Street Tales of Terror (2004)

This urban horror anthology doesn’t open very promisingly, with characters with names like J-Dog delivering lines like, “Nigga, I know that you did not just call my bitch a bitch!” Luckily, the “tales” themselves aren’t quite so stereotypically chicken-headed. Unluckily, they’re still not all that good. The stories come from a homeless man (Wayne Dehart) who witnesses a drug-related murder and is now trying to buy time before the killers put a cap in his ass. Basically, the setup is a cross between Tales from the Hood and Tales from the Darkside.

The first tale is “The Reckoning”: A girl drowns in a pool when her three friends decide to play a trick on her for being a tattletale. (I say serves her right, the snitch.) Fast-forward 20 years, and strange things start happening. (Strangest among them is the fact that while Judy looks about 24, Tonya and the subtly named Demona look as if they’re 46.) Of course, the sins of their past come back to haunt them, blah blah blah.

The second tale is “The Clinic,” which feels more like an anti-abortion PSA more than a horror film. The third is “Graduation Night,” yet another “revenge from beyond the grave” story that takes waaay too long to develop and has way too little payoff. Overall, the acting is weak, the gore is virtually nil and the stories, while not bad, are simple, predictable and not worth analogizing. The best thing about Street Tales of Terror is Dehart as the narrator (not surprisingly the only actor with much of a resume beyond this movie), who’s a less nutty version of Clarence Williams’ undertaker from Tales from the Hood.

“Now, where’d I put my tongue?”
“Yes, this will hold my pants nicely.”
Zombie Biz Markie actually looked better than regular Biz Markie.
Mrs. Wonder laughed whenever Stevie used the mirror.
“Anyone seen my pee canteen?”
“Whew. That would’ve really hurt if it had gone through me.”

What do you think?