In 2011 twenty-six directors were approached to create 26 short movies, each project was given a letter, each letter must create one of the ABC’s of Death, each director was given $5000 to carry out their vision. After what seems like an eternity the movie is finally here.
Like any anthology movie, the output is variable but the strongest contenders certainly outweigh the weaker chapters. It’s also for some probably a step too far; another remit was that there were no real boundaries for the makers. The result of no boundaries means that the subject matter goes further than you might be expecting.
There are a number of stories that really stand out, Jason Eisener’s quality chapter Youngbuck is like a piece of musical art. Angela Bettis’ Exterminate will play hard on the emotions of anyone with arachnophobia. Ben Wheatley’s Unearthed reunites the director with his Kill List cast, for a twisted possession tale. Simon Rumley does what he does best and really pushes the envelope to the most extreme in Pressure. Dogfight by Marcel Samiento is a fantastic story with a nice twist. And Lee Hardcastle proves that Claymation can be used to deliver a tale of terror in Toilet. One of the chapters entitled XXL created by Xavier Gens is an uncomfortable, but beautifully formed tale of body modification, and is potentially the story that might stick in the minds of most.
Along the journey there is a rather bloody miscarriage, a chase with the grim reaper, a woman launching items from her vagina, a hysterical farting terror, a weird series of faces in a samurai showdown, a duck prepares to make the ultimate sacrifice, and lets not forget a Cat Nazi battling a British Bulldog during the second World War.
The ABC’s of Death is without a doubt an ambitious project, a project that really works because the individual directors work completely independently of each other. If you don’t like a chapter, it does not matter because a maximum of five minutes later a different tale awaits. Some of the projects are so strong they could easily be extended to become full features. It’s not without flaw, some visions really are a little bit too out there, some are just too familiar, but as an overall feature this is an enjoyable viewing.
If you are in the United States The ABC's Of Death is available on demand and from iTunes now. In the UK the movie premiers at the Glasgow Frightfest on 22nd of February, then receives a limited cinema launch thereafter.