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The ABCs of Death

By MATTHEW SINGER
How many directors does it take to suck the fun out of watching people die? As many as there are letters in the alphabet, apparently. The ABCs of Death is a splatter film, in genre and concept. Producers Ant Timpson and Tim League recruited an international coterie of modern horror directors—26 filmmakers from 15 different countries—assigned each a letter around which to craft a theme and asked them to create a short film about the many nauseating ways in which to shuffle off this mortal coil, with no restrictions beyond that. The result, naturally, is like a blast cannon spewing blood, guts and other bodily fluids against a wall and seeing what sticks. Little does. The Americans are overly pleased with their own cleverness, the Japanese are totally batshit, the Indonesian guy wins the sickest-fuck award, and everyone is oddly fixated with toilets. It’s anarchic enough to keep you wondering what’s next, but as with most anthology films, no one seems to be giving full effort. If any entries stick, it’s those that place visual pow above all else: Lee Hardcastle’s claymation potty-training nightmare “T Is for Toilet” (I told you they’re obsessed) looks like something left over from Liquid Television, MTV’s old alt-animation showcase, while Bruno Forzani’s sleek, fetishistic “O for Orgasm” resembles a Nine Inch Nails video the network would’ve banned in the ’90s. Really, though, someone just needs to go ahead and do what the Final Destination series has come tantalizingly close to accomplishing and string together 90 minutes of unrelated death scenes, set it to “Yakety Sax” and be done with it.
 

Special Note

Hollywood Theatre
 
  • Running Time:
  • Release Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
  • Critic's Score: C-
  • Watch the trailer
 

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