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The ABCs of Death (2012)

  Tags: Adam Wingard, Adrián García Bogliano, Anders Morgenthaler, Andrew Traucki, Angela Bettis, anthology, Banjong Pisanthanakun, Ben Wheatley, Bruno Forzani & Hélène Cattet, Drafthouse Films, Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, Jake West, Jason Eisener, Jon Schnepp, Jorge Michel Grau, Kaare Andrews, Lee Hardcastle, Magnet Releasing, Marcel Sarmiento, Nacho Vigalondo, Noboru Iguchi, Simon Rumley, Srdjan Spasojevic, The ABC’s Of Death, Thomas Cappelen Malling, Ti West, Timo Tjahjanto, Timpson Films, Xavier Gens, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Yudai Yamaguchi

Your rating: None Average: 5.2 (11 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 

Rating #: 
Kaare Andrews, Angela Bettis, Adrián García Bogliano, Bruno Forzani & Hélène Cattet, Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, Jason Eisener, Xavier Gens, Jorge Michel Grau, Lee Hardcastle, Noboru Iguchi, Thomas Cappelen Malling, Anders Morgenthaler, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Banjong Pisanthanakun, Simon Rumley, Marcel Sarmiento, Jon Schnepp, Srdjan Spasojevic, Timo Tjahjanto, Andrew Traucki, Nacho Vigalondo, Jake West, Ti West, Ben Wheatley, Adam Wingard, Yudai Yamaguchi
123 minutes

The ABCs of Death is an ambitious anthology project that brings together 26 different directors and gives them a letter of the alphabet to use and turn into a word and short story of their own. They're pretty much given full reign over anything they'd like to do and you can bet they take full advantage of that. Unfortunately, giving them the means to do whatever they want wasn't necessarily a good thing, especially if they're given no more than 5-minutes to tell a story. Thus, this lengthy anthology ends up as more of a pointless and disgusting shock spectacle than anything.

Anyone familiar with anthologies knows that each segment is going to be hit and miss. I don't think there's a single anthology out there that doesn't have AT LEAST one bad entry in the batch. That's just the nature of storytelling, especially if you're using various different talent. However, it is kind surprising when you're given 26 individual short story segments and only have less than a handful actually be considered remotely good or likeable. As I said above, many of these entries are too short to tell a proper story so the directors work with what they can, which sadly ends up being a lot of random, absurd, inconsequential nonsense.

Want a segment about Japanese school girls farting? You've got it! How about another where two guys compete to finish masturbating and the loser gets impaled in the ass by a wooden spike? Enjoy!! But of course there are a few surprise hits as well: "D" from Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl) was well done, as were Srdjan Spasojevic's (A Serbian Film) "R", Ben Wheatley's (Kill List) "U" and Xavier Gens (Frontiers) "X" to name a few. The solid entries were just too few and far between and considering the ratio makes this probably one of the worst anthology films I've ever seen. On the plus side, none of the segments were boring and offered a decent amount of violence and gore (at times).

Despite being an anthology don't expect much of actual storytelling here, as the filmmakers mostly just relied on shock value and gross-out humor for each of their tales. The best way to approach The ABCs of Death is to just go in expecting a lot of random WTF nonsense, because that's pretty much all you get. Avoid otherwise.

Posted on February 4, 2013 - 7:06pm | FrighT MasteR