"The ABCs of Death" is a horror anthology film where 26 different directors were given one letter, asked to choose one word, and then were given creative and artistic freedom to come up with their segment of the film. Directors include Jason Eisener ("Hobo with a Shotgun"), Xavier Gens ("The Divide"), Noboru Iguchi ("Machine Girl"), Yoshihiro Nishimura ("Suicide Club"), Banjong Pisanthanakun ("Shutter"), Simon Rumley ("Red White & Blue"), Srdjan Spasojevic ("A Serbian Film"), Nacho Vigalondo ("Timecrimes"), Ti West ("The House of the Devil"), Ben Wheatley ("Kill List"), and Yudai Yamaguchi (writer of "Versus") among many others. The anthology undeniably sets the bar awfully high for the most insane cinematic effort for a given year.
After the excellent efforts from fellow anthology films "The Theatre Bizarre" and "V/H/S," it's as if the format of a horror film comprised of several different short films has made a resurgence over the past couple of years. "The ABCs of Death" capitalizes on that aspect and is perhaps the most ambitious version of the format yet; 26 stories with nothing in common other than horrific death. Strap yourselves in, horror fans. This is like immediately jumping to the climax without any foreplay.
With the massive amount of segments in the film, you can imagine that the quality can fluctuate quite a bit from beginning to end. The film can't be judged on just a good or bad scale as some segments are extremely peculiar (H), grotesque (I), and flat out ridiculous (F). Several other segments put more weight into the comedy department. J deals with an executioner seeing a man make funny faces as he commits harakiri, K probably has the most absurd interaction between a woman and the business she does in the restroom, and N shows why giving your girlfriend a parrot may not be the best idea.
Z is literally so ludicrous that you can't help but laugh. With its giant penises and vegetables being shot out of vaginas while this character in a wheelchair is like this odd homage to "Dr. Strangelove," Z is able to combine just a little bit of everything to end up being so fantastically memorable. S is one of the most well rounded segments since it actually seems to tell a complete story or at least as much of one as can be told in that limited amount of time.
Personal favorites include the disgustingly brilliant L, the uniquely disturbing R, the entertaining claymation of T, the incredible perspective of U, the futuristic V, the powerful X, and Jason Eisener's Y that's set to some awesome 80s throwback music.
Featuring the likes of women attracted to farts, samurais, talking birds, drug addicts, monster toilets, vampires, robots, pedophiles, chainsaw sex, and naked men making sushi at gunpoint, "The ABCs of Death" pretty much has every base covered. "The ABCs of Death" is a repulsive and excessive excuse of blood-soaked entertainment that should make the horror fan in you squeal with delight.
Sources: imdb.com, magnetreleasing.com, wegotthiscovered.com, tumblr.com, craveonline.com, thehorrorclub.blogspot.com, thewolfmancometh.com, justridewithme.blogspot.com, scifinow.co.uk, houseofgeekery.com