It’s been quite some time since I watched a film that truly turned my stomach. Let alone a handful of films. The ABCs of Death, however, had me sick to my stomach in multiple ways. Some of it made me truly ill from gore, some uneasy from the use of taboo concepts, but mostly I was sick over the waste of budget for art school shorts that were truly eye roll inducing.
Hey, I was at least feeling something during the 130 minutes the film runs.
The ABCs of Death starts strong with A is for Apocalypse and B is for Bigfoot, but soon the shorts fall into toilet humor. Seriously. Copious amounts of it. And it’s not even good toilet humor. I could get into immature territory and state ‘C is for Crap’ or something (actually C is for Cycle was quite intriguing, also), but I will try to remain professional about my analysis.
First off, the concept for the film is actually smart. The idea of a 26 short film anthology seems ridiculous, but it is executed in a manner that works. However, 26 films, even short ones, runs a bit too long. Especially when each filmmaker is given artistic freedom for their respective short. The timing of each varies and some go on too long. Again, with artistic freedom, editing was obviously not an option when it could’ve been viable. The problem really lies in that there is little consistency or anything to link one short to the next other than the alphabet. Yes, there is the idea of death that is represented in each film, however, with such little guidance to carry the theme through all stories, we all left with a jumbled mess that pretty much plays back as a nightmare 19 times out of the 26.
As for the blu-ray, it’s a nice little package. The films are all different formats, however the sight and sound quality of each is equal. The extras including making of, behind the scenes and deleted scenes from various shorts and while A and B were in my top letters, the best letter of all – Q – as in Q is for Quack, directed by Adam Wingard & Simon Barret– is missing. Commentary is available from the filmmakers for each, which do offer insight, but even with such a feature, the complete explanation for some of the films is not there. Not that it is truly needed, as they can be put out of mind – but it is always fascinating for me to find out exactly why someone made the film they made when they could’ve made something so much grander. Of course, there is also a boasting featurette from AXS TV and a trailer.
Even with some being aggressively sexual, others being exceptionally pretentious, and some just appearing to barely try, The ABCs of Death still delivers horror in a fresh format. However, if this is what the next generation of filmmaking entails, maybe continuing the remake trend isn’t such a bad idea after all.