Directed by: 26 + Directors
Written by: A lot of people
Cast: See writers
Before I begin this review, I just want to be clear that films of these nature are usually the most difficult to make a clear judgment on. Just like Movie 43, this film is a mixed bag of brilliant and terrible segments all throughout. It really just depends on the love/hate ratio of the segments by the time the film wraps. For me, I found very little to enjoy in the ambitious creature that is The ABC’s of Death. Some may find enjoyment in this, but most everyone else will either be disgusted or just upset by the experience altogether. I admire the balls everyone had going into the development of this project, but I just cannot recommend people see this.
So here is an attempt to break down The ABCs of Death. The movie involves a different deathly scenario involving a letter of the alphabet. Drafthouse Films inquired that each director from different countries submit their chapter with the letter they were given. Every director had the complete creative freedom to do whatever they wanted in the segment. Sadly, very few came out creative and just ended up either being extremely gross or just relied on shock horror to entertain. I’ll begin by touching on some of the segments I didn’t enjoy and then go into some of the better moments in the film.
The film doesn’t begin taking a downward spiral until we reach an insanely terrible sequence titled F is for Fart, which involves two Japanese lesbians who get off on each other’s farts. Yes, you heard me correct. This is just one of the many uninspired sequences that just left me wondering why it was added to the film. Another segment that just didn’t sit well with me is L is for Libido. I will say I do think it was the director’s intention to make the viewer uncomfortable as possible, but ** Spoiler Warning** child molestation just crosses the barrier for me. I’m sorry, but there is a point where you can take an idea too far, and this segment achieves it. Even Ti West who directed the extremely atmospheric horror film House of the Devil has one of the dumbest entries in the movie titled Miscarriage. Dishonorable mentions include Z is for Zetsumetsu, X is for XXL, Y is for Youngbuck, V is for Vagitus, and G is for Gravity.
Now, even in the midst of all these awful sequences, there is some strong creativity hiding among The ABCs of Death. One of the most badass segments in which makes the whole experience damn near worth the trouble is titled D is for Dogfight. The idea, the cinematography, and the music all just collide with brilliance in this sequence. It is by far my favorite out of them all. O is for Orgasm I could probably watch a thousand times. This segment utilized senses in sight and sound to make a masterful depiction of death by the act of sex and/or erotic asphyxiation. It’s basically a three-minute orgasm of the eyes and ears. Honorable mentions include Q is for Quack (very funny sequence), S is for Speed, C is for Cycle, and B is for Bigfoot.
Overall, there are not enough successful sequences for me to recommend The ABCs of Death. Hats off to everyone involved because the idea is extremely ambitious, and I appreciate an ambitious failure than a lazy one. I’m sure for hardcore horror fans this will be a fun viewing experience, but the rest of us are left wanting. If borderline shock horror is something you are into, then I say go for it. If not, then I would suggest watching something else.