The ABCs of Death (2012)
Director(s): Kaare Andrews , Angela Bettis , Hélène Cattet, Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, Jason Eisener, Bruno Forzani, Adrián García Bogliano , 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
Writer(s): Ant Timpson, Nacho Vigalondo, Adrián García Bogliano, Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, Marcel Sarmiento, Simon Rumley, Jon Schnepp, Dimitrije Vojnov, Yudai Yamaguchi, Noboru Iguchi, Simon Barrett, Ti West, Kaare Andrews, Bruno Forzani, Hélène Cattet,Yoshihiro Nishimura, Srdjan Spasojevic, Lee Hardcastle
Starring: Click HERE for cast details
If you got through reading the Directors and Writers section of this article, then KUDOS for sticking around for the article! As you can see, I didn’t bother with the “starring” cast because there would be WAY too many and since I know most of our readers here are the curious sort, you have already deduced that this month’s entry to the FearTASTIC Vault is going to be quite the treat.
The ABCs of Death is the ultimate Horror Anthology film that showcases 26 individual shorts from filmmakers around the world, each tasked with telling a story of death from a letter from the alphabet. This film should be commended for its innovation alone; each chapter from this movie tells tales of death ranging from murder to bizarre. Each short has its own style since it’s directed by individuals each with a different vision and tone so you end up having sensory overload just watching so many creative ideas being served on one plate. Keeping with the food analogy, this film should be seen as if you’re eating at a grand buffet for the first time; being surrounded by such a variety of food at that quantity is already quite the spectacle but it doesn’t necessarily mean that each dish is sublime.
At its very core, I appreciate and commend this flick for its sheer innovation. Having a letter from the alphabet was a nice touch because it gave the directors a sort of challenge to create a story based off the letter assigned to them which at times gave some interesting results. The format for the titles of this movie has each letter describing the upcoming chapter. The shorts range from suspenseful to humorous and at times ridiculously confusing (see “F is for Fart). The international flavor that comes with this endeavor was very entertaining. I’ve been enjoying horror movies from all around the world since I was a child and it was a pleasure so many different styles converge onto one film. Every short was reminiscent of another horror film I’ve seen in the past and it was fun to pinpoint the different styles each director chose for their short. The formats for this collection also vary with some entries using animation, puppetry and elaborate costumes that pushed these chapters to the fringe of what’s considered horror but enjoyable nonetheless.
The following are some of the entries that caught my attention; not all GREAT but definitely grabbed my attention in a way that deserved a mention in this sacred vault:
- A is for Apocalypse – A wife’s various attempts to murder her bed – ridden husband gets desperate as the situation becomes more dire.
- C is for Cycle – A man is trapped in a nightmarish loop.
- D is for Dogfight – Man Vs. Dog is pushed to the limit
- F is for Fart – Poison gas is threatening the populace unless another deadly gas might save them all…for real, just give this humorous entry a shot for the sake of curiosity.
- H is for Hydro – Electric Diffusion – One of the most innovative shorts in this flick that uses animal/human hybrids to tell a tale of the battle between a solider dog and a seductive fox.
- L is for Libido – A game is played where the loser experiences both ecstasy and death.
- M is for Miscarriage – A woman experiences a nightmare after the loss of her baby.
- R is for Removed – Skin is needed to complete a horrifying task.
- T is for Toilet – An claymation short about a boy scared of his toilet.
- U is for Unearthed – A mob chases down a vampire… seen from the vampire’s point of view.
- X is for XXL – An obese woman takes extreme measures to feel beautiful.
For everything I love about anthology horror flicks, this film teeters on the line of being a novelty. The film takes the formula of telling entertaining horror stories in short and concise entries that has always worked for me and injects it with a mixture of caffeine and crack cocaine. Sure, not all the entries work as well as others but this film should be at least recognized for taking the challenge of having so many ideas crammed into one horror flick. I recommend watching this flick with a couch full of friends and I advise you my FearTASTIC friends to wipe away any expectations. There are just too many ideas to try to stick with one expectation!
Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us.