Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his house and find collection of VHS tapes. Viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be dark motives behind the student's disappearance.
An aging porn star agrees to participate in an "art film" in order to make a clean break from the business, only to discover that he has been drafted into making a pedophilia and necrophilia themed snuff film.
Nearly a year after a botched job, a hitman takes a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff for three killings. What starts off as an easy task soon unravels, sending the killer into the heart of darkness.
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
The child featured on the movie poster is the son of director Kaare Andrews. He is also featured in Andrews' segment in the film. See more »
Let's kill this fucking duck.
See more »
(Opening card) The following feature film was created by 26 directors from around the world. Each director was given a letter of the alphabet and asked to choose a word. They then created a short tale of death that related to their chosen word. They had complete artistic freedom regarding the content of their segments. See more »
Concept of the anthology: 26 letters in the alphabet, 26 shorts, and all must have at least one death and open and close with the color red. To say the anthology is a mixed bag is obvious. You have some good films here mixed with a lot of bad ones mixed with a whole lot of forgettable ones. "The ABCs of Death" just proves how incredibly hard it is to make a good short film, and I'm sad to say the bad far outweighs the good.
The first decent short does not come all the way until the letter L, which is almost halfway through the alphabet. It's not until you get to the second half of the letters where you finally begin to see some good shorts, my favorite being Q, directed by Adam Wingard. Other notable filmmakers involved include Ti West (M) and Nacho Vigalondo (A). Unfortunately, West's segment feels incredibly lazy and shot in five minutes while Vigalondo's segment rehashes the same apocalypse premise we've seen many times before. T is a notable segment because it was for a competition, and it's one of the best ones here. X is the most violent (and is also very good), which isn't surprising coming from French filmmaker Xavier Gens ("Frontier(s)").
Shorts F, J, and Z are all Japanese, which you think might be a good thing, but they are huge stinkers in the bunch, especially "F is for Fart." It's pretty much self-explanatory. Another one that I hated is W, appropriately titled "WTF!" O is the most visually breathtaking with uses of slow-mo and sound effects, but it's pretty much style over substance. But hey, compared to most of the shorts you see, it's a welcome change. G seems to be the most pointless one where all you see is a guy surfing. Seriously, I'm not joking. That's all there is.
I guess I was a bit mad watching this because, as an aspiring filmmaker, if someone were to give me $5000 to make a short, I would work very hard in creating something good. Seeing all the wasted effort from most of the filmmakers here just angered me. Overall, "The ABCs of Death," while a neat idea, is mostly just a collection of forgettable to incredibly bad shorts sprinkled with very few good ones.
The Good: L, N, P, Q, T, U, X // The Bad: E, F, G, H, J, M, W, Z // The Best: Q // The Worst: W // The Forgettable: All others not listed.
77 of 120 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?