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The Independent Critic

DIRECTORS INCLUDED

  • Nacho Vigalondo - A
  • Adrian Garcia Bogliano - B
  • Ernesto Diaz Espinoza - C
  • Marcel Sarmiento - D
  • Angela Bettis - E
  • Noboru Iguchi - F
  • Andrew Traucki - G
  • Thomas Cappelen Malling - H
  • Jorge Michel Grau - I
  • Yudai Yamaguchi - J
  • Anders Morgenthaler - K
  • Timo Tjahjanto - L
  • Ti West - M
  • Banjong Pisanthanakun - N
  • Bruno Forzani - O
  • Simon Rumley - P
  • Adam Wingard - Q
  • Srdjan Spasojevic - R
  • Jake West - S
  • Lee Hardcastle - T
  • Ben Wheatley - U
  • Kaare Andrews - V
  • Jon Schnepp - W
  • Xavier Gens - X
  • Jason Eisener - Y
  • Yoshihiro Nishimura - Z

DISTRIBUTED BY
Magnolia (US), Eureka Entertainment (UK)
 

 

 "The ABC's of Death" Arrives From Eureka Entertainment 
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An ambitious project that never quite gels, The ABC's of Death brings to mind the wonderful project The Collective from the folks at JABB Pictures. While the folks behind The ABC's of Death undoubtedly had more money to work with, their results are considerably more disappointing given the quality of the talent involved and sheer potential of the project. 

The cinematic compilation serves up 26 directors making 26 shorts. Each director was assigned a letter of the alphabet, then they chose a word starting with that letter and served up a film having to do with death. 

As one might expect, the final results for The ABC's of Death are all over the place despite the common theme. While The Collective has had quite a bit of success working with a total of 10 shorts, 26 shorts may simply be too ambitious and open the door too widely for a collection that feels chaotic and, perhaps worse, not incredibly interesting. 

Released in the U.S. by Magnolia Home Entertainment, the collection has been released in fine fashion by U.K.'s Eureka Entertainment with a 2-disc set that holds to Eureka's usual high standards. While it may sound like I'm being harsh on the collection, and I suppose I am, the truth is there's quite a bit to enjoy for fans of the indie horror scene including a kick-ass opener from Nacho Vigalondo and awesome entries from Xavier Gens and Ben Wheatley. Too often, however, The ABC's of Death feels downright silly and lacking in purpose, something that could never be said of the vastly superior in every way The Collective despite the latter's working on a considerably lower budget. 

Always a fan of Adam Wingard, his entry into this collection is rather unsatisfying. On the flip side, Lee Hardcastle takes animation into an intriguing place with a childhood nightmares weaving themselves together with classic horror elements. The result is a bit jarring but it leaves you thinking long after the film has ended. 

Jason Eisener, of Hobo With a Shotgun fame, goes into a dark space yet a refreshingly bold space that leaves you wishing more of the filmmakers had taken their assignments this seriously. 

The ABC's of Death is an intriguing concept, but it's simply not consistently pulled off in a way that justifies a full-on expenditure of one's hard-earned funds. While diehard fans of indie horror will find enough here to justify the expense, one should likely be prepared to fast forward through several forgettable shorts in order to get to the good stuff. 

Written by Richard Propes 
The Independent Critic 

 

    The Official Rating Guideline
    • A+ to A: 4 Stars                
    • A- to B+: 3.5 Stars            
    • B: 3 Stars                         
    • B- to C+: 2.5 Stars           
    • C: 2 Stars
    • C- to D+: 1.5 Stars
    • D: 1 Star
    • D-: .5 Star
    • F: Zero Stars

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