I was the right age to enjoy the revival of half-hour TV anthology series about the odd, inexplicable, or spooky in the mid- to late 1980s: Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories, new series of The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Tales from the Darkside, and eventually Tales from the Crypt. I may have seen one too many of these shows, because the genre seems a little tired to me. Watching Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror, which combines three such stories into one feature-length film, I felt like I'd seen most of it before, except without the fancy trimmings and gore.

In lieu of the Cryptkeeper, Snoop Dogg links three morality tales with some gruesome aspects added for thrills. Snoop Dogg is actually playing a character, the Hound of Hell, as explained in the pre-credits animated sequence. A street kid named Devon lands himself in a lot of trouble, and eventually sacrifices his life to save his sister. As a result, he becomes one of the caretakers of the Hood of Horror, who ushers the souls of the wicked into the next life, and is also required to be a sharp dresser. As animation turns into live action, Devon turns into Snoop Dogg with a HoH tattoo on his neck to remind us that he's now a Hound of Hell. Other than the tattoo, however, the character does not appear to be a big acting stretch for the rap star.