The summer of 1995 should have been a great summer. I was in the middle of my high school career (I hated high school so this was a blessing as I only had two years left.), I had just gotten a laserdisc player for my birthday and planned on spending a lot of time putting it through its paces, and me and my friends planned on roaming the surrounding towns looking for trouble. That was until I got hit by a car. My leg was fractured in multiple places meaning that I could not do the epic bike riding that was the part of the summer plan.
One of the benefits of this was that I got to see a lot of films. We had two movie theaters within walking distance of my house. The closest one, The Glenwood Theater, charged a dollar to get in and only had one theater. They showed films about a month before they came out on video. The theater was huge and, at one point, was the largest, single theater screen in the midwest. They would get the most popular films, so there was a lot that they didn't get.
Enter The Diana Theater, This theater was located in a shopping mall a little further away from my house, but still within walking distance. The theater boasted four screens and they played all the films. A lot of the time whatever The Glenwood Theater was showing wouldn't play at The Diana Theater, so they would get the other films. The Diana Theater was known for getting the genre films (horror, sci-fi, martial arts, etc.) so they were the place to go for my friends and I.
The Diana Theater was the place where Tales From the Hood entered my life. I love this film. The film is an anthology, with four short films and a wrap around story to make it all one complete package. The stories are told from the black perspective, which was something new for horror. There is a story about racist cops who kill the wrong politician, a story about child abuse that takes the form of a monster movie, a story about a white supremacist running for governor who moves into a house that has a history of racial violence, and a story about black on black crime told in a similar way to A Clockwork Orange. There is also a wrap around story with the great Clarence Williams III who runs a mortuary.
I saw this film three times in the theaters because the film impacted me so much. The horror aspects were taken to the extreme, which is something I had never seen before in this state. The film addressed a lot of problems within the black community and did so in a smart and very scary way. Even though the film was not that big of a hit, it has become a cult classic on dvd. There is a blu-ray coming this April from Scream Factory that should be great.
Even though the film was not a hit upon release, I do believe that if the film were to be released today, it would be a big hit. Just look at a film like Get Out for proof.
Tales From the Hood is a great film and a great horror film. Give the trailer a watch,