The ABC’s Of Death

Directed by: Nacho Vigalondo, Marcel Sarmiento, Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, Angela Bettis, Xavier Gens, etc.

Starring:  Fraser Corbett, Dallas Malloy, Darenzia, Lee Hardcastle, and Hiroko Yashiki

The ABC’s of Death is a compilation of 26 different horror stories directed by 26 different directors.  Inspired by children’s storybooks, producers Ant Timpson and Tim League assigned a different letter of the alphabet to different directors from around the world and each director had to come up with a short story involving his or her assigned letter.  The result is a 2 hour anthology of contemporary horror stories that range from true horror to campy to disturbingly freaky tales. 

Because this film involves 26 different stories, there is not a plot to summarize.  However, there were some shorts that stood out.  The shorts that truly worked for me were either traditional horror stories, quirky, original and/or dealt with real life horror.  Right out of the gate with the first short “Apocalypse,” a man is bedridden and eating a meal when a woman comes in and stabs him.  The rest of the short shows their struggle as we try to figure out why this woman is trying to kill her husband.  “Bigfoot” is more of a traditional horror tale—a horny selfish couple terrorizes a young girl with a ghost story so that she will stay in bed while they have sex in another room.  Their plot backfires when their tale comes true. “Dogfight” is a disturbing, vicious tale of a fight between a dog and a man. “Quack” stands out as one of the few shorts that mocks itself as the directors lament over being unlucky enough to draw the letter “Q” to develop a story around.   What they do with the letter “Q” is clever and funny. “Speed” and “Pressure” are also standouts as they deal with drugs, prostitution and economic struggles, and depict a horrific reality.

With the hits, there also came a number of misses.  Unfortunately, some of the directors utilize their time and letters to live out some fairly twisted, perverse sexual fantasies.  There were sketches that ranged from Asian lesbians killing each other with farts to “dogpeople” in a Nazi strip club to two women battling each other with a giant strap-on with a knife protruding from it.  One of the most disturbing shorts is "Libido" which features a forced masturbation battle as participants are forced to compete while viewing grotesque and extremely disturbing sexual scenes.  These stories are not horror stories, in my opinion, but they are horrifying and painful to watch. 

The ABC’s of Death’s original premise of 26 different short horror movies is its own gift and curse.  The positive aspect of the film is that it allows various creative geniuses to work their magic with a different letter of the alphabet and creates a certain anticipation in viewers to see what each director/writer has come up with.  At the same time, because there are so many different directors, the movie is uneven.  There are serious horror stories, comedic cartoons, and plenty of random, gratuitous sex/nudity scenes—such that you really felt like you are watching 26 different movies in a two hour frame.  At some point during my viewing, I started to think, how many letters are left in the alphabet?  It just became a little overwhelming.

With that being said, there are some really creative shorts in this film.  For those, The ABC’s of Death earns a 0.06% rating.   Have several beers with this one.