Nite Tales (2009)

Nite Tales represents the continued evolution of modern black horror movies in the 21st century…at least, production value-wise. The content itself is pretty much crap. Or couldn’t you tell by the tagline “hosted by Flavor Flav”?

With his energetic, larger-than-live personality, Flav seems suited to do…something, but horror movie host isn’t it. He doesn’t even play a character; he’s just Flavor Flav, buffoon for hire. He’s basically a hip-hop Cryptkeeper, lightheartedly introducing the two stories in this mini-anthology. (“The first time ever you get two action-packed movies into one!” he proclaims, overlooking flicks like Grindhouse and Two Evil Eyes, which, in his defense, aren’t particularly action-packed.)

The first story is “Karma,” a tale of four “urban” thugs — Dice (Sticky Fingaz), Dee (Tyrin Turner), Twan (Fredro Starr) and Mouse (Michael Pagan) — who leave the city to rob a small-town bank, killing a security guard in the process. While fleeing the scene, their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, and they decide to approach a creepy old house to ask to use the phone. Surprisingly, the backwoods residents seem happy to see them — a little too happy, as it becomes evident that they have plans for the “boys”…dinner plans.

Next is “Storm,” a seemingly unrelated tale about a group of racially mixed “teens” (wink, wink) who are home alone one dark and stormy night and decide to play the ol’ Bloody Mary game. Then they proceed to get bumped off by an evil spirit because, well, it’s a really crummy game. Complicating matters is the arrival of a clown (Tony Todd) and a policeman, one of whom is secretly an escaped serial killer.

There’s promise in these two story lines and in the production as a whole, which has a strong cast and a glossy, professional look, but writer/director Deon Taylor tries to do too much with the direction (gimmicky strobing visual effects during every action sequence) and not enough with the script (for the most part, been there done that). It’s nice that he ties the stories together, but two subpar parts still make one subpar whole.

Ultimately, the movie is a lot like the DVD cover art: attractive but shallow and pointless. Sort of like a Mac. (Please don’t give me a virus.)

“Do you like long walks on the beach, top hats and cartoonishly oversized clocks? If you said ‘Yeeeaaaahh boiiiiii!’ then I might be the man for you.” “I’m just happy to be here.” “Oh yes, there will be blood. And Triscuits. But mostly blood.” Unfortunately, Ashley wasn’t able to fully appreciate the accomplishment of stabbing herself in the back. “I just crapped my pants.” “I just crapped his pants too.” Jerome had heard one too many “Homey don’t play dat” jokes. “You sicken my general demeanor.” “…You…have…waxy…build-up…” “A cop always wears his earring in the left ear.” “Or maybe it’s the right ear.” “…Nope, definitely the left.”




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