Thursday, 6 June 2013
The ABCs of Death (2013).
Horror anthologies never fail to entertain me. ABCs of Death is the latest in a resurgence of anthology horror movies, and with each of the directors (one for each of the twenty six shorts) given $5000 and total artistic freedom, there is something for everyone here.
Some of the shorts aren't as interesting as others, but you really don't have time to get bored, as each short is on for no longer than ten minutes. On first viewing, the movies unpredictability is what makes it so exciting. Anything from arthouse cinema to claymation is utilized in the shorts, and no segment is even slightly similar.
ABCs of Death is a difficult movie to review. There is no plot, nothing linking the stories together apart from each of them featuring death, and each one begins and ends with a shot of the colour red. I am going to give a short review for each segment, with no spoilers for those who haven't seen it.
A is for Apocalypse.
A shocking beginning, placing the viewer amidst the chaos from the very first minute. Some brilliant FX and gore too.
B is for Bigfoot.
A strange, EC comics style short that is touching and shows that bad guys always get whats coming to them.
C is for Cycle.
A strange Groundhog Day style short. An interesting concept developed into a cool short film, again featuring a nice bit of gore.
D is for Dogfight.
The most touching segment. An incredibly well choreographed short shot entirely in slow motion. Definitely one of my favourites.
E is for Exterminate.
A poor CGI spider did nothing to enhance this story, but it is still enjoyable and funny, with a memorable ending.
F is for Fart.
The most bizarre and out-there short. I didn't enjoy this one. It came across as silly and juvenile, but it might appeal to others for various reasons.
G is for Gravity.
Another strange short, and one that might take a little thinking about. Another interesting concept that is filmed from a first person perspective. Why you would go surfing on that day is beyond me though. There is no swell whatsoever. But that really does add to the story.
H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion.
A weird tale, coming across like a more adult Loony Toons cartoon. I enjoyed it's weirdness and it did make me laugh at it's madcap humor.
I is for Ingrown.
A disturbing short. This one was rather dark, and a contrast to what has gone before. it shows that death isn't always quick in horror.
J is for Jidai-Geki.
Another crazy short. This is humorous and out there, but works incredibly well. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever, and is all the more funny because of it. Some of the shots are beautiful and there is also some crazy action with eyeballs that made me smile.
K is for Klutz.
The first animated short. Again it is humorous, but also ends up being rather dark. It may also seem a little childish to some, but I found it entertaining.
L is for Libido.
This tale was rather sick and disturbing. Featuring a couple of sick deaths and lots of boy fluids, this again is a strict contrast to what came before.
M is for Miscarriage.
This short lasts no longer than a minute, and is direct, if not a little disappointing. It still sent a chill down my spine though.
N is for Nuptials.
Another short filled with hilarity. The talking bird is certainly the star of this short. The ending is expected, but it still entertains.
O is for Orgasm.
Another strange short. The french call the orgasm Le petit morte, and this short shows many abstract images of both sex and death, all bathed in colors that bring Argento to mind. There is something else that will bring the Giallo to mind, but I will leave that to discover for yourselves.
P is for Pressure.
A sickening segment. One that shows the length people will go to for money. Not nice at all.
Q is for Quack.
I loved this one! A funny, shocking farce that is brilliantly played out. Also features a duck!!
R is for Removed.
A gory short. Something is taken from someone, and he uses what was stolen to get revenge. Genius and shocking. The ending is strange but fitting too.
S is for Speed.
A grindhouse style short, and one that again is filled with action. An interesting commentary on death pursuing it's victim and nothing being able to stop it.
T is for Toilet.
A claymation short, and an incredibly shocking one at that. Nice twist ending too, with some brilliant gore.
U is for Unearthed.
A first person vampire tale. Shot extremely well and coming across as creepy. This is vampires done right!
V is for Vagitus.
A sci-fi action short that features psychic mutants and a machine gun toting mech. Very different than what has come before, the short screams comic book from every frame.
W is for WTF.
A crazy, out there short featuring, amongst other things a killer walrus and zombie clowns. Another one of my favorites.
X is for XXL.
Gory, sickening and probably the most well developed tale out of them all. The ending is shocking too, and takes self mutilation to a whole new level.
Y is for Youngbuck.
A sickening tale of revenge. One scene nearly had me running to the bathroom. The payoff is definitely deserved and welcomed.
Z is for Zetsumetsu.
An incredibly over the top segment. A giant penis that shoots rice and has a blade protruding from the end. Very out there, but really well done, coming over like a messed up propaganda video.
This movie really does have something for anyone. It certainly has re-watch value, as a lot is lost on the first viewing owing to the differing nature of each short. I recommend this to anyone with even a passing interest in the bizarre, strange or horrific. While none of the shorts are really scary, most of them are twisted and shocking and some are so insane that you just have to go along for the ride.