Anthology horror can be hit or miss – sometimes it is largely held together by the story the binds the individual tales. In “The ABCs of Death”, there is no such premise to hold the stories together. Instead, we get 26 individual tales told by 26 different directors – one for each letter of the alphabet. The movie is a hodgepodge ranging from good to bad – from comedy horror to torture porn. The following is a list of the individual titles.
- A is for Apocalypse (Nacho Vigalondo)
- B is for Bigfoot (Adrian Garcia Bogliano)
- C is for Cycle (by Ernesto Diaz Espinoza)
- D is for Dogfight (by Marcel Sarmiento)
- E is for Exterminate (Angela Bettis)
- F is for Fart (Noboru Iguchi)
- G is for Gravity (Andrew Traucki)
- H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion (Thomas Malling)
- I is for Ingrown (Jorge Michel Grau)
- J is for Jidai-geki (Samurai Movie) (Yûdai Yamaguchi)
- K is for Klutz (Anders Morgenthaler)
- L is for Libido(Directed and written by Timo Tjahjanto)
- M is for Miscarriage (Ti West)
- N is for Nuptials (Banjong Pisanthanakun)
- O is for Orgasm (Bruno Forzani & Héléne Cattet)
- P is for Pressure (Simon Rumley)
- Q is for Quack (Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett)
- R is for Removed (Srdjan Spasojevic)
- S is for Speed (Jake West)
- T is for Toilet (Lee Hardcastle)
- U is for Unearthed (Ben Wheatley)
- V is for Vagitus (The Cry of a Newborn Baby) (Kaare Andrews)
- W is for WTF! (Jon Schnepp)
- X is for XXL (Xavier Gens)
- Y is for Youngbuck (Jason Eisener)
- Z is for Zetsumetsu (Extinction) (Yoshihiro Nishimura)
Some of these are just out and out stupid. “F is for Fart” is probably the biggest offender here. After an earthquake releases a toxic gas, a young Japanese girl chooses to die by smelling her teacher’s fart instead.
Others are disturbing. In “X is for XXL”, an overweight woman carves herself thin after being bullied all the way home. Another in the disturbing genre includes “L is for Libido” where a man is forced to win a masturbation contest against another man as the scenes before him become more and more disturbing.
My personal favorites were the ones that were a little funnier. The highlight for me is from directors Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett. Stuck with the letter Q, the film follows their struggle to choose as topic and then get it on film. “N is for Nuptuals” sees a marriage proposal go awry due to a talking parrot who doesn’t know when to shut its mouth.
The movie features directors from all over the world working in live action, claymation, and traditional animation.
Probably the most ingenious of the shorts is “D is for Dogfight”. Let’s just say the Michael Vics of the world get their comeuppance. Filmed entirely in slow-motion, it’s also one of the most artistic.
Overall, “The ABCs of Death” has more misses than hits, but the hits definitely make this one worth checking out. “The ABCs of Death is currently streaming on Netflix, and a sequel is available on VOD. (206)