The ABCs of Death 2 (2014)

6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 8/10

Great concept and even though many stories fail it is a decent watch

Lots of hit or miss stories

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The ABCs of Death 2

Studio:  Drafthouse Films

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  September 18, 2014

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


“Z is for Zygote”

Learn to read the horror again as tales of terror stretching from a would be assassin to a month refusing to give birth to her child.  Along the way, you get zombies, cartoons, murder, death, bath salts, psychopathic babysitters, and the best toyline ever which puts you right in to the world of the toy.  Learn your ABCs all over again!

The ABCs of Death 2 is an anthology film of twenty-six stories representing each letter of the alphabet and directed by twenty-six directors.  The shorts are “A is for Amateur” (E.L. Katz), “B is for Badger (Julian Barratt), “C is for Capital Punishment” (Julian Gilbey), “D is for Deloused” (Robert Morgan), “E is for Equilibrium” (Alejandro Brugués), “F is for Falling” (Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado), “G is for Grandad” (Jim Hosking), “H is for Head Games” (Bill Plympton), “I is for Invincible” (Erik Matti), “J is for Jesus” (Dennison Ramalho), “K is for Knell” (Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper), “L is for Legacy” (Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen), “M is for Masticate” (Robert Boocheck), “N is for Nexus” (Larry Fessenden), “O is for Ochlocracy” (Hajime Ohata), “P is for P-P-P-P Scary!” (Todd Rohal), “Q is for Questionnaire” (Rodney Ascher), “R is for Roulette” (Marven Kren), “S is for Split” (Juan Martinez Moreno), “T is for Torture Porn” (Jen and Sylvia Soska), “U is for Utopia” (Vincenzo Natali), “V is for Vacation” (Jerome Sable), “W is for Wish” (Steven Kostanski), “X is for Xylophone” (Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo), “Y is for Youth” (Soichi Umezawa), and “Z is for Zygote” (Chris Nash).  The film is a follow-up to The ABCs of Death released in 2012 and like the first movie, received mixed reviews.


“D is for Delouse”

The ABCs of Death was a concept film with endless possibilities.  Short films are a lot of fun and with 26 shorts, you will find one or more that you like…and those that don’t work aren’t around long enough to really bother you.  The ABCs of Death 2 probably isn’t as good as the first entry in the series, but it is still something I like and respect.

Horror in general is pretty subjective, and these movies look at all aspects of horror from horror comedy to out and out bloody nightmares.  There are some great shorts in this film.   The movie opens strong with “A is for Amateur” which shows not only the perfect assassination but the worst assassination…but then the movie flounders for a bit.  The next one that really jumped out to me is “K is for Knell” for its atmosphere more than anything, but the story left me wanting more.  The winning entry “M is for Masticate” is one of the high points of the film with a bath salt reference.  “S is for Split” also has moments with some clever shooting and storytelling and “W is for Wish” was a favorite as a fan of He-Man (and always wanting to be the kids in the commercials).  The movie ends strong with “X is for Xylophone”, “Y is for Youth” (which redeemed itself with the emotion of the story), and the most twisted entry “Z is for Zygote” which is a great example of how the movie should work.


“X is for Xylophone”

The movie unfortunately has a lot of clunkers.  “B is for Badger” is pretty weak and “E is for Equilibrium” is also rather childish.  “G is for Grandad” feels weird for weirdness sake and “L is for Legacy” is like a kid’s version of a Tales from the Crypt (with gore).  I would say “P is for P-P-P-P Scary!” is the more divisive entry.  I didn’t like it but I got what they were doing with it as an ode to classic horror comedy films like Abbott & Costello and the Three Stooges.  Even though the film is unbalanced with many of these entries, the film still holds together as an interesting attempt.


“P is for P-P-P-P Scary”

The film also takes all formats which is nice.  There are animated entries like “H is for Head Games” and even more claymation in “D is for Deloused” which looks like it fell out of a Tool video.  Part of the reason I do like this series is for the variety.   Even if a short fails miserably, I often like how it was shot or what it attempted.

The ABCs of Death is an interesting franchise and a franchise that I’m interested in seeing more of.  I don’t want it to go too commercial, but it would be good to see even more big named directors for an entry or two.  I hope The ABCs of Death has a long life and that it continues to be innovative…even if it comes with duds.

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Related Links:

The ABCs of Death (2012)

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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