Directed By: Stacy Title
Starring: Snoop Dogg, Ernie Hudson, Danny Trejo
Tag line: "It AIN'T all good in da hood"
Guided by a mysterious figure known only as the Cribmaster (Snoop Dogg), Hood of Horror relates three stories of life in the ghetto, all of which are peppered with a twist of the macabre. Posie (Daniella Alonso) is a street artist who, as a child, witnessed the murder of her mother. After being pushed around by a gang of thugs, Posie meets a mysterious stranger (Danny Trejo) who grants her a very special power, one that will allow her to get even. Next, we have Tex Woods Jr. (Anson Mount), a nasty, vile redneck whose father, Tex Sr., died a very wealthy man, leaving his son, among other things, a house for aged veterans, all of whom served in Vietnam under Tex Sr.'s command. According to the terms of his father's will, Tex Jr. and his wife, Tiffany (Brande Roderick), must move in with the veterans for one year before they'll inherit any of the money, an arrangement that doesn't really work for anyone. Finally, there's the story of a rapper named Sod (Pooch Hall), who, along with his partner, Quon (Aries Spears), rose through the ranks until he hit the very top. But Sod, whose only interested in fame and fortune these days, loses sight of what got him there in the first place, and is in need of a lesson in humility.
Things get off to an OK start in Hood of Horror; the first tale, about a young girl on a mission of revenge, is somewhat engaging, featuring appearances by both Danny Trejo and Billy Dee Williams, as well as some impressively gory special effects (the best involving a gang member named Streako, played by Tayo Johnson, who meets his end by way of a beer bottle). Unfortunately, this is the best of the three stories, with each successive one failing to live up to the level of its predecessor. Anson Mount does a fine job as Tex Jr. in the second segment, playing a character with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. You really want to see him get his comeuppance, and Ernie Hudson (as one of the veterans) and his pals are only too happy to oblige. But a comedic undertone runs through the entire tale, taking some of the edge off of it, and Tex Jr. is so cartoon-like that his fate is a foregone conclusion. As for the final entry, Pooch Hall and Aries Spears do their best to make it click, but Sod's transformation from God-fearing wannabe to pompous superstar occurs much too quickly to give the sequence any real dramatic punch.
All of the performances in Hood of Horror are fair, and a handful of animated sequences, used to connect the stories, are impressive (the first, which reveals how Snoop Dogg became the Cribmaster, plays out during the opening credits). It's a shame the tales themselves fall a bit short of the mark, and though Hood of Horror is certainly not a waste of time, it's far from the movie it could have been.