I am a big fan of Snoop Dogg, horror anthologies and blaxploitation fare even if none are synonymous with quality. So what happens when you combine all three under the banner Snoop Dogg's Hood Of Horror? Fun, fun, fun, right? Nope: Hood Of Horror is just the latest example of a can't miss premise that fails egregiously.
On the DVD box Ain't It Cool News calls it "the first studio quality horror movie I've seenin (sic) a long time…Unapologetic in its offensiveness and blood-splattered gore (cause daisy and lilac-covered gore just doesn't cut it these days)" which no doubt represents the first time the word "quality" has ever been positively applied to this bottom-feeding junk.
Alas, A.V Club readers voted for Mr. Quality Control's masterpiece of the cinema as the third and final entry in this week's Dispatches From Direct-To-DVD purgatory so last night I suffered through the latest from art house director-gone awry Stacy (The Last Supper) Title, who has apparently spent the seven years between 1999's Hamlet update Let The Devil Wear Black and its follow-up letting her skills and judgment atrophy something awful.
Hood Of Horror begins with a good, clean premise: Tales From The Crypt meets Snoop Dogg in a blaxploitation back alley in the middle of the night, then fouls it up through dire execution. Most anthologies have at least one standout sequence. Hood Of Horror's defining triumph is a nifty little animated sequence with a look that nicely echoes The Boondocks manga-inspired aesthetic.
Then the live-action segments begin and the inspiration and competence disappear. The first segment involves a graffiti artist who gains sinister powers after getting tattooed by mysterious badass Danny Trejo. In the second story a murderous redneck receives a bloody comeuppance when he moves in with his dad's African-American Vietnam buddies. In the concluding travesty a popular rapper betrays his partner only to have him gun for posthumous revenge.
In one of the behind-the-scenes features one of the white goobers responsible for this idiocy credits E.C Comics' blood-splattered moralism as a key inspiration. Alas, one man's loving homage is another man's pathetic knock-off. Hood Of Horror does wrong by both William Gaines and hip hop. The slang feels at least five years out of date and given the hip hop world's unique moral code it seems wrong-headed to target graffiti writers and arrogant rappers instead of, say, snitches or corrupt cops.
Hood Of Horror wastes a great name, a terrific premise and a cool cast (Danny Trejo, Billy Dee Williams, Ernie Hudson, Snoop Dogg and um, Jason Alexander?) on a lazy, cynical script that proves conclusively that smug moralism can somehow coexist with vomiting little people and gross-out scenes where a vapid sex pot's yippie little dog eats caviar out of its dead owner's exploded stomach. If the characters here are punished sadistically for spraying graffiti on a tenement wall I can only imagine what the ghoulishly ironic reckoning the filmmakers will ultimately have to face for having wasted a premise this rich on a film this awful.
Just How Bad Is It? Fucking execrable is what it is