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The ABC's OF DEATH is an ambitious anthology film featuring segments directed by over two dozen of the world's leading talents in contemporary genre film. Inspired by children's educational ABC books, the motion picture is comprised of 26 individual chapters, each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free reign in choosing a word to create a story involving death. Provocative, shocking, funny and ultimately confrontational; THE ABC's OF DEATH is the definitive snapshot of the diversity of modern horror. Drafthouse Films, Magnet Pictures and Timpson Films are proud to present this alphabetical arsenal of destruction orchestrated by what Fangoria calls "a stunning roll call of some of the most exciting names in horror across the world." Written by
Quite possibly the most ambitious horror film project ever, "The ABC's of Death" is an anthology of no less than 26 (!) different little segments, directed by 26 different people and with each segment revolving on a horrific tableau in alphabetic order. Some of the directors are well-experienced already, some are still in an early phase of their careers, but definitely all twenty-six of them are multi-talented and quite often even visionary filmmakers that have contributed to the revival of the horror genre throughout the last decade. I watched "The ABC's of Death" at a little festival in my home country Belgium, where two of the participant directors were present to explain the concept and background of the project in general and of course elaborate on their own personal chapter. They claim to have been approached with an offer to make a death-themed short film with a budget of $5,000 and a running time of maximally four minutes. Other than these two conditions, the directors were give complete artistic freedom to do whatever the hell they wanted. This resulted in a wide variety of demented little stories, varying from sober and intense towards outrageous and downright ludicrous. What amused me personally the most about "The ABC's of Death" was detecting the different directors' styles and then subsequently link them to the brief segments before their names are revealed at the end. If you are even remotely familiar with the names and their repertoires, this isn't all too complex to be honest. For example, it won't come as a massive surprise to learn that Srdjan Spasojevic from "A Serbian Film" delivers the most grim and shocking tale, whereas Noboru Iguchi from "Machine Girl" and "Robo-Geisha" assembled the most absurd and tasteless compartment. "The ABC's of Death" offers a great assortment of diversity in terms of type (animated tales, mockumentaries, torture porn ) and horror subjects for all tastes and preferences (killers, animals, monsters, ). Certain stories are atmospheric, experimental and beautifully artsy, but the vast majority of them contains a whole lot of bloodshed, filth and rancid sleaze. It's a must-see adventure if you live, breath and bleed horror!
It is, of course, absolutely useless and irrelevant to name my own personal favorite and least favorite episodes here in this user comment, but I'll do it anyways. My top five, in no specific order, includes Marcel Sarmiento's "D is for Dogfight", because it contains some of the most powerful and gripping images I've ever witnessed. I didn't like his long-feature flick "DeadGirl" all that much, but this little segment is definitely genius. I also positively worshiped Xavier Gens' contribution "XXL", which is probably the bloodiest of the bunch", and also "R is for Removed" from the aforementioned Serbian director Srdjan Spasojevic. If I had to select one of the animated stories as a favorite, it would probably be the deranged but innovative and creative "H is from Hydro-Electronic Diffusion" from the relatively unknown director Thomas Cappelen Malling. One final chapter that deserves an honorable mention is "L is for Libido", from the Mo Brothers who previously surprised me with the aptly titled "Macabre". Their slice is sickening and depraved, but very brave and compelling. Inevitable, I also spotted a few major disappointing and "nothing special about this at all" episodes as well, like "G is for Gravity" by Andrew Troucki ("The Reef", "Black Water") and "M is for Miscarriage" by Ti West ("The House of the Devil", "The Innkeepers").
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