The ABCs of Death
Can a collection of short films be considered an epic? After watching The ABC's of Death, I would have to say yes. Twenty-six directors from around the world were assigned a letter of the alphabet and asked to make a short, death-filled film regarding a subject starting with that letter. There was no limitations placed on the content of these shorts...and it shows, because there is some crazy shit on display here.
As with any anthology film, there are going to be entries of varying qualities--some highs, some lows. A few of my favorite segments:
"D is for Dogfight", wherein an underground fight club gets nasty when a killer canine is brought into the ring. I don't know how it could be done, but I would gladly watch a feature-length version.
"L is for Libido" is a sick and twisted story of gambling on masturbation. It gives a new definition to to the term torture porn, and if it continued any longer, it could have rivaled A Serbian Film for pure sexual fucked-uppedness.
"Q is for Quack" takes the concept and goes meta with it as director Adam Wingard and his crew struggle with how to film a horror short about the letter Q. Their solution? Duck snuff.
"X is for XXL" is a grotesque body horror tale that comments on the pressure women feel to be thin and attractive in modern society. It takes it to the extreme, of course, but definitely gets its point across.
The low points for me were :F is for Fart" and "K is for Klutz", both of which relied on sophomoric toilet humor; and "H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion", which was an almost-inexplicable live-action cartoon taking place during WWII. Others were too artsy for their own good, which made both the highbrow and the lowbrow seem similarly ridiculous when viewed alongside each other.
Overall, it was a hell of a lot of fun--though extremely uneven. I enjoyed the experience of watching the work from multiple directors in a shorter format. Clocking in at more than 2 hours, it requires a bit too much of a time commitment for me to put it in regular rotation, but I'll gladly pull it out on occasion to watch with some like-minded friends.
Be sure to check out my special Facebook exclusive Bonus Feature to go along with this review: An Alphabetorium of Alternative Horror.
Special thanks to Magnolia Pictures for the screener!
Multiple languages/English subtitles