05 October 2014

ABCs OF DEATH 2 [/Slash Filmfestival 2014]


Alternate Title:
The ABCs of Death 2

USA / New Zealand, 2014
Directors: see below!


"The ABCs of Death" (Review here) was one of last year's biggest surprises. One huge anthology consisting of 26 individual segments, "each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were given free reign in choosing a word to create a story involving death." A simple but highly effective concept, resulting into one of the most entertaining
'crowd / party films' of the last years.

Now, the ABCs are back with 26 new segments, and once again, it's time to party. The overall tone is a bit darker and not as wacky as the first one, and to my surprise, there are much less "cult directors" on the list, but overall it satisfied me about as much as the first one.
Hop with me into the classroom and get to know why ABC is much funnier and easier than 123 ;)

A is for AMATEUR, directed by E. L. Katz ("Cheap Thrills) - 8/10
Great way to kick off. Hot chicks, tough guys, boobs, cocaine, loud electro music - and a hitman in the ventilation shafts trying to accomplish a murderous mission. Stylish, thrilling and superbly edited.

B is for BADGER, directed by Julian Barratt ("The Mighty Boosh") - 6/10
Semi-found-footage clip of a film crew getting attacked by radioactively mutated badgers whilst shooting a documentary. Lots of fun and hilarious lines, but the camera work is way too shaky and there's not enough badger action.

C is for CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, directed by Julian Gilbey ("A Loney Place to Die") - 9/10
A radical act of lynchlaw gone completely wrong. A sinister and extremely disturbing segment with a message, tense as fuck, full of gruesome gore, brutal, emotional, depressing. I loved it!

D is for DELOUSED, directed by Robert Morgan ("The Cat with Hands") - 7/10
Grotesque-looking figures, bizarre blood transfusions, even weirder cockroach-transformations. I had no idea what's going on here but I somehow enjoyed to see the darker side of Claymation :)

E is for EQUILIBRIUM, directed by Alejandro Brugués ("Juan of the Dead") - 8/10
Two guys shipwrecked on an island, enjoying life as good as it gets - then, suddenly, a woman arrives. Slightly misogynistic, but nonetheless wonderfully entertaining and incredibly well-made. Fun!

F is for FALLING, directed by Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado ("Big Bad Wolves") - 8/10
Intense and highly suspenseful little chiller about a Palestinian boy trying to kill a female Israeli soldier whose parachute got entangled in a tree. Stunningly directed and paced, the open ending is unsettling and depressing.

G is for GRANDAD, directed by Jim Hosking ("Renegades") - 7/10
Extremely odd but quite amusing tale about a snotty teenager who lives together with his eerie grandpa. Delivers unforgettable images of old man's genitalia and how to sleep IN a mattress.

H is for HEAD GAMES, directed by Bill Plympton ("Guard Dog") - 7/10
Odd but interesting and pretty cool-looking animated and dialogue-free short of a kiss that turns from romantic to deadly. Haven't seen anything like that before.

I is for INVINCIBLE, directed by Erik Matti ("Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles") - 4/10
Legacy hunters try to kill a seemingly invincible age-old woman. Starts out fun, ends up bland and frustrating. Some nice gore though.

J is for JESUS, directed by Dennison Ramalho ("Ninjas) - 9/10
A powerful and intriguing shocker about homosexuality, religion, murder and tattoos, stunningly shot and edited, eerie and thrilling from start to finish, full of excellent acting. Wow!

K is for KNELL, directed by Kristina Buozyte & Bruno Samper ("Vanishing Waves") - 8/10
People in a tower building get transformed into aggressive semi-zombies. Slightly sophisticated version of "The Horde", creepy and frightening. Not everyone dug the poetic ending, but I simply loved it.

L is for LEGACY, directed by Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen (Nollywood filmmaker) - 4/10
My first encounter with Nollywood cinema, an incoherent tale about African tribes and bloodhungry creatures. Weirdly paced and full of horrendous CGI effects. Meh.

M is for MASTICATE, directed by Robert Boocheck ("Horrific") - 10/10
The rightful winner of the "M is for..." competition: a vivid and explosive slow-motion short following a batshit crazed man dashing through a crowded street. Fantastically developed, beautifully filmed, accompanied with a fabulous rock tune. Wahoo!

N is for NEXUS, directed by Larry Fessenden ("Habit") - 5/10
Various costumed people on Halloween, all involved in a chain of events that ends deadly. Great make-up, gorgeous cinematography, but ultimately vapid and completely forgettable.

O is for OCHLOCRACY (=Mob Rule), directed by Hajime Ohata ("Henge") - 8/10
Fresh, original and super-witty take on the zombie genre, taking place in a world where the undead took over the humans. Full of amusement and unexpected twists, excellently written and directed.

P is for P-P-P-P SCARY!, directed by Todd Rohal ("The Catechism Cataclysm") - 7/10
"Oh Brother, Where Art Thou" meets "The Three Stooges" meets "J is for Jidai-geki". 3 dimwits with speech defects, Irish dancers with wacky faces - nothing makes sense, but for whatever reason it all made me lol :)

Q is for QUESTIONNAIRE, directed by Rodney Ascher ("Room 237") - 8/10
Starts out with: A man. A woman. A one-on-one quiz. Ends up with: An operating room. A brain surgery. A gorilla. Fun and entertaining, gory and brutal, baffling and surprising. Very nice!

R is for ROULETTE, directed by Marvin Kren ("Blood Glacier") - 9/10
Unbelievably suspenseful black-and-white nervewracker dealing with a game of Russian Roulette in a basement and an unbeknownst horror waiting outside. Awesome-looking, gripping as hell, superbly directed and fantastically acted. Roulette rules!

S is for SPLIT, directed by Juan Martínez Moreno ("Game of Werewolves") - 9/10
Incredibly powerful home invasion shocker with a nasty and completely unexpected plot twist. Amazing use of split screen and fast-cut editing, excellent direction, terrific acting, great music and camera work. Yeah!

T is for TORTURE PORN, directed by Jen & Sylvia Soska ("American Mary") - 6/10
Solid segment about mysogyny porn shoot and a woman's slightly Lovecraftian tentacle revenge. Neat acting and lots of wild strobe-light-action, but it feels to short, too rushed, the ending is a letdown.

U is for UTOPIA, directed by Vincenzo Natali ("Cube") - 8/10
Natali back to form with a very well made dystopian vision of a society that has developed a cruel but effective way to get rid of 'subhumans'. Cold look, fantastic effects, brilliant direction.

V is for VACATION, directed by Jerome Sable ("Stage Fright") - 9/10
Two douchebags on vacation, alcohol, cocaine, prostitutes, and the dangers of video-calling your girlfriend at home. Nasty and brutal, crazy and violent. Considering the director's more into musicals and shit, this was a colossal surprise!

W is for WISH, directed by Steven Kostanski ("Manborg") - 9,5/10
Two boys get drawn into a 80s/90s-like commercial for kids' fantasy toys and end up in medieval-like world where nothing is fun. Unbelievably creative and highly original, packed with splendind practical effects, ace-looking creatures and super-cool music. Be careful what you wish for!

X is for XYLOPHONE, directed by Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo ("Inside") - 9/10
The masterminds of Horror back again with La Dalle, delivering a super-gory, super-entertaining segment about a babysitter going killer, exploring the similarities of xylophones and human bones. Starts out fun, ends up harsh. People who don't like kids (like me) will love this!

Y is for YOUTH, directed by Soichi Umezawa (Japanese make-up artist) - 9/10
The troubles of puberty, annoying parents and misunderstood children going completely over-the-top with giant cocks, murderous electric guitars and huge killer hamburgers. Super-weird but super-fun, crazy Japanese shit at its best!

Z is for ZYGOTE, directed by Chris Nash ("Skinfection Trilogy") - 10/10
Hands down, the absloute best segment. An original, inventive and gob-smacking hardcore shocker that takes body-horror to a new level, following a pregnant mother who decides to keep her child in her womb a little longer. A disturbing, but also immensely fascinating little film, full of really gross stuff and mindblowing special effects. Genius!

According to the credits, 
"ABCs of Death 3: Teach Harder" is coming in 2016 - can't hardly wait!!


  1. Really looking forward to this, sounds awesome!!

  2. Wow Maynard! I love your review on ABCs of Death 2. I didn't know that there was a sequel to the first ABCs of Death. But I'm looking forward to watching this and I hope you had a great time watching it. I watched the first ABCs Of Death also and I gave it the same rating as you gave both films. Although I have to be honest with you Maynard when I saw the first film it was a weird anthology I mean really really weird because each segment made me feel weird and gave me an awkward feeling at the same time but I love it as much as you love it as well. Now I'm eager to watch ABCs Of Death 2 since I read your review my friend. This does sound cool and awesome but still weird since the first one was really weird from the first segment until the last because the ABCs Of Death is so random and too weird for me when compared to other anthology films.

  3. Some of these sound like fun :)

  4. Weird. And need to see both of these!


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