The ABCs of Death (2012)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 8/10

Some great looking films, D is for Dogfight

Uneven, not scary

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The ABCs of Death

Studio:  Drafthouse Films

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  September 14, 2012 (Toronto Film Festival)/January 31, 2013 (VOD)/March 8, 2013 (US)

MPAA Rating:  Unrated


Who’s a good dog?

There are many ways to die and many types of death.  You can kill to help your children, you can be taken by monsters, you be killed by your own bowel movements, and you can even mutilate yourself for that perfect image.  There are twenty-six letters in the alphabet and twenty-six faces of death!

The ABCs of Death takes a unique approach and casts twenty-six directors for the twenty-six short films:  A is for Apocalypse (Nacho Vigalondo), B is for Bigfoot (Adrian Garcia Bogliano), C is for Cycle (Ernesto Diaz Espinoza), D is for Dogfight Marcel Sarmiento), E is for Exterminate (Angela Bettis), F is for Fart (Noboru Iguchi), G is for Gravity (Andrew Traucki), H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion (Thomas Malling), I is for Ingrown (Jorge Michel Grau), J is for Jidai-geki (Yūdai Yamaguchi), K is for Klutz (Anders Morgenthaler), L is for Lebito (Timo Tjahjanto), M is for Miscarriage (Ti West), N is for Nuptials (Banjong Pisanthanakun), O is for Orgasm (Bruno Forzani and Héléne Cattet), P is for Pressure (Simon Rumley), Q is for Quack (Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett), R is for Removed (Srdjan Spasojevic), S is for Speed (Jake West), T is for Toilet (Lee Hardcastle), U is for Unearthed (Ben Wheatley), V is for Vagitus (Kaare Andrews), W is for WTF! (Jon Schnepp), X is for XXL (Xavier Gens), Y is for Youngbuck (Jason Eisener), and Z is for Zetsumetsu (Yoshihiro Nishimura).  The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012 but did not become available until 2013.


Worst climax ever

The ABCs of Death is just an odd film.  I can’t finish the film and say I liked it, but I can finish the film and say I admire what it attempted.  Through the course of the film, you were exposed to different directors, different styles, and even different cultures, but many of the shorts instantly bore you or instantly interest you (which is an area for exploration involving the short-term easily lost/kept viewing pattern of a YouTube society).  The movie didn’t really have me scared or jumping anywhere and really needed some solid “scary” stories to intermix with the funny and gory stories that dominated the movie.


She’s such a Nazi vixen…literally

Some shorts barely make sense, and other shorts do stand-out.  It is easy to realize why “D is for Dogfight” is recognized as one of the best in the batch…the visuals are quite stunning and it has enough weirdness to it to be memorable.  Others like “T is for Toilet” are easy to remember because of their stylized look (claymation in that case).  “Q is for Quack” gives a bit of an idea how the project worked.  Things like “F is for Fart” were just weird and most pointed at The Innkeepers director Ti West as a waste for “M is for Miscarriage”.  One of the more disturbing (but great looking) movies was “P is for Pressure” which had a prostitute trying to get a gift for her daughter and taking a drastic (and sick) job, and another similar stand-out was the really twisted “L is for Libido” which had one of the sickest “games” ever.


Yep….can’t spin this any other way

I can see why people can get excited about The ABCs of Death since it really is a sign of creativity.  The movie is much for thought provoking than your average horror film, and you do find yourself trying to guess the letter related title to each story before it pops up (usually unsuccessfully).  Unfortunately, the movie is widely uneven and fails to really scare and some of the shorts just end up feeling like music videos without the music.  With some success and a promising plot The ABCs of Death are planning a sequel…maybe with a bit more streamline and selection, The ABCs of Death 2 will be a better movie.

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Related Links:

The ABCs of Death 2 (2014)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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