26 of the hottest modern directors and 26 ways to die, this behemoth anthology has been highly anticipated since its trailer a year or so ago and what a beast it turned out to be. With the collective sickness of all directors from across the globe we have a two hour spectacle that will challenge the constitution of even the most seasoned of genre fans.
With each director having a letter of the alphabet and 5 minutes to associate it with a particular stylisation of death it is no surprise that the end result is an eclectic mix of sickness, depravity, craziness, and of course the odd specs of pretentiousness. All genres of horror are represented, and it amazes me that despite the sheer volume of entries, all focusing on the theme of death, that even towards the end the tension is kept, with seemingly each director rather sportingly attempting to outdo the rest.
The pace of the disc oddly begins quite slowly, and as such the trend appeared that initially any of these more chiller-esk spooky entries were in fact the weakest, as some are little more than concepts or ideas rather than a self-contained mini-movie, however, upon reflection they did serve to nicely bookend the more manic and sensory assaulting entries provided by some of the world’s most ambitious and controversial directors. Such sections, however do form their own little niche’s within the anthology, and whilst they certainly aren’t likely to get any stand out mentions in reviews, there is often a nice idea, perspective or message portrayed within the 5 minutes, even if it comes across a little understated.
Where the pace ramps up the ‘ABCs of Death’ reaches its potential. Certain sections are simply breath-taking, and with so many to go at, there is more re-watch potential on this disc than any movie I’ve seen recently. My expectations were high, and were met on all levels.
With death being the main theme connecting each of the shorts, it is not surprising that many of the entries feature a large proportion of gruesome acts. Where this anthology is gory it pulls no punches in Xavier Gen’s XXL we see a woman flay herself alive, in the various Asian directorial entries we see people impaled and dismembered. Literally, more than anthology, this movie is at times a compilation of the world’s goriest deaths. The effects are amazing to say the least, and giving the relatively small budget the directors were given to work with, I’m guessing a good number of favours would have been called in to get things looking as good as they do.
When it comes to nudity, often we just need to report the amount of T&A shown in a couple of scenes within the movie, however, as with the gore, when things go in that direction in this anthology, nothing it would seem is out of bounds. Again, being deliberately elusive, you must simply take my word, and believe that when I say much of the content shown would rival the most controversial of exploitation movies; I really, really mean it. Only watch this with people you know and trust or risk a huge reduction in your friendship groups. Some of the ‘sexual’ sequences are really quite difficult to watch.
The phrase ‘all killer no filler’ is a phrase usually reserved for the music industry, however, in the case of ‘ABCs’ it seems perfectly apt. This anthology should definitely be part of every horror fans collection. With the exception of the odd crappy entry, and some animation that some fans will either take or leave, it is scene after scene of all things great and horrible. Overall, ‘ABCs of death’ does quite literally tick all the boxes; five stars, simply perfect.