DVD Review: THE ABCs OF DEATH

PrintE-mail Written by Paul Mount

Review: The ABCs of Death / Cert: 18 / Director: Various / Screenplay: Various / Starring: Various / Release Date: June 3rd

The ABCs of Death in a collection of 26 short films from across the world, directed by 26 different directors which, as you might guess from the title, depict 26 different ways to die. It’s an eclectic collection and, by the very nature of its subject matter, it’s not exactly easy viewing. Most of the shorts here are very short; unlike last year’s collection of international zombie movies, Ultimate Zombie Feast, there’s nothing long-form, just a string of generally nasty, ugly films of five minutes' duration or less. Consequently it gets a bit wearing – at just under two hours it’s a real slog – because there’s no time for any of the films on offer to create sympathetic characters or build anything resembling a narrative. So we’re bombarded with 26 death sequences and it’s likely that by the time you get to to U or V even the most obsessive horror-hound will be squealing for mercy and a release from the dreary hopelessness of it all. 

But arguably it’s just as well that these 26 films are all on the short side because many of them are just rubbish and some are vile. Inevitably the Japanese entries are the most extreme; Fart is a Sapphic love story of flatulence obsession and Zetsumetsu (extinction) is insane live action comic strip porn. Elsewhere, Libido is grotesque, Ti West’s Miscarriage unpleasant and pointlessly brief, while Ingrown is a random and disturbing effort about a kidnap victim which, like too many of the offerings here, seems to exist just for the sake of it. 

It’s not all bad news though. There are a handful of worthwhile efforts, not least Ben Wheatley’s Unearthed, clearly filmed on the set of Kill List (it features the same cast), the initially amusing Thailand-originating Nuptials which features a too-talkative parrot and Brit Lee Hardcastle’s warped Claymation-style Toilet. Best of all is Adam (A Horrible Way to Die) Wingard’s Quack in which a plan to film a “real death” – albeit of a caged duck – backfires with consequences which, if not hilarious, do at least raise a welcome smile amidst all the gore (XXL is an effective if eye-watering comment on body image and one woman’s desperation to conform) and filth (Klutz is about a murderous turd). 

Resolutely not for the faint-hearted or those who like to get stuck into a good story, The ABCs of Death is an interesting experiment but by its very structure it’s a frustratingly bitty, unsatisfying and rather sour experience. 

The ABCs of Death will be playing at UK horror festivals throughout 2013 and receive a limited theatrical release on 26 screens across the UK on 26th April. 


Suggested Articles:
Dragon Ball Super Season 1 – Part 1 contains the first 13 episodes of the latest Dragon Ball anime
Alexey Leonov (Evgeniy Mironov) makes a spectacular emergency landing in his jet fighter aircraft an
By the fifth film in any franchise there’s usually a diminishing of quality. Police Academy 5: Ass
One of several key films from the 1980s that defined the decade in terms of craftsmanship and techni
scroll back to top

Comments  

 
0 #1 Richard 2013-03-26 21:46
Spot on review of this. I was really looking forward to the release and even On Demanded it the day of. It was a disappointment to say the least because there was no chance for development and the viewer was constantly waiting for a punchline that usually fell horribly flat. Loved the review though!
Quote
 

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

DRAGON BALL SUPER SEASON 1 – PART 1 18 October 2017

THE SPACEWALKER 17 October 2017

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT 17 October 2017

BLOOD SIMPLE 17 October 2017

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS 17 October 2017

WILLARD / BEN – BLU-RAY LIMITED EDITION 17 October 2017

DEATH ON THE NILE 17 October 2017

ASH VS. EVIL DEAD (SEASON 2) 17 October 2017

IT COMES AT NIGHT 17 October 2017

THE MIRROR CRACK’D 17 October 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner