The ABC’s of Death (2012)
Twenty-six directors from all over the world were given $5,000 and free reign to direct a short film however they want, as long as the central theme involves death. What they have ended up with is a bag of cinematic trail mix that runs the gamut from true horror to downright silliness, and this vast range of different stories makes reviewing the film tough to do. The film by it’s very nature defies convention. Most anthologies have around five stories tops with each one around twenty-five to thirty minutes a piece. What you have here are twenty-six shorts at around five minutes a piece with some animated and claymation shorts in addition to live action. What you will see watching this is one of the most insane movie experiences in a while.
At the end of each segment a title card appears telling you the name of the story and it’s director (i.e. F is for Fart by Noboru Iguchi). I was going to give you guys a list of each title and their director, but that would ruin part of the fun of the movie. Me and my fiancee watched it together drunk last night and were playing a guessing game as to what the title of each story would be next. Iguchi’s entry is pretty obvious from it’s beginning and is just as silly as his other output such as The Machine Girl and Karate-Robo Zaborgar, with (what I’m guessing from the titles) is a small dash of his adult video work, such as HyperTrophy Genitals Girl and Beautiful Girl Excretion School. Other directors include Adam (V/H/S and A Horrible Way to Die) Winguard, Jake (Evil Aliens, Razorblade Smile) West, Angela (Roman) Bettis, and another disappoint from Ti (The Innkeepers, V/H/S, and his one good movie The House of the Devil) West.
There are some entries that show serious promise of what could have been fully formed movies, and that is what I found a bit frustrating about this movie. It’s not a movie. It’s a showcase forum for a well-spring of talent, with some true gems standing out (Xavier Gens entry X is for XXL being one of them). It’s a film intentionally designed to shock and awe theater goers and I hope it finds it’s audience when it is released theatrically next month. If nothing else, watch it with beer and friends, it’s got enough gore and rampant nudity to keep attention spans in check, and hopefully your friends are familiar enough with the alphabet to keep track of which letter is next.