Twenty-six directors. Twenty-six ways to die. The ABC’s OF DEATH is perhaps the most ambitious anthology film ever conceived with productions spanning fifteen countries and featuring segments directed by over two dozen of the world’s leading talents in contemporary genre film. Inspired by children’s educational books, the motion picture is comprised of twenty-six individual chapters; each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free reign in choosing a word to create a story involving death. Provocative, shocking, funny and ultimately confrontational, THE ABC’s OF DEATH is the definitive vision of modern horror diversity.
If you want a breakdown of all twenty-six films, I suggest you find a more inspired writer or just click on this link. IMDb
I would have given this anthology less praise if it wasn’t such an omnibus. Each director was given $5000 and assigned a letter of the alphabet – their goal: to shoot a roughly five-minute horror film (that results in death) anchored to the letter received. Like O is for Orgasm, D is for Dog Fight, and so on. The result is often times flat, sometimes shocking, and occasionally brilliant. Given the twenty-six chances to fail, the odds are tipped in that direction. I liked about half of the letters, the rest were fodder or shocking horror runoff at best. The winners are big ones and it helps offset the stories about cutesy, ambitious poos, Japanese fart films, and lame ducks* like T is for Toilet.
*You’ll want to pay attention when Q is for Quack comes up.
The best of the anthology comes early in the alphabet. D is for Dog Fight stole the show. Filmed with no dialogue or sound FX, this slow-motion short relies on a great premise and simple music to create a haunting tale. If you watch this, pay attention to the bum’s dog tag. Simply brilliant. Unfortunately, for every great segment, there’s the same amount of lame or middle of the road fare. All in all, I have to recommend this. It’s rare for anthologies to shine, so horror fans are used to it, but the shorts worth seeing are really worth it. Be ready for an NC-17 rating (a well-deserved rating) that touts fart-obsessed Asian girls, incest/rape, giant cocks with retracting blades, copious nudity (penis alert), rivers of gushing blood, and some generally disgusting imagery. There’s a warning at the beginning of the film. If you’re squeamish – take heed.