Starring. A lotta people WORLDWIDE. 1h 25m.
There aren’t many movies series that I fangirl over but the ABCs of Death and VHS are certainly anthologies that I got my teeth firmly into. I had lost hope for a 3rd part to turn the duo into a trilogy, and in my haste I didn’t realise this strange collection has been compiled. It definitely seems to be a marmite movie, but if you enjoyed the previous then you’ll probably see a lot of charm in this selection of movies which seem to be just as creative and diverse as the rest.
During the original submissions, there was an outstanding amount of M’s submitted, and this ABC, is really an MMM as it complies the 26 favourites from the M list, which begs me to ask why the hell isn’t there a box set of 26 movies for each letter in an epic box set, but alas we have the MMM’s of death to enjoy for now.
Most of the stories are a blend of horror with comedy, mostly a dark and silly variety of comedy, only very few are just totally disturbing. But the pleasure with anthologies is that the segments are short, and with this amount there’s a chance if you got together with some like minded friends and some brews than most people will find something they like. There is no rhyme or reason to the blend of stories, much like the other collections you just get chucked in the deep end and you can be viewing a robot video ninja one moment and then a claymation about a deeply disturbing phobia the next.
Producers, Ant Timpson, Ted Geoghegan and Tim League certainly selected an alternative bunch of films the thrill and chill their audience, but each have a raw experimental flare, I really don’t see the classic themes of old really going to town in these modern anthologies, but there are vampires, zombies and giant creatures, so really it’s not too far off.
For me the stand out segments are as follows…
Martyr – Jeff Stewart
The true meaning of a Martyr is explored in this vibrant short, a man is tied in place and repeatedly killed by the members of his local community, he remains jovial and a preacher’s shrill tones can be heard over his screams. Each person thanks him for allowing them to kill him, as we all need a Martyr, someone to die for our sins and it seems to be this guy’s duty, which he takes in his stride, although I the murderers do get a little inventie with gasoline, chainsaws but it’s all done with “love” and some true devotion.
I wouldn’t call it horror per say, it’s graphic but very thought provoking, if you had to kill a martyr to live forever, how would you do it? Wait should I even be asking this? Jeff Stewartds approach to this pious story is very Southern American folk, you can just about picture the devil playing a fiddle in the woods off in the distance but it’s bright and jovial approach to such a dark subject is pleasantly off putting.
Meat – Wolfgang Matzl
For anyone who’s been keeping up with my shorts section (I post nearly every Sunday) I have a special fondness of stop motion, especially when it deals with bizarre landscapes and situations. So this short really peaked my interest, in a world made of meat a man follows some basic instructions and enjoys a meal. But things are never simple in these dark claustrophobic surreal worlds as the ideas of flesh, desire and the cycle of life are played out as a cruel and unending trick.
Mess – Carlos Faria
Personal definitions of what is and isn’t horror really get debated hard with projects like this, Salo and Human Centipede, have you guessed where I’m going with this yet. For me there’s a difference with gore, horror and a select list of films that are often tagged as “disturbing” I can see that this movie will disturb more than terrifying, but for me it’s a huge question of morals, social acceptance and rare tastes, it was more emotional and gross and slightly sad and smelly and strange.
Malnutrition – Peter Czikrai
Most of us have plans on what we will do during a Zombie outbreak, the basic concept of finding somewhere zombie proof but with lots of supplies is daunting but once attained it’s the most precious commodity you can have. In this undead thriller, the need for food causes a woman to risk it all. It’s only one concept in an over saturated sea of zombie nonsense but I can identify with the ending, it’s the kinda ha ha BS that would happen to me!
Marauder – Steve Daniels
I left the best for last. This black and white nostalgic fight to the death feature is punk and fuck and I adore it. A woman is cycling along nicely on her three wheel trike when she’s being chased down by a mad max styled skags on similar three wheel trike. It’s a mash up of a deadly road race mixed with a lot of childhood favourite past times like bubbles, sling shots, and crushing cans on the bottom of your trainers and stomping around. It’s a rare and magical blend of violence and comedy and cherished memories, along with some great homemade effects, so inventive and so unique I loved every second.
R – ABC’s of Death (2012), ABC’s of Death 2 (2014), V/H/S (2012), V/H/S 2, (2013) Southbound (2015)
L – Modern Anthologies (2000-2020), 3rd Times a Charm
A – What makes an anthology good?