Sunday, 3 February 2013

[[Review]] - The ABC's Of Death.

Directed by: (Deep breath!)

Kaare Andrews         Angela Bettis
Hélène Cattet                 Ernesto Díaz Espinoza
Jason Eisener                 Bruno Forzani
Adrián García Bogliano Xavier Gens
Lee Hardcastle                 Noboru Iguchi
Thomas Cappelen Malling Jorge Michel Grau
Anders Morgenthaler Yoshihiro Nishimura
Banjong Pisanthanakun Simon Rumley
Marcel Sarmiento         Jon Schnepp  
Srdjan Spasojevic         Timo Tjahjanto
Andrew Traucki         Nacho Vigalondo
Jake West                 Ti West
Ben Wheatley                 Adam Wingard 
Yudai Yamaguchi

26 directors from allover the world were given a letter each, $5000 and told to go away and produce a 5 minute segment relating to the letter they were given and a way to die.

ABC's was for me one of the most anticipated horrors of 2013. I knew that it could either go really right or horribly horribly wrong but there was promise with names such as Ti West (House of the Devil), Angela Bettis (May, The Woman), Simon Rumley (Red White and Blue) and some newer names such as Srdjan Spasojavic (A Serbian Film). It was ambitious. Such a small budget and time frame to create beauty but gives 26 directors a chance to showcase their skills in hope to become the next Raimi or Carpenter.

Rather than go through all 26 one after the other I'll pick some of the worst and some of the best to give you an idea of what you are getting yourself into.

D is for Dogfight (Marcel Sarmiento) was for me the best piece in the whole selection. It was clever, brutal and well made. The budget was spent well. What starts out as a simple man vs animal fight comes away with a moral message possibly a commentary on the brutality of human nature.

V is for Vagitus (Kaare Andrews) Was quite a fun one, involving robots and what seems to be an end of the world distopia and features a hilarious scene involving a dead baby coming back from the dead. Vagitus in case you don't know already is the first cry of a newborn baby and is explained at the end of the segment.

P is for Pressure (Simon Rumley) is as always for Rumley a sobering drama of a young prostitute with many children living in poverty and the lengths she resorts to to give her daughter the one thing she wants for her birthday. Rumley knows how to hit you where it hurts and to me this was actually genius of him yet again. Makes me more and more excited to see what he's going to come up with next!

M is for Miscarriage. (Ti West) A very disappointing effort from Mr West. Not at all what I was hoping for from him and his segment seemed lazy and cheap compared to others who used the money and time to their best ability. As the title suggests its about a miscarriage but had no pay off, no drama, no real effort at all really. I think West is best off sticking to atmospheric haunting stories that he does so very well.

Z is for Zetsumetsu. (Yoshihiro Nishimura) Terrible. Ok maybe just not for me but those who are fans of J-Grindhouse might just love this one. I just thought it was just bizarre, completely and utterly bonkers. I didn't get it.

Over all this 2 hours of showcase is well worth watching. Most of the fun was in guessing what the story was about if there was any story at all. It was also fairly fun to guess what the word that it was relating to. There were so downright stinkers in there particularly F but some real genius pieces. Sometimes it seemed like five grand had been wasted on nothing. In Ti Wests case the sound and cinematography was terrible, no thought had gone into any of it but the likes of Rumley and Sarmiento the money was well spent and the time they had wasn't wasted at all and real creativity had been put into making them. I will be following some of these up and coming directors in the future. Give this one a look. It is currently available on VOD only. Will warn there are disturbing and intense scenes of pedophilia, infanticide, nudity, gore, sexual scenes and animal death so if any of this deeply offends you stay away from it. Don't watch it knowing what it involves then cry to the complaints board that a kitty get squished.

My Rating
7 Stars

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