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The ABCs of Death [Celluloid Hero]

 

The ABCs of Death  (2012)

The ABCs of Death is an experimental movie released by Magnet movies, a well-known distributor of indie horror. Instead of one movie, it’s actually 26 shorts, each one representing a letter of the alphabet. A different director was assigned each letter, so the styles vary from subtle to gory, comedy to horror, accidental death to murder. The range also covers many countries and languages, English to Spanish to Japanese and more.

This leads to a slightly different style of review; I’m going to try to hit each of the 26 shorts in a few sentences, with a quick “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” review.

*A is for Apocalypse* – Manages to be gory but still tell an interesting, complete story in just a few minutes. – Thumbs Up

*B is for Bigfoot* – Pretty good with the scares, but the story itself is mostly just pulled from an old urban legend. – Thumbs Up

*C is for Cycle* – Loved this one, reminiscient of a few other movies I’ve seen like “Cronocrímenes”, a series of events that cannot be changed no matter what outside influences there are. – Thumbs Up

*D is for Dogfight* – Maybe the best of the whole movie, shot entirely in slow-motion, with some amazing effects and great cinematography. – Thumbs Up

*E is for Exterminate* – A bit goofy, but will definitely make you look around your room for any spiders. Scary because it’s so relatable. – Thumbs Up

*F is for Fart* – Japanese movies are weird. Schoolgirls, lesbianism, fart clouds, all in a weird mix. – Thumbs Down

*G is for Gravity* – Interesting simply because it’s all shot from first-person POV on a GoPro camera, but not very interesting for the story. – Thumbs Down

*H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion* – Essentially a live-action cartoon, a strange World War II UK soldier vs Nazi stripper, but both characters are in animal costumes. – Thumbs Down

*I is for Ingrown* – Scary because it seemed to damn real. A woman is bound and gagged in a tub, and a man injects her with an unknown substance. No words are spoken, but the woman’s internal dialogue is displayed with subtitles. – Thumbs Up

*J is for Jidai-geki (Samurai Movie)* – A goofy one, a mock of the seriousness of an old Japanese Samurai movie. – Thumbs Down

*K is for Klutz* – An animated movie about anthropomorphic poop. No, really. – Thumbs Down

*L is for Libido* – This was the first letter where I actually felt uncomfortable. It is a truly disturbing combination of sex and violence, psychological trauma along with bloody gore. It was memorable but not one I would recommend or watch again. – Thumbs…horizontal

*M is for Miscarriage* – The laziest of the letters so far. Nothing special in terms of movie-making or story-telling, no gore or shock or moral. – Thumbs Down

*N is for Nuptials* – A man teaches a pet bird to propose to his girlfriend…but the bird also learns a few phrases he didn’t want repeated. A decent bit of comic relief. – Thumbs Up

*O is for Orgasm* – The French call orgasms “la petite mort”, or “the little death”. This is a unique perspective of the connections of sex and death, erotic would being too explicit. – Thumbs Up

*P is for Pressure* – After a 3-letter break, we jump right back into super-disturbing. A prostitute needs money, and resorts to a sort of fetish that should result in jailtime for anyone who is into it. Like “L is for Libido”, memorable but I wouldn’t suggest it – Thumbs…horizontal again

*Q is for Quack* – A movie about being stuck with the letter Q. Their solution is to be the only short to show an actual death, and decide to kill a duck. Don’t worry animal-lovers, the duck is fine…everyone else, maybe not. – Thumbs Up

*R is for Removed* – A metaphor for the film industry killing art? Or art killing the film industry? Either way, very well-done, bloody but not gory, and able to tell a strong story in a short time. – Thumbs Up

*S is for Speed* – It starts off similar to a Tarantino/Eli Roth movie, an homage to 70s exploitation. Death visits people in unusual ways. – Thumbs Up

*T is for Toilet* – Clay-mation leads to some crazy visuals. A young child has nightmares of a toilet turning into a monster, but the true horror occurs when he wakes up – Thumbs Up

*U is for Unearthed* – Another first-person GoPro attempt, this time from the perspective of a vampire. We see through his eyes as he is raised from a grave, escapes and tries to flee the mob trying to re-kill him. – Thumbs Up

*V is for Vagitus (The Cry of a Newborn Baby)* – This suffered from trying to cram way too much into a short. It takes places in the future where the government controls breeding, then there’s some weird element of telekinesis, too much going on to really make sense. – Thumbs Down

*W is for WTF!* – WTF, indeed. A series of random gore, similar to Q in that it focuses on the directors trying to figure out what to do with the letter W. – Thumbs Down

*X is for XXL* – Brutal, both phsyically and psychologically. An overweight woman is harassed into conforming to socially-accepted beauty, and goes to extreme lengths to achieve it. – Thumbs Up

*Y is for Youngbuck* – Another cringing combination of deviant sex and violence. Seemed to go more for gross-out than creep-out. – Thumbs Down

*Z is for Zetsumetsu (Extinction)* – Again, Japanese movies are weird. This takes on graphic nudity (male and female), nuclear war, Dr. Strangelove, TV game shows, and all sorts of weird cultural and societal references. – Thumbs Down

 

On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, “The ABCs of Death” has 14 Thumbs Up, 10 Thumbs Down & 2 Thumbs Horiztonal, for a total of 7 out of 10.

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