ABCs OF DEATH 2
The following feature film was created by 26 directors from around the world. Each director was given a letter of the alphabet and asked to choose a word.
They then created a short tale of death that related to their chosen word. They had complete artistic freedom regarding the content of their segments.
Anthologies and consistency are rarely a close partnership.
Because of so many factors, chances are, in any given anthology, there will probably be entries that you will love, entries that you will not love, and entries that you will feel indifferent towards.*
I guess the original The ABCs of Death was simply too much of a mixed bag for me to feel right about giving it a blanket ¡Qué horror! nod.
Thankfully, that isn’t the case with the follow-up, the definite article-less ABCs of Death 2.
Among the definite standouts, we’ve got: the stop-motion grotesqueries of Robert Morgan’s “D is for Deloused”; Kristina Buožytė and Bruno Samper’s “K is for Knell”; Jen and Sylvia Soska’s “T is for Torture Porn”; and Chris Nash’s showstopping “Z is for Zygote.”
(Well, it would have been a showstopper if it had been anywhere else but at the end; as it is, it’s the most brilliant, WTF ending the anthology could have hoped for. Nash is known for his Skinfection Trilogy of short films: “My Main Squeeze”; “Blackhead”; and “Liplock.” He also submitted the entry “T is for Thread” for The ABCs of Death, though that slot was ultimately taken by Lee Hardcastle’s “T is for Toilet.”)
We’ve got the excellently-paced and edited “N is for Nexus” by Larry Fessenden (yay!) and “S is for Split” by Juan Martínez Moreno; the future dystopia of Vincenzo Natali’s “U is for Utopia”; the sordid goings-on in Jerome Sable’s “V is for Vacation”; and the gonzo bizarro “Y is for Youth” by Soichi Umezawa.
There’s also the weighty horror of Julian Gilbey’s “C is for Capital Punishment”; Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado’s “F is for Falling”; and Dennison Ramalho’s “J is for Jesus.”
And entries from a few other ¡Qué horror! alumni: “A is for Amateur,” directed by E.L. Katz and written by David Chirchirillo (who collaborated on ¡Qué horror! 2014 title, Cheap Thrills) and “X is for Xylophone,” which sees Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo once again work with their dark muse, Béatrice Dalle.
“Based on a franchise dream by Ant Timpson,” with a title sequence directed and animated by Wolfgang Matzl, ABCs of Death 2 is without a doubt a stronger title than its predecessor, and it most definitely deserves a ¡Qué horror! shout-out.
It’s also given me a whole boatload of faith and excitement for the third installment in this franchise dream, which is announced at the tail end of the credits roll.
* There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, such as when all the segments are executed by one person (Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat, which wound up on the ¡Qué horror! 2010 Final 13) or if the number of segments is low to begin with (Little Deaths, which has three segments; anthologies with four segments or more, that’s where I think you start to get into trouble with consistency).
(ABCs of Death 2 OS courtesy of aintitcool.com.)