These Black films danced around the dimensions of reality with reckless abandon.
This time of year everyone likes to dress up as things that bump in the night and send our imaginations soaring to the highest heights as we squeal and giggle.
Fear is one of our most primal emotions and is based upon what we are taught and what he know. Fear usually comes when faced with the vacuum that lies between what we believe is truth and what is actually real.
Horror movies frighten us because they speak to something deep within, something that is uncertain within the dimensions of reality.
These four movies danced around those dimensions with reckless abandon.
Blacula Intro (1972)
The first time that I ever saw a horror movie with a black lead was Blacula, starring William Marshall. Blacula is about an African prince in 1780 who is bitten by Dracula after asking for his help in stopping the slave trade.
We find him centuries later in the 1970’s as he awakens from his slumber, terrorizing and traumatizing women who resemble his wife from the life he lived centuries prior. Though roundly panned by modern standards, this film was considered revolutionary for the time it was created.
The official trailer for the 1992 hook handed slasher ‘Candyman’ anyone remember this flesh shedding classic? The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster’s myth.
Candyman is an apparition left behind for centuries following a mind-numbing act of brutality and wickedness that results in his right hand being chopped off and replaced with a rusty hook. Then, his body is smeared in honey and he’s stung to death by bees as white bystanders watch him die. Why? He dared fall in love with a white woman. It is one of the greatest cult classics of all time. Remember his phrase, “Be my victim!”?
Brrrrr…is it chilly in here, or is that some bone-chilling sh*t to hear before death?
TALES FROM THE HOOD
Tales From the Hood, released in 1992, starred the great Clarence Williams III, along with Anthony Griffith, Tom Wright, David Alan Grier, Corbin Bernsen, Rusty Cundieff, Stuart Townsend and others. The film is actually comprised of several short stories that speak to the horror of being black in a country that was created by white supremacy.
In retrospect, it was likely the first surrealist black cinematic offering I had seen.
Clarence Williams III plays a funeral director who tells three young dopeboys stories of horror regarding race and racism while he has them trapped in his funeral home.
Rough Cop Revelation, the first story, speaks to police brutality and racial profiling. Black officer Clarence Smith witnesses four white officers inject heroin into a beloved civil rights activist turned councilman. He dies, but returns as one of the undead and exacts revenge on the white officers with the help of a drunken officer Smith.
CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/1reuGJV Follow us on TWITTER: https://twitter.com/scream_factory Follow us on FACEBOOK: http://on.fb.me/1ojljJS Welcome to the ‘hood of horrors! It’s a place where your worst fears can come to life. A place where it’s hard to tell nightmares from reality. A place where you will discover Tales From The Hood.
The second tale is “Boys Do Get Bruised”, which is about a boy who draws monstrous pictures of his mother’s boyfriend upon meeting him. He is indeed revealed to be an abusive monster who beats him and his mother until the boy’s teacher helps fight him off. The boy destroys him by simply tearing up the pictures he drew, which speaks to the power within us all to change troubling situations by our own hand.
The third story is KKK Comeuppance, which is less horrifying than it is comical. Corbin Bernsen plays an ex-KKK member and sitting senator who is the subject of protest by African-American and Jewish civil rights groups because his headquarters is at a former slave plantation house. The snobby senator is warned that a hoodoo witch haunts the grounds and her animated dolls have the tortured souls of slaves, who indeed come to life to torture the racist.
In the fourth story it is revealed that the gang members aren’t in a funeral home at all, but in hell and the funeral director was the devil, claiming their souls after they were murdered in retaliation for their own brutality. This story was scary to me because, at the time as a teen in an urban environment, my friends were disappearing left and right, and all I heard on the news was how many black boys never live to see 25.
I’m not saying that a movie scared me away from street life, but it damn sure made me think about my decisions.
QUEEN OF THE DAMNED
Uploaded by tyrant026 on 2010-10-04.
Queen of the Damned, starring Aaliyah and released just six months after her untimely death, featured the pop star as the primary antagonist, Queen Akasha. She’s awakened by Lestat’s music and begins destroying other vampires at her leisure.
However, the other ancient vampires want to destroy her in order to save the human race. She was as majestic as she was horrifying in the title role.