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#90. Screamtime, #91. After Midnight, #92. Tales from the Hood - Review

Screamtime film posterDesperately trying to match the iconic scares found in classics like Creepshow 2, The Twilight Zone Movie, and Trick R’ Treat, the three flicks I watched last night were all knock-offs of the anthology format. If you don’t know, anthologies are films that are made up short films all tied together by an overarching plot. One of the best things about anthology horror films is the weak plotline that holds the short-films together; Like Creepshow’s little Billy who introduces each segment as a story in a comic book.

Well, I started off with 1983’s Screamtime, which has two scumbags wanting to watch a couple of horror tapes. Each tape is presented as a mini-horror flick and they are all pretty terrible. Most don’t bother to make sense, instead spending precious screen time trying to confuse than frighten. Its good for laughs, so if you are bored one night and want to watch something really, really stupid than Screamtime is for you.After Midnight film poster

Next up for my night of screams was After Midnight. Made in 1989, it reeks of 80’s style horror set-ups and trappings. Still, I really liked After Midnight. The overarching plotline is pretty great. A university psyche professor invites his students to come over to his house to tell scary stories in an attempt to teach them about fear. The scares are stronger in this film than Screamtime, dealing with haunted houses, rabid dogs, a terrified phone-operator, and sociopathic hobos. I totally recommend this film; I think it is a great entry into the anthology hall of fame.

Tales from the HoodNow, the final film I watched I consider a classic. I have seen it at least a half-dozen times, and will probably watch it another dozen. It of course is 1995’s urban epic Tales from the Hood. Finally frights come to the hood! Produced by Spike Lee, this film opens with three gangbangers visiting a mortician who found some drugs. The oddly enigmatic undertaker frightens the boys, mostly because every casket they pass the mortician tells them the tragic story of how the victim died. Now, I would argue every story in Tales from the Hood deserves a place in the anthology pantheon, right next to “Old Chief Woodn’Head,” “ The Raft,” and “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” The first story is about an African American cop that allows three white cops to kill a local activist, and when the activist comes back from the dead all four men must pay. The second tale is a lesson on dealing with the monsters that attack at night, and the last is most bizarre, when dolls that are possessed by the spirits of slaves attack a white politician and his manager. Like I said, classic!

Tales from the Hood

All three films are currently on Netflix instant streaming service, and all three deserve your attention. If you decide to watch any of these flicks let me know what you thought, and don’t forget to click the “share” button below.

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