The ABC’s Of Death (Ant Timpson,Tim League, 2012) New Zealand/USA
Reviewed by Jaclyn Marie Mudock. At AFI Fest Nov. 3rd, 2012
The ABCs of Death, produced by Ant Timpson (The Devil Dared Me To) and Tim League (Best Worst Movie) features 26 short films by 26 different of the best-known genre directors from around the world. It is similar to the film V/H/S produced by Tom Owen, Zak Zeman, and Aaron Ray, which is a series of short footage horror films from the perspective of America’s top genre filmmakers. ABCs of Death is inspired by children’s educational ABC books. The motion picture is comprised of 26 individual chapters, each filmed by a different director who were each assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free reign in choosing a word based off their letter to create a story involving death.
Each short more interesting and creative as the letters when on which ranged from Death by Young Buck to Death by Orgasm to Death By WTF, are all unique in their methods and styles which keeps the audience suspense for the next one. A huge amount of cinematic styles in each short are utilized as well; from slow motion in D for Dogfight to classic sound effects (screeching noises, heartbeat, and etc) to dramatic make-up effects when a woman cuts her skin off to make herself skinny in Death by XXL. And or in Death by Toilet, which was done in clay-mation, made the premise of a “killer” toilet attacking an entire family, extremely comedic and entertaining to watch.
This film really gives the audience a look at many different film styles and techniques such as animation, comedy, live action, corny special effects, overwhelming music/sound effects, in one of the most classic genres. They also play with cliches, spoofs, and notable aspects of many classic horror or scary films. Which any film buff, like me, would appreciate greatly because it references an array of different genre films as well as international influences. It also challenges each filmmaker to use his imagination (or over exaggerate in cases like Death for Farting or even metaphorically in Death by Miscarriage) and give their own new refreshing take on how death of people or a person could die.
This overwhelmingly experimental film comprised of 26 wildly outrageous shorts is definitely one worth seeing. It has has both a combo of sick horrific comedy that will keep you entertained and constantly laughing at the randomness of it all.