Horror films have always been a great avenue to explore social, political, and even racial controversies throughout history. Jordan Peele’s Get Out managed to scare audiences, while also gaining the attention of the Academy for what his film was trying to say.
But, when it comes to horror films dealing with racial issues, there are none that capture the idea quite like 1995’s Tales from the Hood. Utilizing an anthology approach, it manages to thrill, as well as make bold statements about society as a whole.
So in honor of its 25th anniversary today, we thought it would be fun to delve into 25 fun facts about Tales from the Hood!
1. It was the first horror movie that Spike Lee ever produced. To date, the only other horror movie on his producing resume was its sequel, Tales from the Hood 2.
2. Tales from the Hood was director only director Rusty Cundieff’s second film. The first was a mockumentary titled Fear of a Black Hat back in 1993.
3. Cundieff was inspired to not just “make a horror movie for horror’s sake” by this father, who had been an active member in many civil rights groups.
4. In addition to being inspired by Tales from the Crypt, the movie’s anthology style was chosen so that it could highlight several different social/racial issues simultaneously.
5. Rusty Cundieff has always considered it to be a “redemptive” horror film, in which the horror itself serves as cosmic justice for the sins and racism of the past.
6. Before playing the incredibly creepy funeral director, Clarence Williams III had previously experience with horror anthology. He starred on a Tales from the Crypt episode in 1992 titled “Maniac at Large”.
7. The film had the same cinematographer from Candyman, Anthony B. Richmond.
8. In the movie’s 3rd story, “KKK Comeuppance”, the political candidate’s name Duke Metger was based on white supremacists David Duke (grand wizard of the KKK) and Tom Metzger (founder of the Aryan Resistance).
9. The aforementioned David Duke had already served a term in the Louisiana House of Representatives when the movie came out.
However, it’s arguably more relevant now than ever, as a record number of admitted white supremacists ran for political office in 2018.
10. While not addressed directly, Simms’ (Clarence Williams III) hair is styled in the same manner of famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
11. Tales from the Hood’s score was composed by Christopher Young. He also composed music for Urban Legend, The Grudge, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Drag Me to Hell, Sinister, and many more!
12. “Rogue Cop Revelation” was partially shot at Inglewood Cemetery, the same location used in several episodes of Columbo, Dallas, Dynasty, and Melrose Place.
13. Fans of David Alan Grier’s comedy were shocked to see him in such a dramatic and intense role. Rusty Cundieff wanted Grier for that very reason.
The goal was that the audience would be shocked to see an actor that they normally laughed at. Plus Grier’s Shakespearean training helped (something that Cundieff was aware of).
14. In the original cut of the film, the scene in which Carl (Grier) beats Sissy (Paula Jai Parker) with the belt was much longer and more intense.
During a test screening, the audience reportedly laughed at first, but grew chillingly quiet as it went on. Rusty Cundieff has stated that he believes the laughter was the result of the audience using humor to diffuse the very difficult images they were seeing.
15. Simms’ Funeral Home was actually just a house in residential Los Angeles, which still stands today. In fact, it’s located only a few blocks away from the house exterior used in Charmed.
16. The Gyropsychomodulator that Crazy-K is put on in the fourth story “Hard-Core Convert” was inspired by the iconic scene in A Clockwork Orange.
Both involve characters being strapped to a device that is meant to change them emotionally and mentally.
17. Most of the cast and crew simply referred to it as the “torture table” however, because they couldn’t pronounce its actual name, as written in the script.
18. Despite receiving very mixed critical reviews, Tales from the Hood was technically a box office success, grossing $11.8 million on an estimated $6 million budget.
19. The movie’s soundtrack was even more popular than the movie itself. It reached #16 on the US Billboard Top 200, and even reached #1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
20. Production company also produced American History X, A Bronx Tale, and Serial Mom.
21. Wound up being Rosalind Cash’s last movie. After playing Dr. Cushing (a probable reference to Peter Cushing), she sadly passed away on October 31, 1995.
22. This, along with the tragic death of Lamont Bentley by car accident, have caused some to speculate that the movie was cursed. But there’s very little other “evidence” to suggest anything like that.
23. Rusty Cundieff would go on to work as a writer on Comedy Central’s Chappelle Show.
24. Following the success of Get Out in 2017, it led to a resurgence of popularity with Tales form the Hood, even leading to a sequel being released in 2018 (still directed by Rusty Cundieff).
25. There is a 3rd installment (also directed by Rusty Cundieff) due to be released on VOD sometime in 2020.
Which of these did you find interesting? Were there any that you already knew? Let us know in the comments!
Tales from the Hood is currently streaming on STARZ
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