Sunday, October 26, 2014

ABCs of Death 2 [A Spooky Fat Jesus Review]

Anthology films are awesome. I used to never want to get into them, but I've grown to love and appreciate good anthologies when they do come out. Recently there's been quite a few horror anthologies to come out, but none have interested me more than 'The ABCs of Death' series. This has been a series (I mean NOW it is one, right?) that's been pretty good. The first film was quite a fun watch and I fully expected, and got, more of the same from it's sequel here. It's got spookiness, chills, kills and WTF moments all wrapped up in 26 stories. Some are good, some are bad and some leave a lasting impression.

**Note I used this paragraph when doing my review of the first film as well**
This will be one of my shortest summaries ever, as I don't want to give much away. To put this simply, 'ABCs of Death 2' follows the stories and thoughts of 26 different directors. Each director chooses (or was given) a letter of the alphabet. They chose a word or phrase that corresponds with the letter given and were assigned to make a horror short based upon that word. For example if you have letter "H", a word starting with the letter "H" is used. With no restrictions and only imagination, 'ABCs of Death 2' is an eclectic thrill ride of 26 shorts that hits almost all of horrors finest themes.

I could go through all the letters here, but like in my review of the first film, I'm going to list out my favorite letters of this film. I will then briefly summarize them and list out the horror genre along side each film. Like the first film, there was a lot of letters I really liked, so let's jump right in! 'D' is a stop motion short by Robert Morgan, in which a bug and a man team up to get his killers. 'E' is a survival short by Alejandro Brugu├ęs, in which two men are stranded on an island when a woman washes ashore. 'G' is a mind bending short by Jim Hosking, in which a young man finds his grandfather under his bed. 'H' is an animated short directed by Bill Plympton, in which a man and  a woman kissing, turns into war. 'J' is a supernatural short directed by Dennison Ramalho, in which a man is martyred for being a homosexual. 'M' is a violent short directed by Robert Boocheck, in which a crazed man runs down a street in slow motion attacking people. 'N' is a connected anthology directed by Larry Fessenden, in which a man goes to meet is girlfriend on Halloween. 'O' is a Japanese apocalyptic short directed by Hajime Ohata, in which a woman is put on trial by the zombies that she killed. 'P' is a classic style short directed by Todd Rohal, in which three prisoners escape from jail and run into a man and a baby. 'U' is a futuristic short directed by Vincenzo Natali, in which a man is publicly killed in front of his peers. 'Y' is a daydreaming short directed by Soichi Umezawa, in which a girl fantasizes about her abusive parents deaths. 'Z' is a just plain disturbing short directed by Chris Nash, in which a pregnant woman has been staving off giving birth for 13 years, but now it's time for it to come out.

The rest of the 14 letters simply did not interest me, were lacking or just plain bad. There were a lot of good ideas, like 'B', 'C', 'I', 'Q', 'S', 'T', 'V', 'W' and 'X' that were just plain squandered because of the lack of true originality. These aren't terribly awful, but the majority of them are far from likable in my eyes. Then there's the ones I just plain didn't like. 'A', 'F', 'K', 'L' and 'R'. None of these gave me any feel of redeeming qualities. I get why people do shorts like this and some my not have the resources others have, but I just can't get behind the bad ones like this. I appreciate staying with their passion and personally succeeding, but I don't like what they did with these shorts at all.

'ABCs of Death 2' is once again a very up and down horror anthology, but one that I liked about as much as the first installment. Good or bad, a wide variety of horror genres and themes were covered. Good or bad, a lot of people, again, have gotten a little bit of exposure thanks to this film as well. Not every letter is good and a lot are generic and only passable. Those are lifted by the fantastic submissions littered throughout this film. Like the last film this is near two hours, so despite all the good stuff, you'll have to sit though mediocrity to get to the good stuff. I really do like these movies with the first two installments out of the way and I really hope there's a third in the works, because I'll watch it too.

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