Gruesome to the extreme, and weird as all hell, The ABCs of Death will probably satisfy some hardcore horror fans. And although the segments are done from film students, it’s interesting to see how each approach the subject from in-your-face gore to light-hearted comedy (i.e. “Fart”), there’s probably something there for everybody. No, it doesn’t work put together but it’s not a complete waste.
Magnolia | NR – 130 min. – $29.98 | May 21, 2013
Directed by: Various
Theatrical Release Date: March 8, 2013 (limited)
Features: Audio Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Trailer, BD-Live
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 41.6 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 2.25/5
Plot Outline: The ABCs of Death is comprised of 26 individual “chapters” on the topic of death, each helmed by a different director assigned to a specific letter of the alphabet. Provocative, funny and shocking, this anthology is the definitive vision of modern horror diversity.
A is for Apocalypse, B is for Bigfoot, C is for Cycle, D is for Dogfight, E is for Exterminate, F is for Fart, G is for Gravity, H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion, I is for Ingrown, J is for Jidai-geki, K is for Klutz, L is for Libido, M is for Miscarriage, N is for Nuptials, O is for Orgasm, P is for Pressure, Q is for Quack, R is for Removed, S is for Speed, T is for Toilet, U is for Unearthed, V is for Vagitus, W is for WTF!, X is for XXL, Y is for Young Buck, Z is for Zetsumetsu
Quick Hit Review: I’m not the biggest horror fan preferring the occasional Halloween or Friday the 13th movie — the early ones in each franchise anyway — so The ABCs of Death wasn’t exactly my cup of tea (or boiling, scorching water to the face). But put together, it is interesting to see the styles and tone each filmmaker placed on the subject that while it doesn’t quite flow well together as a feature film, it works almost in a (more) twisted version of “Tales from the Crypt” mixed with “The Twilight Zone”. As one would imagine, the acting isn’t entirely impressive but still respectable given the material.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5
There are featurettes for nearly each short. Several have “Making ofs” which are mostly on-set interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.
Audio Commentary – This track features a variety of participants depending on the short, mostly the writers and/or directors.
A is for Apocalypse: Oil Burns Visual Effects (1:10) is a short feature showing the breakdown in the effects in the short.
B is for Bigfoot: Making of (2:56)
C is for Cycle: Deleted Scenes (3:28) is a scene removed from the final cut.
D is for Dogfight: Making of (6:57)
F is for Fart: Behind the Scenes (9:46)
H is for Hydro-Electric Fusion (18:10) has three featurettes: Behind the Scenes, The Making of Bertie the Bulldog & Frau Scheisse and Finished Short vs. Behind the Scenes.
I is for Ingrown: Making of (6:43)
J is for Jidai-geki: Behind the Scenes (6:30)
P is for Pressure: Interviews (18:48) for Writer/Director Simon Rumley and Producer/Director of Photographer Milton Cam.
R is for Removed: Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery
T is for Toilet: Behind the Scenes (3:04)
V is for Vagitus (19:09) includes a Deleted Scene, Behind the Scenes and Animatics.
W is for WTF! (13:03) has Behind the Scenes, Bonus Flubs and Star-Beast Outtakes.
Z is for Zetsumetsu: Behind the Scenes (11:07)
AXS TV: A Look at The ABCs of Death (4:16) is a general look at the entire project.
Previews – John Dies at the End, Kiss of the Damned, The Sorcerer and the White Snake
VIDEO – 3.75/5
Given each segment is shot differently, though presumably mostly with digital cameras, the video presentation isn’t too shabby. The 1080p high-definition transfer shows off some decent detail levels and although there are some shots with artifacting and/or pixilation, it’s not overly distracting. While it won’t knock your socks off in the visual department, it’s a serviceable transfer.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
Where the disc shines is with the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. From the opening scene where a woman walks in and unceremoniously slashes a man’s throat, the blood curdling scream (from the killer) will scare the heck out of anyone in the vicinity. It’s a strong lossless track throughout even in the “quieter” segments.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
Overall, gruesome to the extreme, and weird as all hell, The ABCs of Death will probably satisfy some hardcore horror fans. And although the segments are done from film students, it’s interesting to see how each approach the subject from in-your-face gore to light-hearted comedy (i.e. “Fart”), there’s probably something there for everybody. No, it doesn’t work put together but it’s not a complete waste.