Starring: Too Many To Mention .Worldwide. 2h 5m
I was one of the few who really adored the ABC’s of Death (2012) and was gleefully happy to stroll right into part two. It’s pretty much in the same vein as the original movie,however it comes together a tad better with a quainter intro and title cards, there still the unwritten guessing game of trying to work out what the letter stands for and often it’s a surprise at the end of the short.
Everything is covered in one or more movies, sadness, gore, violence, romance, and some intellectual questions which all float around in the genre of horror. However there’s been a slight shift with movies such as this series, Southbound and the VHS trilogy which really hit on a very black humor, clever ideas and shocks to get their audiences to squirm, not relying on the old tried and tested forms of horror for something a little more hipster and experimental with longer cuts, ad more involved set ups. ABC’s of death has this overriding theme however each film is very very different in it’s composure and execution, I’m going to give you an example of my cream of the crop.
I’ll try and keep it spoiler free..
Directed by EL Katz
First film turns out to be a ingenious comedy horror, a hit man (Andy Nyman) plays out the perfect hit, infiltrating a fancy apartment of a prestigious drug dealer and taking him out, however it turns out to be just his plan of what he needs to do and things go slightly different on the day. As his perfect job begins to turn into a clusterfuck. Lots of squeamish gore that’s laughable if you’re inclined otherwise it borders on dark and sick and for me that’s what makes it great fun. Will the hit man ever manage to pull off this job?
Directed by Robert Morgan
In this stop-motion animated short, from the talented British director Robert Morgan. I for one adore the stop motion genre especially when it’s hard to really define the movie, the more surreal the better and I’m not going to attempt to really decipher this one. However it follows a strange narrative surrounding a man strapped to a table, held prisoner in a dingy chamber, a trio of cenobite looking creatures attempt to vacuum the man however he breaks free and attacks them, then convinced by a small insect he feeds their heads into the creature and then things turn weirder. With ideas of rebirth, retribution and revenge all playing out in a Beelzebub infested mini world it’s cruel and delightful.
Directed by Alejandro Brugués
A lot of people who know me wouldn’t think that this particular movie would make the list..
Two dudes are trapped on a tropical island, but have found a sort of bliss between them, until a beautiful woman washes up on the beach the two men strive for her attention and their peaceful civilized world soon becomes vicious and violent as they turn from friends to mortal enemies. The film is delightfully funny and for me the one handed rock throw is possibly the best moment in the entire anthology, but it shows that there is a place for comedy breaks in this fucked up world and the Bro Code runs strong within this.
Directed by Jim Hosking
A crash young man is living with his granddad, but after a year the old man is getting tired of the boys insults about his retro life style. After retiring one night the young man is shocked to find that his gramps has been living in his bed and the two strike up for a proper man fight.. of some sort.
There’s a lot of dark (dick) humor threaded throughout this story that’s quite terrifying in it’s own right, it’s hard not to admire the pristine attention paid to the setting of the old man’s home, but it boils down to a british comedy about a old pervert and pseudo hot guy son, equally vulgar and wonderful.
Directed by Kristina Buožytė and Bruno Samper
Sometimes the more impressive horrors, at least for me, are the ones which you can’t explain, some might call this style art house and complain but HPLovecraft made a whole career about unfathomable horror beyond human conception.. so you DO already love horrors that you can’t explain.
A girl is painting her toes in her apartment, when she notices that the lights in the adjacent building have gone dark. She realizes that a strange black liquid is slowly taking over her building and that she cannot escape.
With it’s weird sci-fi opening with an unknown flying liquid creating a sphere in the sky juxtaposed with the inner fear of the young girl the movie pushes and pulls it’s audiences attention to the world outside and the fears inside. There’s no real explanation to what is happening but everyone can relate a little personal philosophy to this hyperreal piece.
Directed by Marvin Kren
One of the quirks of the whole ABC’s of Death is that you’re supposed to guess what the letter refers to, and the directors don’t always make it all that obvious, but this one initially comes off as being quite obvious but don’t let it fool you there’s still a sadistic twist at the end which really stands out as brilliant storytelling.
In this black and white mini epic, a group are playing Russian Roulette, with it’s stark atmosphere similar to the wonderfully dark black and white epic 13, the game is being played for very different reasons, you’ll notice there’s no money on the table…
So intriguing and the best use of a smoldering 5 minutes.
Directed by Juan Martinez Moreno
One simple phone call, this movie is just about one simple phone call, when a husband calls to check in on his wife after this business trip is delayed, but Juan Martinez Moreno, turns it into a dramatic slasher with a twisting story and shocking ending. Using a split screen wher the violence is sometimes just the most blood curdling screaming and battering it’s the words that end up hurting just as much as the violence. Really chilling stuff.
Directed by Soichi Umezawa
A young girl sitting in her home with her parents writes an online message to them, however she begins to fantasies her sentiments into reality deforming her parents into gruesome creatures the problems become personified. It’s one of those freaky Japanese movies which has no limits.
Related: ABC’s of Death (2012), ABC’s of Death 2.5 (2016), XX (2017), V/H/S 2 (2013)
List: Horror Anthologies Vol 1
A: AOFA Short Introduction and History of Horror Anthologies