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Review: The ABCs of Death

Mar. 4, 2013by: Chris Bumbray
100%

PLOT: Twenty-six short films about death, each from a different director, and each corresponding to a letter of the alphabet.

REVIEW: An omnibus film is always a dicey proposition, and if nothing else, THE ABCs OF DEATH deserves a whole lot of credit for being bold. Twenty-seven directors, including Jason Eisener, Ti West, Ben Wheatley, and Adam Wingard bravely signed on, and each was (apparently) randomly assigned a letter of the alphabet, and given roughly five minutes and $5000 to tell a story that somehow related to death.

The styles vary from film to film. Some are scary, some are kinda funny, but all are gory as all hell, and the film comes with a hilarious disclaimer early-on warning that those ďwith a sensitive natureĒ are advised to skip the film, as itís over two hours of unimaginable carnage and bad taste. Certainly this is one film wholly deserving of an NC-17, as nothing is left un-exploited.


Given that we have twenty-six films, some are bound to be good, a few maybe even excellent, while a lot are bound to be crap. For me, Iíd say at least half the films range from bad (most of the Japanese shorts from Sushi Typhoon, who specialized in zany splatter, which I hate), to so-so (almost everything else). But, what makes THE ABCs OF DEATH well worth catching are the odd films that really work. The first film, A FOR APOCALYPSE, as directed by Nacho Vigalando starts things off in great form, with a woman violently trying and failing to kill her husband. The next really noteworthy episode is probably the best of the whole film, D FOR DOG FIGHT- which features only music, no dialogue of sound FX, and features a bum engaged in a fight to the death with a deceptively cute yellow lab. This short is stunning, and got a hearty round of applause from the audience, especially when itís suggested that the bum may in fact be a dog himself, humanizing this vicious, disgusting spectacle in a way thatís quite striking.


Ben Wheatley (KILL LIST) also contributes a memorable entry later in the film, taking us through a particularly gruesome monster hunt through the POV of the monster itself (regulars Michael Smiley and Neil Maskell show up briefly). Even better is Adam Wingardís mockumentary for Q IS FOR QUACK, which I wonít spoil here. In a neat twist, one of the most memorable installments, T FOR TOILETby Lee Hardcastle, is actually the result of a YouTube competition, but Hardcastleís stop-motion film is really one of the very best of the bunch. Finally, Jason Eisenerís Y FOR YOUNG BUCK ventures well into the realm of bad taste and ick, but itís shot so well, with a hilariously a propos synth score reminiscent of eighties fare like SAVAGE STREETS, that it ended up one of my favorites.

So, while I canít say that THE ABCs OF DEATH is a slam-dunk, there are enough really good shorts here to make it well worth seeing- even though youíll have to sit through some crap. Itís a great Midnight flick for a theater with a party atmosphere (this would have killed at Fantasia) - and the DVD, which will allow us to cut through the bad ones will be a must-own.

Source: JoBlo.com

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2:41PM on 03/04/2013

This movie owns.

yes some of the segments were weak but overall its a disturbing, funny, crazy, intense, bloody, fucked up, joy ride. I can't wait for the next one to come out. Between this and V/H/S I say these films are making a solid come back. My personal favorite that stuck with me was X is for XXL. I love the shit out of that one Just seeing that lady come out oh man.
yes some of the segments were weak but overall its a disturbing, funny, crazy, intense, bloody, fucked up, joy ride. I can't wait for the next one to come out. Between this and V/H/S I say these films are making a solid come back. My personal favorite that stuck with me was X is for XXL. I love the shit out of that one Just seeing that lady come out oh man.
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+1
8:14AM on 03/04/2013
I really liked the movie. Sure it varies a lot in its quality, but I think that the vast majority are real good short, while the rest if not good are still entertaining. But what I liked the most is the running time of the shorts and the very first one. After A, you know that it's not your typical horror and you never know what to expect - insane amounts of gore, wacky scenarios or even emotional investment. Suspense is usually gone but the movie still manages to keep you on the edge by its
I really liked the movie. Sure it varies a lot in its quality, but I think that the vast majority are real good short, while the rest if not good are still entertaining. But what I liked the most is the running time of the shorts and the very first one. After A, you know that it's not your typical horror and you never know what to expect - insane amounts of gore, wacky scenarios or even emotional investment. Suspense is usually gone but the movie still manages to keep you on the edge by its unpredictability
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6:53AM on 03/04/2013
I can't emphasize enough that the best way to watch this is with a group of friends and some beers. ABC's is a mixture of fucking awesome, average, "what the fuck am I even watching right now?", and then just awful segments that it makes watching and discussing, analyzing, arguing, etc. each short with your buddies a blast. I won't get into what I thought were the best/worst because stuff like that is entirely subjective but I will agree with the reviewer that Dogfight was the best.
I can't emphasize enough that the best way to watch this is with a group of friends and some beers. ABC's is a mixture of fucking awesome, average, "what the fuck am I even watching right now?", and then just awful segments that it makes watching and discussing, analyzing, arguing, etc. each short with your buddies a blast. I won't get into what I thought were the best/worst because stuff like that is entirely subjective but I will agree with the reviewer that Dogfight was the best.
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9:06AM on 09/19/2012
I have high hopes for The ABCs of Death. I might have to watch it in sections, though, for a death every five minutes is a lot of deaths. Just call me a pussy. Faces of Death (with a similar name) never interested me for being a long cavalcade of snuff and splatschtick too.
Ti West is a favorite director: House of the Devil, The Innkeepers, V/H/S. He has a different admirable style, for he is a film-maker who can do slow-burn horror yet keep the slower pace interesting. However, I have been
I have high hopes for The ABCs of Death. I might have to watch it in sections, though, for a death every five minutes is a lot of deaths. Just call me a pussy. Faces of Death (with a similar name) never interested me for being a long cavalcade of snuff and splatschtick too.
Ti West is a favorite director: House of the Devil, The Innkeepers, V/H/S. He has a different admirable style, for he is a film-maker who can do slow-burn horror yet keep the slower pace interesting. However, I have been waiting for a project in which West must pick-up the pace and get right to the action. A five-minute short fits that need perfectly. So, I look forward to his ABCs segment.
D for Dog Fight sounds like a good one. T for Toilet sounds like another good one; Toilet sounds like shit that I might watch.
The ABCs of Death is at least something new to watch. It has not been completely done before. Good.
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