Friday, February 1, 2013

The ABC's of Death

After what feels like an eternity of waiting, The ABC's of Death has finally arrived via On Demand. I sat down and watched it last night, not knowing exactly what I was getting myself into, but pretty damn confident that I was going to be entertained. Entertained I was. 

There's really no way to do a plot synopsis of the movie, but if you're unfamiliar with it, it definitely needs a bit of explanation. The ABC's of Death is an anthology movie, comprised of 26 short films, all corresponding to a letter of the alphabet. Each director was assigned a letter, and then given free creative reign to come up with a death beginning with their letter and create a short film about it. As with V/H/S before it, The ABC's brought out some of the big names currently making the rounds amongst we horror enthusiasts. People like Ti West, Adam Wingard, Jason Eisener, Ben Wheatley, Xavier Gens, Angela Bettis, Kaare Andrews (what? I liked Altitude), and even Yoshihiro Nishimura, all make contributions. 

Now, you might be thinking that with so many directors all doing their own thing, that the movie is a bit all over the place. You would indeed be right. In it's 129 minute run time, you get anthropomorphic nazi foxes, some claymation, some traditional animation, some mean spirited violence, some genuinely disturbing imagery, things that make absolutely no sense, things that make perfect sense, and so on and so forth. It's kinda like riding the boat on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, only for 2 hours instead of just a couple minutes. I psyched myself up before hand, telling myself that there simply was no way that I was going to like all 26 segments. Some things I thought were stupid, some were just intentional gross-out pieces, some I'm still not sure I get, there's a lot, and I mean a LOT of bathroom related things, and a couple that I couldn't even come up with the words to describe (I'm looking at YOU, letter F). 

The ones I did like though, I REALLY liked. I thought Thomas Cappelen Malling's (Norweigan Ninja) "H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion" was insanely awesome, and Marcel Sarmiento's (Deadgirl) "D is for Dogfight" ended up being my favorite of the bunch. I was really looking forward to Adam Wingard's segment, but he ended up getting the letter Q and turned in a more comedic take. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I was expecting from him, and I dig his work. Ti West, whom I know some people down right don't like, was probably the biggest disappointment for me overall. I like all of his movies, I even liked his part of V/H/S, but his "M is for Miscarriage" was just awful. When I think of all the things that could've been done with the letter M, what we got is a huge letdown. 

When all is said and done, even with a few stinkers (inside joke, you'll see), I would consider The ABC's of Death a success. For such an ambitious project to come together as it did is an accomplishment as far as I'm concerned. Nobody is going to love every segment, but I feel like most people who like the type of movies these director's are known for will find something to like. 

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