Monday, December 03, 2018

Tales from the Hood 2 – review

Director: Darin Scott (segment)

Release date: 2018

Contains spoilers

Tales from the Hood was a portmanteau film from 1995 and so it has taken quite a while for the sequel to emerge.

Again a portmanteau, the wraparound in this has a storyteller, Mr Simms (Keith David), employed to tell stories to a robot that is the future of law enforcement and has an AI that can learn from relayed experience. Simms, of course, layers the stories with a sense of morality. There are some aspects that take us into the history of Black America, with the prejudice and bigotry suffered laid out, and the film also takes in a healthy contemporary dose of Black Lives Matter. Some of this worked really well – occasionally it was laid on very thick but perhaps it needs to be, given the resurgence of overt bigotry as normal behaviour for some (on both sides of the Atlantic).

Kahad and Ty
We are concerned with story #3 – Date Night – and this had less of a focus on race and, instead, owed its conception to the #metoo movement. So, Ty (Alexander Biglane) and Kahad (Greg Tarzan Davis) are driving to a date. Ty met the girls, Liz (Cat Limket) and Carmen (Alexandria Ponce), through Tinder and he has spun them a line about them being in the movie industry – the girls being aspiring actresses. Kahad is amused that such an angle still works.

Liz and carmen
The house they get to is rather large and the story of the girls being aspiring actresses is doubted and then the doubts are dismissed. At first everything is fun, with games of Cards Against Humanity and drinks. However eventually they spike the girls’ drinks and carry their insensible bodies upstairs. The strip them to their underwear and set up a pad as a camera. The intent is to rape and film the girls – however something suddenly goes wrong.

The image on the pad is screwed up, their bodies aren’t in the shot, only their underwear. This was neat, in terms of it always being great when a film makes the vampire unfilmable/unreflective but has their clothing remain visible. However, in this case a plot hole made the concept unpalatable. If they can’t be filmed, how did their picture end up on Tinder and how do they appear on a video feed later? As it is, the girls aren’t as drugged as they made out and are soon on their feet and sporting fangs…

pretending to cower from the cross
A nice element was them tying their actions to that of the boys and saying that they are predators just like the boys. The story is simple and to the point, as such there isn’t too much to think about. The acting wasn’t Oscar winning but it wasn’t bad either. An earlier story about a fake psychic (Bryan Batt) who is suddenly possessed has a throwaway vampire reference moment where a gangsta holds a cross up, he pretends to cower for a moment, says that faith is needed and then explains that he isn’t a vampire anyway.

Keith David as Mr Simms
The score of 5 out of 10 is for the vampire segment only, and reflects the fact that this is average, a piece of supernatural fluff that has a nice turnaround premise and a comeuppance for a pair of sleaze balls, despite the plot hole.

The imdb page is here.

On DVD @ Amazon US

On Blu-Ray @ Amazon UK

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