Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The ABC's of Death - Or 26 Ways to Die Violently

The ABC's of Death
Directed by -  26 Different People
Written by 26 Different People
Starring a whole shitload of people!

26 Directors, 26 Ways to Die.
It's Not Educational.

Alternate Titles:
Abeceda Smrti (Alphabet of Death) Bosnia
Herzegovina (States) Serbia

I love anthology films...always have.  There is something so satisfying about the anthology....maybe it's the feeling that you're getting more bang for your buck with multiple stories.....maybe it's the fact that it feels like the film equivalent to an old EC comic book....whatever the case, it's something I just can't resist.

When I first heard about The ABC's of Death, I was a bit skeptical.  Seriously?  Twenty-six different shorts?  The first thing that popped to mind (for some odd reason) as an old VHS tape that I used to have, called Moron Movies.  It was a no budget affair, which consisted on five to thirty second films on varying subjects.  Some were fairly amusing in a "It's three o'clock in the morning and I've had too much to drink" sort of way.  The shorts ranged from stuff like "Jello Makes a Lousy Doorstop" and "Punishing a Camera For Taking Lousy Pictures" to "Hitler in First Grade" and "Ghetto Divorce Court".  It was a grab bag of weirdness.  Actually now that I'm thinking about it.....I kinda wanna watch it again. Anyway, the point is, 26 shorts seemed like and hell of a lot to cram into one feature.

The results are mixed.  Some of the shorts are fantastic.....D is for Dogfight, H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion, Q is for Quack, T is for Toilet and X is for XXL all rank among my favorites.  Then there are some that are truly head-scratchers....F is for Fart is one of the weirdest shorts in the whole series.....of course, it WAS written/directed by Noboru Iguchi, who gave us such whack-tastic films as Machine Girl, Mutant Girls Squad, Dead Sushi and RoboGeisha.  Then there are the bottom of the barrel shorts.  M is for Miscarriage comes to mind immediately.  I was so disappointed when I found out that Ti West wrote and directed that one.  It was just so unimaginative and contrived.  In between are the rest.  Which range from okay to mediocre.

Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the flick and I will buy the blu ray when it comes out.....but there were just some instances where I found myself questioning how some of the shorts made it into the final product.  A little game I liked to play was trying to figure out that word while watching the short.  Some were fairly easy to figure, such as D is for Dogfight and M is for Miscarriage, but some of the others I really hard time trying to decipher.....and some I even had to downright question, such as K is for Klutz....which is an animated short about a woman who runs afoul of her own....er.... excrement.  It really had nothing to do with being clumsy and I spent most of the short figuring that K would stand for Kling On (Cling On......you'll understand when you see it).

Midnight Cinephile Totals:

Body Count:  Well, there are at least 26 deaths in here.  Some shorts feature more than one death.

Boob Count:  There's some nudity to be had here, including my favorite bit with an anthropomorphic burlesque dancer's furry boobs.

Beast Count:  There are plenty of monsters and creatures roaming through the shorts here, my favorite being the monster Toilet in the T is for Toilet short.

Final Thoughts:
Again, the shorts are a bit uneven.  Some are great, some are not.  But that is to be expected in any anthology.  There will always be strong stories and there will always be weak ones.  I think that this will be a great "Party Movie"......and I can think of a million different drinking games that you could play with it.

Final Rating:
Three out of Five Pizza Rolls!

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