Rusty Cundieff's Spike Lee-produced black horror anthology Tales From The Hood is one of the greatest scare pictures of all time. I've written at length about my admiration for Cundieff's provocative work of pop art, saying:
"Originally conceived as a stage play titled Black Horror Show, writer/director Rusty Cundieff (Fear of a Black Hat [‘93]) took the EC Comics anthology format and rejiggered it into a socially conscious wrecking ball. Re-naming it Tales From the Hood and releasing it in May 1995 (smack dab in the middle of the [OJ] Simpson trial), the end result is still one of the most important sociopolitical statements the horror genre has ever seen."
Cundieff has attempted to get a sequel to his potent cocktail of genre protest off the ground for many years now, and it looked like he finally got the greenlight back in January, when the writer/director tweeted that he was "scouting locations in New Orleans". Little more was known about the project at that point, but fans suddenly sat upright in their seats. Were we really going to see Clarence Williams III's wild, cigar-smoking funeral maestro finally return to the big screen?
Cundieff continued to work in silence, until re-emerging in March with another cryptic tweet:
Good Golly. pic.twitter.com/deGdw0m6QA— Rusty Cundieff (@RustyCundieff) March 9, 2018
In the ensuing thread, Cundieff confirmed that casting on the movie was all but complete, building on the fact that paperwork had been filed for the sequel to shoot in New Orleans. Then he went dark again. Until yesterday, when the writer/director tweeted this image out:
Obviously, we all know that's Keith David - the golden-throated legend from John Carpenter's The Thing and They Live (among countless other credits) - but what we've now learned behind the scenes is that David will be standing in for Williams' mortician from hell, guiding us (and probably some hapless hoods) through a new set of terrifyingly incendiary tales.
Today, Cundieff tweeted this out:
At studio of master film composer Christopher Young who did the score for Tales From The Hood 1 And has lended his awesome talents to the opening score for #TFTH2!!!! He collects Jack’o lanterns among other cool things. pic.twitter.com/KmKX2k2G89— Rusty Cundieff (@RustyCundieff) May 24, 2018
Legendary Hellraiser composer Chris Young is coming back to add his portentous gothic tones to Tales From the Hood 2's opening themes? Fuck yes. This pretty much all but confirms principal photography has wrapped on Tales 2, and hopefully Cundieff will be sharing even more news (and possibly a teaser?) in the near future.
Personally, it's difficult to articulate what this sequel means to me. Cundieff coming back in the Age of Trump feels like a much needed resurrection of one of the most important (and too oft-overlooked) filmic voices of all time. We don't just want Tales From the Hood 2, our very survival as a species may depend upon its existence. Stay tuned for more, boys and ghouls.