Monster pictures releases the second in their behemoth series ‘The ABCs of Death’. If you remember last year we were very enthusiastic about the first in the series giving it a perfect score as we felt that it was a fantastic showcase of the industries most fucked up minds in what was essentially a 26 individual kill sequences. The second instalment had a lot to live up to; however with so many new talents cropping up from around the world, we were confident the formula would succeed.
For those of you who don’t already know, the concept of the ABCs of death is gloriously simple (amazing in some ways it wasn’t done before). Basically 26 different directors (or directing duos in the case of the Soska Sisters) produce a short 5 minute segment pertaining to death via a particular letter of the alphabet. Of course, because of the artistic nature of the contributors these deaths are seldom obvious – for example D is for decapitation (hence why no-one contacted me!) and variety is the key.
What this means for us is a 90 odd minutes of the best bits in slasher/splatter horror- 26 kill sequences. It also creates a healthy piece of competition as each direct basically seems to out-gross the last. This leads to a range of influences to shine through, some directors taking the opportunity to showcase their darkest thoughts in a range of styles from animation to extreme slo-mo zombie action! It was also fantastic to include a lot more Asian directors in this instalments, it’s always interesting to see how their cinematic trends differ from the wests.
The majority of the segments in this movie do not fail to deliver. In fact, whilst I would say that there were not quite as many show stoppers (such as XXXL) in the first, the whole rosta felt very consistent, and all were of a consistently high standard, and a consistently high level of sickness – the animated sections in particular were really surreal and utterly disgusting (D is for Delouse taking the crown from this perspective). A number of segments stood out, I particularly enjoyed Julian Barratt’s ‘B is for Badger’ with its amusing adlib, the utterly disgusting imagery of ‘G is for Grandad’ whose final moments are something you will wish you could forget and my absolute favourite – the completely fucked up in both visuals and theme ‘V is for Vacation’.
As I’ve said, there are a few clunkers – the pretentious ones which just didn’t seem to get their point across, but they, as with the first entry, few and far between.
Overall, as gratuitous and tasteless as the series can be at times, this concept is something I cannot get enough of. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a one trick pony through and through, however so long as the rosta of talent remains this strong I can only look forward to the ABCs of Death 3!