There is something undeniably endearing about Snoop Doggy Dog, from his tendency to use ‘izzle’ as a suffix, to his relentless and successful domination of every art form and merchandising opportunity conceivable, it’s not hard to see why he is such an enduring figure in our culture. Conclusively, it only makes sense to see grand master rapper enter the realm of horror…fo shizzle.
As we all know the track record for rappers acting in horror films is less then exemplary. We would all like to forget Ice Cube in Ghost on Mars and Busta Rhymes in Halloween Resurrection but we can’t, they happened and no matter how hard you scrub the dirt will never come off. But there is always the exception to the rule and luckily, Hood of Horror is it.
The film is essentially a mix of Creepshow and Tales From the Crypt Keeper. But what sets apart this episodic series of horror fables is that Snoop Dogg replaces the Crypt Keeper as the demonic, wisecracking teller of tales. The film begins with a Sin City via 100 Bullets style animation which is not only knowingly hilarious but straightforwardly bad ass as well. It is used in order to layer in the vague groundwork about how Snoop’s character came to be the shape shifting yarn spinner. From there we are led through three ‘hood’ based adventures that take us from ‘the street’ all the way to ‘the top’.
Each story is surprisingly rich in detail and contains an abundance of fun ideas. By no means are these storytelling masterworks, nor are they the most original of set ups either, but each of them are well drawn and enjoyable enough so that –if the film makers were so inclined to do so- they could all conceivably be lengthened into feature length narratives. But, as surprisingly enjoyable as the stories are, it’s the violence that takes the spotlight.
The humorously grotesque deaths are impressive in their inventiveness. Over the course of the film we are presented with a can of spray paint protruding from a gang banger’s skull which is then used to paint a bloody mural against a pristine, church wall; a hillbilly skank is force fed caviar to the point where her stomach explodes and a Paris Hilton style Chihuahua feeds from her cavernous belly. If you don’t lap this s**t up then your brain must have gone to piddle.
But if you lot out there in horrorland still need convincing then I need only mention the surprisingly decent acting talent. Billy ‘Lando Calrissian’ Dee Williams, Sydney Tamiia Poitier and Ernie ‘Ghostbutsin’ Hudson all turn up in various substantial roles…granted, they may not be the A list but what were you expecting? Ernie Hudson is particularly worth mentioning for his surprisingly touching and funny portrayal of a beaten down Vietnam veteran.
Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror has by no means reinvented the wheel, nor is it nearly as well made as I am making out. What this film is however is a hugely enjoyable romp which is more competent than many higher budget horror movies. The stories are enjoyable, the violence is inventive and the direction is fittingly cartoonish…and of course, lest we forget our host, the ghoulish gangster that is, Snoop Doggy Dog. Truly he is the king of kingizzles.