I’ve discovered sometime ago that people don’t seem to like anthology films. The problem, according to them, is they don’t give enough time to set up characters or development or other boring stuff. Me? I just want to get to the point. Show who the victims are, get to the scares and let’s move on, shall we? I believe this is why me and fellow Your Faceian Nick disagreed about V/H/S. Well that probably a few other reasons. Then I heard about The ABC’s of Death, an anthology of 26 fuckin’ movies! I was like “AW HELL YEAH!!”
AND I actually knew about this as it was being made. There was a contest for any filmmaker, professional or wannabe, to make the 26th short in the film and several people emailed me their videos, asking me to watch and vote for their shorts to be included in the movie. Sadly, the one that made it wasn’t any of the ones I watched. Kind of a shame cause a few of them were actually really good. Anyway, this was my highly anticipated movie for the past year and when it was released I just went ahead and bought it on Blu-Ray cause why not? And now here we are.
Oh boy here we are. I’m not exactly sure how to go about reviewing this. It’s 26 short films. And the thing that I liked was they didn’t tell you the title of the short (“A Is For-” “B Is For-” and so on) until the end of the short so it was kinda fun figuring out what exactly the word was gonna be. So I’ll give you a quick little rundown on each letter but leave out what the word is.
Before I do that though, I will say this. As a fan of anthology movies, this movie was really jarring to me. I didn’t realize how short each film was gonna have to be to get 26 stories in an hour and a half. When the first one started, I was kinda into in and then 2 minutes later, it was over and I was “OH. Ok.” And then it happened again and again. But right when I got to the letter H or so, I was getting use to it and found…other things to be bothered by. Ok here we go.
A-Directed by the guy who did Timecrimes, a woman tries to kill her husband in several different ways.
B-A dude is trying to fuck a chick but the chick’s…daughter? Cousin? Some little girl keeps waking up so the dude tells a story about a scary being.
C-This was pretty trippy and the first one I actually liked. A guy discovers a time portal in his backyard and things happen.
D-A man must fight a dog.
E-Directed by Angela Bettis (chick who played May in May), a guy fights a weird looking spider.
F-Alright. Up until then I was getting use to how short these films were and how kinda surreal all of it was. Then Letter F happened. Made by a Japanese porn director (one of his films is titled The Neighbor’s Sister Has An F-Cup, I’m not making that up) a Japanese girl and-you know what? I’m not gonna tell you. I had to go into it blindly so if you want to watch this, you also will go into in blindly. But I will say that this will be the WEIRDEST FUCKING THING EVER!! Including the other films that happen later. Jesus, I said a lot about this letter and I didn’t even tell you what happened. That should be a sign.
G-I..have no idea what happened in this one. I know it’s a POV of a surfer. Then it ends.
H-Another weird one. A man-dog, a British one at that, is in a strip club during World War II and meets a woman-dog stripper who ends up being a Nazi. If none of that made sense, you’re not gonna do better watching it.
I-Another one where I had no idea what happened. There’s a guy in a bathroom with a woman who is chained in a bathtub. He injects her with something (“I” DID NOT stand for “Injection”, which was a rip-off if you ask me) and that’s the end of it. If somebody who HAD seen this understand what the fuck this story was about, please let me know.
J-Two samurai’s face off with each other.
K-An animated film, which was interesting. A woman goes to use the bathroom on New Years Eve and a piece of poop refuses to get flushed down the toilet.
L-Ok this one was weird but I actually kinda liked it. A man wakes up strapped to a chair next to another man. A naked woman dances on stage. A bunch of people in masks sit and watch all this happen. Soon, both men start jerking it. Something bad happens to the one who loses, which I forget is if you cum first or last. Either makes sense really.
M-Directed by Ti West. I can LITERALLY tell you everything that happens in this film in one sentence because it’s the shortest one out of them all. A 1950’s woman runs around her house looking for a plunger because her toilet is backed up. But the twist is…WHAT’S IN THE TOILET?!?! Probably the stupidest one out of them all. Why does everybody like Ti West again?
N-This one I REALLY liked. It’s more funny than scary but it’s ok. A man buys a parrot to propose to his girlfriend but the parrot lets something slip. Oops!
O-Read my closing thoughts about this one.
P-Another kind of interesting one. A woman prostitutes herself (P doesn’t stand for prostitute oddly enough) and is forced to do something disturbing. A women’s version of A Serbian Film?
Q-THE BEST STORY OUT OF ALL OF THEM!! And if Nick ever watches this one, this will probably be his favorite. The filmmaker and his writer need to come up with a short film for The ABC’s of Death and decide to film the death of an animal. Hilarity ensues.
R-Speaking of A Serbian Film, this short was made by the guy who did that movie and…it made no fucking sense. I guess there’s a guy who’s skin can be turned into anything people want it to be and he’s being abused? That’s what I got out of it.
S-I liked this one too. Two girls are running from a mysterious hooded guy chasing them in the desert. The ending grossed me out. But I’m sensitive to “certain things”.
T-This was the short that was up for grabs in the contest and honestly, the ones I watched were better than this. But I’ll give it points for being creative. It’s a claymation short about a kid who’s afraid to use the bathroom and what he thinks will happen.
U-I THINK it’s about a vampire being hunted down and killed. It’s all from the point of view of the vampire. It was kinda cool, honestly.
V-I suspect the people who made this film already had most of this film made BEFORE being asked to do this project because holy crap was it stylized and looked big budgeted. It’s the future and having babies is illegal so a female cop and a giant robot burst in on an abandoned building and find out that ALIENS (or something) are having kids to take over the world.
W-I…have no words for this one. It’s another meta one where the filmmakers play themselves but…fuck is it weird.
X-I liked this one. A large woman who has the misfortune of living in France is taunted and made fun of on her way home because she’s so big. She then does something extreme and graphic with horrifying results.
Y-This one is just gross all around. A school janitor, who is a pedofile (of course), gets his comeuppance by one of his victims. The gross part I’ll let you discover on your own.
Z-Made by the guy who gave us Tokyo Gore Police (when you watch it you immediately get that feeling), this is about a Japanese Dr. Strangelove saying how black people hate Americans while naked Japanese men with their wangs hanging out prepare sushi. Then a woman dressed up like a Nazi has her tits hanging out and wearing a giant strap-on with a knife jutting out where the urethra would be fights another naked woman. Japanese Dr. Strangelove re-enacts the ending of Dr. Strangelove. I know I just told you everything that happens but you’re not gonna believe me and want to see this for yourself.
When people tell me they don’t like anthology films because they don’t have time to set up characters and stories well, I have something to tell them: you’re going to FUCKING HATE The ABC’s of Death. Each story lasts no more than 5 minutes tops and as I stated, it’s jarring at first but you kinda get use to it. Like the movie Stockholms you into it.
Another thing about the movie is it’s more of an artsy horror film. Like the film for letter O is just one big art film. I had to look to make sure Lars Von Trier or David Lynch didn’t have anything to do with it. It’s like 26 film students mashed together all their final projects but some of the people involved with this movie AREN’T film students, they’re actual directors who made ACTUAL movies. Yeah, they only have a short amount of time to tell a horror story but I think most of the time it fell flat. I’m severely disappointed in this movie. Oh and another thing is, as you probably noticed, a lot of different people from other countries made these films but this makes about 90% of the movie subtitled. I personally don’t have a problem with subtitles but this movie was marketed as a slick new clever idea for a horror film and if I know horror fans like I know horror fans, they FUCKING HATE subtitles.
Overall, B is for Bleh, E is for Eh, F is for “fucking fucking FUCKING weird”, and W for “waste of a good idea”.
(PS: This is a STRONG 1 star film because the stories I did like or find entertaining, were REALLY good.)