• Review: ABCs of Death 2 (2014)

    From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Sun Mar 5 12:56:01 2017
    ABCS OF DEATH 2 (2014)
    A film review by David N. Butterworth
    Copyright 2017 David N. Butterworth

    *** (out of ****)

    2013's "The ABCs of Death" was an anthology film in which 26 aspiring
    directors were asked to crank out a horror film with a running time of
    under five minutes. As expected, some of the shorts were really good, some
    were really bad, and most fell somewhere in between. For a 2014 follow-up, creator Ant Timpson has opted for... "ABCs of Death 2"! Not alphabetical appreciations of, say, life, or love, or even happiness. Just more death, a second opportunity to shuffle off this mortal coil courtesy of two dozen or
    so international artists. It's a sick and twisted world we live in, is it
    not? Based on a so-called "franchise dream" by Timpson, "ABCs of Death 2" picks up where the first compilation left off by starting all over again at
    the beginning (with one of its finer contributions, E. L. Katz's darkly
    humored "Amateur"). Robert Morgan's stop-motion "Deloused" is wonderfully creepy, as is "Knell" (by Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper) and "Youth" (Soichi Umezawa). Larry Fessenden, one of the few "name" directors in the stew, provides a fun Halloween treat with "Nexus" while Juan Martinez
    Moreno's split-screen "Split" plays with the medium itself. And cartoonist Bill Plympton's "Head Games" is one of the few animated entries, equally inventive. The format is perfect for gorehounds with short-attention
    spans, of course, providing endless opportunities for snack and bathroom breaks. Overall, the sum of its parts is an improvement over its
    predecessor, and it's not surprising the end credits promise "ABCs of Death
    3: Teach Harder" coming in 2016! (What came was "ABCs of Death 2 1/2,"
    which pulled together the best of Part 2's runners-up; it premiered on
    Vimeo in early August of that year.)

    David N. Butterworth

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