Welcome back my little tombstone and grave toppers. Today’s Macabre Movie Mausoleum continues Geekade’s 31 Days of Halloween celebration with some alphabetical thrills. Growing up, I was a huge fan of horror anthology movies like Twilight Zone: The Movie, and Creepshow, and I was delighted with the revival of these films that Trick ‘r Treat started. Let us see if today’s movie lives up to that legacy or if it should be buried and forgotten in an unmarked grave.
“The ABCs of Death” (2012)
This movie has an interesting catch; 26 short films by 26 different directors from all over the world. Already, this is a departure from other anthologies that typically have 3-5 slightly longer short films. The ABCs of Death goes through the alphabet with each segment representing a letter, such as; “A is for Apocalypse” “B is for…” and so on throughout the entire alphabet. This is a very cool premise, and provides ample room for each of the 26 directors to explore their different styles as they choose.
However, what this also means is that there is no connective tissue throughout the movie. In the beginning of the flick this threw me off a little, especially since the title for each film followed the segment. As the movie played along its 120+ runtime, I came to appreciate the straightforwardness of it not wasting time with a superfluous plot thrown together haphazardly in a vein attempt to link completely disparate scenes.
The freedom given to the directors, allowed for a wide variety of story telling techniques and even mediums used within the movie. While the majority of the segments were traditional film shot, there was also animation, and even claymation thrown in for good measure.
On to the rating...
“The ABCs of Death” had a lot of potential, however it failed so miserably on most of the film's segments that it's hard to look past them to see decent ones. I say decent, because looking back, I can't recall a single 'letter' that I enjoyed. It was truly a race to last place with no winners.
There is one reason, and only one reason, why I didn't rate this movie as negatively as possible, and that was because of the little game I created while watching it. As noted earlier, each segment's title was revealed following the scene, so it was interesting to try and predict what the title would be (ie “F is for Fart” or “W is for WTF” and yes those are both actual titles of their respective shorts). I successfully named segments F, M, N, O, and T, perhaps one or two others.
Beyond the naming game, there wasn't much else redeeming about the movie. It actually perplexes me how a followup was made, so much so I'll likely torture myself with a viewing of “The ABCs of Death 2”. Prepare yourselves for that review, I know I'll need a drink or two prior to watching it.