In Review: The ABCs of Death on Blu-ray

by J P Wooding on 09/08/2013


Twenty six directors each had $5000 to make a film with at least one death in it. Their choice of short was also dictated by a letter of the alphabet, hence the movie’s title. It is a very ambitious concept that fails to deliver its potential. There are few highlights; I felt that “D is for Dogfight” had some good shots and lighting that told the story well and “A is for Apocalypse” began quite brutally but ended with a fine explanation.

“F is for Fart” and “Z is for Zetsumetsu” are respectively weak and bizarre. Some directors used this invitation to create something as obscene as possible (Nishimura’s “Z”) while others like Lee Hardcastle (T is for Toilet) used it to perhaps attract a new audience; in this case a form of gory Claymation. With such a sizeable anthology, many extras are present on the disc to explain some of the directors’ decisions…

Extras: The extras begin with the directors being interviewed about their ideas. “Oil Burn Effects” from “Apocalypse”, behind the scenes of “Toilet” and the making of “Bigfoot” are too short to be effective, although I particularly enjoyed the making of “Dogfight”, which gave a good insight to the production. Thomas Cappelen Malling’s “Hydro-Electric Diffusion” had a behind-the-scenes featurette, a making-of segment and a strange “making-of vs. finished piece” short. “Vagitus” had a making-of piece, deleted scenes, animatics piece and a commentary from director Kaare Andrews. There is also an interview with Simon Rumley, creator of the quite upsetting “P is for Pressure”.

There is a photo gallery, a couple of trailers and AXS TV: a short overview from the filmmakers about the creation of the anthology. Extras which aren’t in English have subtitles and “WTF” has outtakes which match the short’s bizarre antics.

Some of the extras do excuse some of the reasons that most of the shorts were so average and I can see why they’re here but, like the shorts, they don’t fulfil their potential.

For fans of the genre, it is worth picking up a copy. Some of the films improve after watching their associated extras and so the package works. It’s just a shame that perhaps the whole project appears to have been a little over-ambitious, although as a consequence, it was a bold idea and respect should be given for that.

J P has awarded The ABCs of Death on Blu-ray three Torches of Truth

3 torches cropped

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: