Menace II Society

Monday, August 1 at 7:00 PM — Music Box Theatre — 3733 N. Southport Ave
Tickets: $10 at the door, or purchase in advance

August 1 - Menace II Society

Directed by The Hughes Brothers • 1993
At the age of 20, twin brothers Allen and Albert Hughes became the youngest feature film directors in the history of Hollywood, an auspicious start for a pair of high school dropouts with only a few community college film courses and a couple of rap videos under their belts. The Hughes brothers’ debut Menace II Society follows a pair of teenage crack dealers, recent high school graduate Caine (Tyrin Turner) and his best friend O-Dog (pride of Chicago Larenz Tate, nothing short of iconic here), as they drift aimlessly between parties, hookups, and armed robberies, their lives increasingly punctuated by bloodshed and violent death. Filling out the cast is an absolutely stacked array of memorable supporting players and one-scene wonders including Jada Pinkett (in her first big screen role), Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Duke, Glenn Plummer, Arnold Johnson, and rappers MC Eiht and Too $hort. (Tupac Shakur was also cast but left the production on acrimonious terms. He was later arrested for assaulting Allen Hughes.) Financed as studios were chasing the critical and commercial success of Boyz n the HoodMenace brought the Hughes brothers instant acclaim for their prowling, Scorsese-influenced style and unflinching treatment of crime and poverty in South Los Angeles, along with condemnations from critics and industry professionals discomfited by their film’s graphic violence and moral ambivalence. Three decades on, Menace’s caustic humor and unsparing worldview remain as shocking as the day the film was released, a touchstone for enfant terribles like Harmony Korine and Chief Keef and perennial inspiration for wayward youth everywhere. (CW)
97 min • New Line Cinema • 35mm from Warner Brothers
Preceded by: Directors’ beef trailer reel – 35mm

NEXT UP: The Marriage Circle on Sat 8/6 at 11:30 AM @ Music Box