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The ABCs of Death: Scares from A to Z

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This is the best horror anthology film I’ve seen in a long while. It has this distinction, due to its vast number of vignettes, and its creators from various regions. It’s truly a multicultural affair. A melting pot of short horror films. There are even some animated shorts, and a Claymation ditty. The ABCs of Death has it all. And I loved the majority of it, A through Z.

Obviously, personal preference comes into play when pontificating upon the particular pieces of the film. By far, my least favorite short was the one which basically looked like furry masturbatory fodder. This of course was H is for Hydro-electric Diffusion written and directed by Thomas Malling. And I got that it was supposed to be a live action version of those cartoons with the sexy animal in them. It was weird then, and it’s still weird now!

Thankfully, there are many other awesome shorts. Other than H, most of the shorts were fun, if not amazingly entertaining. My favorites, (as every person who reviews this collection will end up just saying which letters were there favorite, let’s be honest) were A, D, F, G, J, K, L, O, Q, S, T, U, W, X, Y, and Z. I’m sorry, when in my life am I going to get to list letters like that and have it actually mean something? I’ll elaborate.

A, written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo. He was the director from Spain who brought us Timecrimes. Think the black knight from Monty Python and The Holy Grail, that’s a hint as to the theme. D is a stylish short, which is admittedly just a music video, but damn is it great. This one is written and directed by Marcel Sarmiento, who also co-directed Deadgirl. F is written and directed by Noboru Iguchi, who made The Machine Girl, and boy, is this short weird. G is written and directed by Andrew Traucki, and of all of them, this was perhaps my supreme favorite. It manages to be haunting and sad, all while being entirely in first person POV. He directed Black Water, and The Reef, two films which I’ve never seen as I didn’t hear the greatest info about them. Though, if this short is any indication, perhaps he’s got a good one in him. He certainly loves water.

J is for a long complicated Japanese word, and was written and directed by Yūdai Yamaguchi, who made a film called Meatball Machine. It’s silly. K is an animated venture about a lady and a poo, written and directed by Anders Morgenthaler, a guy from Denmark who has made nothing I’ve ever heard of. L is perhaps the most fucked up of the bunch. This one is written and directed by Timo Tjahjanto. He’s only done shorts before this, but this was a strong one, so check for this guy’s name in the future. He’s working on something for the sequel to VHS, S-VHS.

O is an experimental short written and directed by Bruno Forzani, and Héléne Cattet. Ah, le French. Q is one of two self-aware shorts, written and directed Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, who also worked on A Horrible Way To Die. Hated that film, but loved this short, go figure. Its got a duck in it, and a gun. S is written and directed by Jake West, and Englishmen, who made Doghouse, which I had heard sucked ass. I liked the short though, so maybe on a brave day I’ll try it out. T is written and directed by Lee Hardcastle , and it’s Claymation. California Raisons, eat yo heart out.

U is written and directed Ben Wheatley, W is my second favorite, written and directed by Metalocalypse dude Joe Schnepp. W is also a self aware short. X is by Xavier Gens, the Frenchmen who brought us Frontiers and The Divide, both great films. Y is written and directed by Canada’s own Jason Eisner, creator of Hobo with a Shotgun! And, finally, Z is written and directed by special effects guy who worked on Suicide Club, The Machine Girl, and Tokyo Gore Police. It’s incredibly bizarre. Like, blonde haired Japanese lady with a giant cock with a sword out the tip fighting someone who sprays veggies out the vag odd. There was something anti-american in there, but fuck if I could figure it out over the balls out bizarreness. Bravo Yoshihiro Nishimura.

I guess the reason I’m listing all these directors and what they’ve worked on, is to prove to you how vast this film is. All over the globe the films have come, and they’ve all found a home in one collection. This is incredibly rare. Do yourself a favor and check out The ABCs of death, if you like anthology horror films, foreign horror films, or if you simply want to take a wild ass ride. But be forewarned, the credits have a song called Horror Movie by the Skyhooks which you will probably get stuck in your head. Seriously, this shit has been in my noggin’ for like four days.


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