Monday, May 20, 2013

Endangered Species: A 20th Anniversary Retrospective of ‘Menace II Society’ (Part 6)

In honor of the 20th anniversary of ‘Menace II Society,’ I proudly present this multipart retrospective.  The current chapter is posted below.  To read the previous chapter, please click here.  Thank you, and enjoy! 

Part VI:  Touring The Inferno

Tupac’s melodramatic departure from Menace II Society could have easily shut down the production.  It was his participation that convinced New Line Cinema to give it the green light.  Luckily, they didn’t pull the plug.  Shooting commenced as planned.  However, there was another issue to contend with.  The 1992 riots had left South Central L.A. in shambles.  Nevertheless, it remained a complex labyrinth of gang territories.  The Eastside Grape Street Watts Crips had a direct hand in the truce that immediately preceded the Riots.  Unfortunately, it didn’t apply to everyone.  The Jordan Downs Public housing projects was one of many treacherous locales on the shooting schedule. The Hughes brothers might as well have been filming in the Persian Gulf just after desert storm.