ByDaniel Rodriguez, writer at Creators.co
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Daniel Rodriguez

26 Letters. 26 Directors. 26 Horrific Ways to Die. That's the premise of ABCs of Death, a horror anthology where each letter of the alphabet is given to a different director who then becomes responsible for a short movie whose title must be related to that letter. The first ABCs of Death came out in 2013 and one year later the sequel has arrived with an entirely new set of filmmakers.

Instead of a review talking about the movie as a whole, I have decided to analyze it thoroughly, commenting on each individual short and then wrapping up with an overview of the movie.

  • A is for Amateur – Directed by E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills)

This short is a parody of assassins/action flicks, showing the misfortune of an amateur assassin trying to finish one of his targets. Even though it's bloody and violent, it has very little of horror in it, which isn't exactly a bad thing, since it is great fun.

3/5

A is for Amateur
A is for Amateur
  • B is for Badger - Directed by Julian Barrat (A Field in England)

A team of reporters investigates the disappearance of badgers around a nuclear power plant when something that might be a gigantic radioactive badger attacks them. This might sound awesome, but it isn't, it's quite forgettable. It would have been a lot more fun with the nuclear badger actually showing up...

2/5

B is for Badger
B is for Badger
  • C is for Capital Punishment - Directed by Julian Gilbey (A Lonely Place to Die)

This third short tries too hard to condense a tied up plot within its short run-time, which results in an interesting but superficial segment that might be a little too confusing. It's impossible not to mention the beheading sequence, which might have been the most violent and realistic decapitation scene in a horror film to date!

3/5

C is for Capital Punishment
C is for Capital Punishment
  • D is for Deloused - Directed by Robert Morgan

In the first ABCs of Death, one of the best segments was the animation T is for Toilet. In this sequel, another animation figures among the best ones. D is for Deloused is one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen; it doesn't make much sense and the style of animation is somehow disgusting and ugly, but at the same time, the imagery is so fantastic it's impossible not to be astonished watching this little masterpiece.

4.5/5

D is for Deloused
D is for Deloused
  • E is for Equilibrium - Directed by Alejandro Brugués (Juan of the Dead)

The director of the hilarious Juan of the Dead is the one responsible for one of the weakest segments in both ABCs of Death so far, ridiculously boring, it fails miserably to achieve anything, it's not funny, smart, gory, scary, or anything, it's just plain silly.

1/5

E is for Equilibrium
E is for Equilibrium
  • F is for Falling - Directed by Navot Papushado (Big Bad Wolves)

Even though Big Bad Wolves is one of the most clever and well written movies of the last year, the segment by Mr. Papushado is also duller than most of the previous segments, it has absolutely nothing that stands out and it's doomed to fall into oblivion. It is important to note that there is a heavy social-cultural commentary in there, which might please some viewers. Nonetheless, it doesn't quite belong with the other segments.

1.5/5

F is for Falling
F is for Falling
  • G is for Grandad - Directed Jim Hosking

Another low point in the films. This segment isn't interesting, smart or creative, it just makes a huge effort to be quirky, which it succeeds at, although that's far from being a merit or a compliment.

1/5

G is for Grandad
G is for Grandad
  • H is for Head Games - Directed by Bill Plympton

Human forms are in constant transformation as they try to annihilate themselves in this brilliant animation by cartoonist Bill Plympton. The imagery recalls that of Pink Floyd's The Wall, a fantastic and fluid drawing style with heavy artistic value and interesting criticism makes H one of the best parts of ABCs of Death 2.

4/5

H is for Head Games
H is for Head Games
  • I is for Invincible - Directed by Erik Matti

One of the most entertaining segments of the whole movie, it's unpretentious and simple in its premise, which is a family trying to kill their matriarch to inherit her fortune.

3/5

I is for Invincible
I is for Invincible
  • J is for Jesus - Directed by Dennison Ramalho

As a fellow Brazilian, I had great expectations for Dennison's segment. The director is building a name for himself with some good horror shorts typically about Brazilian popular themes such as urban violence and religion. J is for Jesus is no difference, as it brings the old war waged by some conservative religious people against homosexuals, being called by some as the first LGBT horror short. It's a very decent short with some good moments of gore and good use of makeup.

3.5/5

J is for Jesus
J is for Jesus
  • K is for Knell - Directed by Bruno Samper

K is not the best, but definitely one of my personal favorite segments of the whole film. It is surreal and intriguing and one of the few segments that really got under my skin and made me wonder and imagine what was going on beyond what is shown. I'm still curious to know more about the black ooze that turns people into murderers.

4/5

K is for Knell
K is for Knell
  • L is for Legacy - Directed by Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen

L comes out from Nollywood, which is like the filmmaking world inside Nigeria. It is only interesting if we consider that cultural aspect, but that doesn't make it less awful.

0.5/5

L is for Legacy
L is for Legacy
  • M is for Masticate - Directed by Robert Boocheck

Once more, the producers of ABCs of Death made a contest to chose the best short to represent one of the letters; this time the letter chosen was M. Among the many submissions, the winner was Boocheck's Masticate, a beautifully shot "zombiesh" short, entirely in slow motion. Out of the submissions I've seen, I'd rather pick M is for Marriage over M is for Masticate, but thankfully the director responsible for the first is turning it into a full length movie next year, Love Sick.

2.5/5

M is for Masticate
M is for Masticate
  • N is for Nexus - Directed by Larry Desseden (I Sell the Dead)

This strange Halloween tale tells the story of three different people whose lives will cross in an unfortunate way. It's a very interesting short, with a tied up plot, however, it's too average and it's another of the candidates to be forgotten.

2.5/5

N is for Nexus
N is for Nexus
  • O is for Ochlocracy - Directed by Hajime Ohata

The segments made by the Japanese directors on the first ABCs of Death almost traumatized me, in fact, F is for Fart is still the most stupid thing I have ever seen. So when O is for Ochlocracy started, I was really suspicious about its quality, but ended up having one of the many surprises I had in ABCs of Death. It's clever and a lot of fun, one of the most original and creative takes on the zombie sub-genre, which is always welcome.

4/5

O is for Ochlocracy
O is for Ochlocracy
  • P is for P-P-P-P-Scary - Directed by Todd Rohal

What can possibly be said about this when not even the title makes sense? I consider this the very worst part of ABCs of Death 2, even worse than L is for Legacy. It's one of the silliest, most unfunny and stupid things I have ever laid my eyes on in my entire life.

0.5/5

P is for P-P-P-P-Scary
P is for P-P-P-P-Scary
  • Q is for Questionnaire - Directed by Rodney Ascher

Q is a nonsense story about a man taking an intelligence test whose result is going to be used for an evil purpose by a bunch of evil scientists. With a very cartoonish plot, Q has few qualities besides the funny outcome and the great gore, which I have to say is quite remarkable in ABCs of Death 2.

2.5/5

Q is for Questionnaire
Q is for Questionnaire
  • R is for Roulette - Directed by Marvin Kren (Blood Glacier)

This is one of the few segments to be set in another age, somewhere around the World War II period. Set entirely in black and white, the short features a group of three people playing Russian Roulette in a basement for a very mysterious reason. In fact, mystery is the key word for this segment!

4/5

R is for Roulette
R is for Roulette
  • S is for Split - Directed by Juan Martínez Moreno

When the action in letter S started, I truly believed it was directed by Miguel Vivas, such were the similarities between this segment and Miguel's Kidnapped film; both brutal home invasion films, using divided screens and with a very disturbing ending.

3.5/5

S is for Split
S is for Split
  • T is for Torture Porn – Directed by The Soska Sisters (American Mary)

Torture Porn is one of the most popular sub-genres in the past decade, but the expression has a slightly different meaning for the crazy Soska Sisters, who have been storming the indie horror scenario in the last few years, being the most remarkable female team on horror today. In this segment, a creature with a woman's form brutally tortures and rapes a bunch of abusive porn filmmakers. As crazy as it sounds!

3.5/5

T is for Torture Porn
T is for Torture Porn
  • U is for Utopia - Directed by Vincenzo Natali (Gingers Snaps)

U is one of the most interesting segments of this anthology, both visually and through its premise. The production value is very high, which is enough to identify a renowned director behind it. The subtle criticism adds even more to the short, which I would happily see if it was a feature movie.

4/5

U is for Utopia
U is for Utopia
  • V is for Vacation - Directed by Jerome Sable (Stage Fright)

Found Footage and Point of View are the most prolific sub-genres in horror lately, which doesn't seem to be pleasing part of the viewers, however, when a good director is behind it, there's no reason for it to be bad. Jerome Sable who already gave us the bloody, brilliant Stage Fright is responsible for this twisted short featuring the most messed up friend ever.

3.5/5

V is for Vacation
V is for Vacation
  • W is for Wish - Directed by Steven Kostanski / Astron 6 (Father’s Day)

The only people in the world crazy enough to come up with something like this gory mix of He-man with visions of Hell that is W is for Wish are the guys from Astron 6. Everything about W is fantastic and a sheer display of sick and twisted creativity. It's definitely a feast for those who enjoyed Manborg!

4/5

W is for Wish
W is for Wish
  • X is for Xylophone - Directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury (Inside)

When I first recognized the face of Beatrice Dalle I knew I was finally watching my most anticipated segment, the one directed by the crazy French duo Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, the guys behind the fantastic Inside (2007). X is so anti-ethical, disturbed, and shocking that I dare to say it's the sequel we never had for Inside!

4.5/5

X is for Xylophone
X is for Xylophone
  • Y is for Youth - Directed by Soichi Umezawa

Again a Japanese segment got me worried just to surprise me, this time even more. Y might be the craziest of them all, with lots of nonsensical imagery (including that giant penis that shows up in the trailer), however, everything is justified as the manifestation of the imagination of a young girl. Great practical effects and a weird but compelling story made this unique and very memorable.

4.5/5

Y is for Youth
Y is for Youth
  • Z is for Zygote - Directed by Chris Nash

Talking about surprises, Z is the biggest of them all; a segment with an original and a completely bonkers concept, which shows the most disturbing, bloody and gory vision about pregnancy ever conceived by the human mind. Unpredictable and totally insane, it's the very best segment of the whole movie, maybe including the original.

5/5

Z is for Zygote
Z is for Zygote

In the end, ABCs of Death 2 turned out to be superior to the original in every aspect. It's more creative, violent, and smart than the first part, and the overall quality doesn't oscillates as much as it used to. It's still a messy experience, which is expected when we talk about a movie composed by 26 short films by different directors. Nonetheless, it's a very fun experience.

Those are my thoughts on each segment, so now I would like to hear from you, which one is your favorite?

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Which one is your favorite segment?


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