first story, about corrupt white cops, is virtually an adaptation of the “Thanks for the ride, lady!” story from Creepshow 2. Wings Hauser is the leader of the dirty cops who soon learns you can’t keep the black man down…even after he’s dead.
The second story metaphorically tackles the closet monsters, as a little boy does what he needs to do to cope with his less than happy home life—and his menacing father, played by David Alan Grier.
The third story is a classic killer doll tale starring Corbin Bernsen as a miserable racist.
The last story is the one with a “message.” This poor prison inmate with a hot bod in a black Speedo is part of an experiment in which he witnesses all the atrocities against black men throughout time and sees the damage young black men are doing to their own community. Well damn. This really brings a fun horror anthology to a depressing place.
Thankfully, the conclusion of the wrap-around story is perfectly dark and devilish, bringing us back to the tone of the majority of the film.
1995, 2006. We’re due for a new horror hood anthology!