Those of you who have been waiting for indie horror’s response to Edward Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb Tinies can rejoice with the release of The ABCs of Deathsequel. Just like the first, this one is a series of 26 short films, each suggested by a letter of the alphabet, and depicting at least one (you guessed it) death. Each of the segments had a different director at the helm, with a number of countries and forms represented.
The pleasure (and liability) of anthology films is the diversity of talent, and the number of possibilities that that presents. Even when a film opens with a real clunker, there’s still the chance that it’ll close with something great (just think of how Twilight Zone: The Movie opens with “The Bigot” and closes with “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”). As is to be expected, certain shorts are stronger than others, though as a rule, they veer towards the deadpan, the ridiculous, and the disgusting. To get through 26 letters of the alphabet in a feature-length running time, they have to get through each of them pretty quickly, which doesn’t allow any of the standouts to dominate, or much of a central theme to take hold. ABCs of Death 2has its moments, but they might not be enough to justify what feels like a film-length series of Youtube clips.
There are production documentaries for 'A is for Amateur', 'D is for Deloused', 'E is for Equilibrium', 'L is for Legacy', 'N is for Nexus', 'Q is for Questionnaire', 'S is for Split', 'T is for Torture Porn', 'U is for Utopia', 'W is for Wish', 'Y is for Youth, and 'Z is for Zygote', and stills galleries for 'C is for Capital Punishment', 'D is for Deloused', 'E is for Equilibrium', 'F is for Falling', 'I is for Invincible', 'J is for Jesus', 'L is for Legacy', 'N is for Nexus', 'O is for Ochlocracy', 'Q is for Questionnaire', 'R is for Roulette', 'S is for Split', 'T is for Torture Porn', 'U is for Utopia', 'V is for Vacation', 'W is for Wish', 'Y is for Youth', and storyboards for 'Q is for Questionnaire'. There is also a filmmaker commentary led by producers Tim League and Ant Timson, a brief AXS TV look at the film, and trailers for other Magnolia releases.
"The ABCs of Death 2" is on sale February 3, 2015 and is not rated. Horror. Directed by Aharon Keshales, Alejandro Brugues , Alexandre Bustillo, Bill Plympton, Bruno Samper, Chris Nash, Dennison Ramalho, El Katz, Erik Matti, Hajime Ohata, Jen Soska, Jerome Sable, Jim Hosking, Juan Martinez Moreno, Julian Barrett, Julian Gilbey, Julien Maury, Kristina Buozyte, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, Larry Fessenden, Marvin Kren, Navot Papushado, Robert Boocheck, Robert Morgan, Rodney Ascher, Soichi Umezawa, Steven Kostanski, Sylvia Soska, Todd Rohal, Vincenzo Natali. Written by Robert Boocheck, Alejandro Brugués, Jeff Buhler, Alexandre Bustillo, David Chirchirillo, Julian Gilbey, Jeremy Gillespie, Toby Harvard, Jim Hosking, Juan Martínez Moreno, Julien Maury, Nicholas Musurca, Chris Nash, Hajime Ohata, Jerome Sable, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, Ant Timpson, Sôichi Umezawa, Marc Walkow, Álex de la Iglesia.