Title: The ABCs of Death
Director(s): 26 of them
Starring: Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Dallas Malloy, Ivan Gonzalez, Kyra Zagorsky
The ABCs of Death is a gruesome group effort. 26 directors, most of them unknown to the casual cinema fan, from all over the world were sent a letter from the alphabet. Based on their respective letter, they have to come up with a short film – no longer than 5 minutes – that depicts a word; which then will become the cause of death to a character in their film. For example, if you drew the letter C, the title of your film could be “Death by ChapStick.” If it was a P, it could be “Death by Porn Star.” Get it?
So knowing all that, let’s just say the 123 minutes crosses every line imaginable. Every terrible thing one can imagine probably happens at some point in the montage of deadly shorts. And while a lot of it can be construed as, for a lack of a better term, playful, it’s still quite graphic to behold.
From a farting lesbian romance, to a man fist fighting a dog in an underground fight club, and laced with tons of whacked out snuff/torture porn type antics, this at the very least keeps your attention. You’ll probably begin to wonder just how F’d up some filmmakers are and fear for society in general, but some of these are quality pieces of filmmaking. And to be fair, the production value on every one of them is solid.
Letters Q – Z, for whatever reason, had the most substance to them (which may not be saying much). You can find some sort of meaning within the context prior to the climatic death blow in this closing batch. As for the others, well sometimes the only intelligent thing about them is their titles; which may not make total sense with what unfolds in the short (i.e. Death by Klutz).
Take this as a positive, if you can stomach watching this unrated romp, but no two films are alike. There are even a handful of animations that nullify the monotony of essentially watching a warped countdown. More than half the flicks are from foreign markets, so there are subtitles. Hell, some of these don’t come with dialogue, but trust me. The screen images and/or characters’ actions say enough. In the referenced Q – Z segment, along with a few others outside that grouping, there is an occasional provocative thought/message being woven in. But let’s be serious, this product as a whole is predominantly creative torture porn.
Story (concept): C+