Director: Ernest R. Dickerson
Writer: Adam Simon and Tim Metcalfe
Starring: Snoop Dogg, Pam Grier and Michael T. Weiss
This film begins with a man running away from a dog. The dog has glowing red eyes and the man is played by Ron Selmour. He gets into his building and to his apartment. He pulls out a rifle and shoots the dog. The bullet goes right through it. We then see two white college kids roll up in a Dodge Viper, they are played by Josh Byer and Kirby Morrow. They meet with two drug dealers, played by Deezer D and Garikayi Mutambirwa. They do their transaction and go to a building where the drugs are hidden. They remove a brick and take out what is crystal meth. A cop car pulls up and they hide out in the building. The building is rundown and in a horrible state. The cop chases them in, but he is called back out by his partner, played by Michael T. Weiss. The two college kids go to leave and are spooked by a ghost. They get out of the door, but stay there and are pulled back in and killed.
We then flashback to 1979 where we meet Snoop Dogg, who back in this time was a local gangster. He ran the streets and wanted to see them prosper. We also see that Pam Grier lives on this block.
The film then shifts back to present time where a group pulls up to the house that belonged to Dogg back in the day and is where the college students were killed. We have a couple of brothers played by Khalil Kain and Merwin Mondesir. Also with them is their half-sister, played by Katharine Isabelle. They also have a friend played by Sean Amsing. They have bought the house and they are going to make it into a night club so the DJs, Mondesir and Amsing, can perform on a regular basis. As they go through the place, Isabelle finds the dog that chased Selmour. She gives it her burger and decides to keep him.
As they go to leave the house, they run into Grier along with her daughter, played by Bianca Lawson. They are carrying bags that the men take to help them. Grier is a fortune teller and tries to warn them to leave. Lawson seems to take a liking to Kain.
We then see D and Mutambirwa talk to their boss, played by Ricky Harris. He is a local drug dealer that runs this area now. He scolds them for killing the college students, but they swear they didn’t do it. They did sell their car though.
The film then introduces us to Kain and Mondesir’s father, who is played by Clifton Powell. He is married to Lynda Boyd who is Isabelle’s mother. We see that he is hard on his boys and wants them to grow up right.
We continuously get flashbacks to something that happened in 1979. There was a deal that Powell was trying to broker between Dogg, Weiss and Harris. Dogg ends up being murdered though. The deal also involves the selling of crystal meth on the streets that Dogg looks over. Grier is dating Dogg in the past as well.
As Kain and his crew clean up the house, they find in the basement the bones of Dogg. The dog found in the house eats meat which helps to give Dogg more power. Powell is also irate when he finds out that his son is the person that bought the house that belonged to Dogg.
The club is opened and their opening night is a disaster. Amsing is murdered by the dog and Dogg comes back to life. Meal worms are vomited on Kain and start to drop on the patrons below. The building then burns down. Dogg is back to get revenge on all those that murdered him as well as to make his neighborhood safe again. Will he succeed? Will those that are innocent be spared or will Dogg’s rampage get out of hand?
I will lead off saying that I heard of this film awhile ago, but avoided it due to thinking it could be cheesy. I felt that it definitely ends up being that, but it does have its good parts. I think Dogg is perfect for the role as I’m sure it was wrote for him. I think that he portrays a 70s gangster perfectly as that is really the style he has quite a bit. I like that he is the old school gangster as well that is protecting his neighborhood and wants to keep drugs out of it. I also like that he wants to clean up his hood when he comes back from the dead as well as extracting revenge. Some of the deaths were good. I liked to see horror film regular Isabelle in this film, but I feel she was highly underutilized. The concept of there being a wall between the living and the dead is not a new concept to this film, but I like that it is explored.
I do have to say that the acting isn’t very good outside of Dogg, Grier and the little time that Isabelle has. That was really a disappointment that I think a lot of it comes from the budget they were working with and the type of cast that they needed for the film. The concept of the film starts out very well, but then I think it gets stagnant and really doesn’t develop itself anymore which was a disappointment for me. It also doesn’t make a lot of sense with the dog that is controlled by Dogg and it gives it powers. My question is how does he have the power to even control the dog to begin with? That is something that was ambiguous and left unanswered. Like was Selmour living in fear for 22 years of this dog? Was everyone on the street? This needed a little bit more fleshing out.
Now with that said, I wouldn’t recommend seeing this film unless you like cheesy ones. The acting isn’t good outside of a few. The concept starts out will, but it doesn’t get the full development that it requires. This left me wanting more. It does explore some good ideas that I think could have helped the film, but it chose not too. If you want to see a subpar urban horror film, then I would recommend this one. If not, there are much better films in the genre.
My Rating: 4 out of 10