The ABCs of Death
This film made me realize just how long the alphabet really is.
As with any anthology, you have to give it a grade based on the overall quality of each of the films comprising it. The average here is not surprising: “C”. You take the good with the bad. At the end of each short is the letter it’s based on, and what it stands for, and the filmmaker responsible. Aside from that, there really wasn’t much of a theme connecting these shorts—besides death, of course. It’s always interesting, however, to see which themes emerge on a more subliminal, uncontrolled level. For this anthology it was the toilet.
“T is for Toilet” (one of the great ones, which was picked in a contest by Drafthouse Films), “M is for Miscarriage” (Ti West’s startlingly short, lazy entry), and a really funny animated one, “K is for Klutz”, about a woman who is killed by her own piece of shit, all seemed to hinge on the image of the toilet. As far as I can tell, the toilet is the epicenter for “potty humor” and this anthology has tons of it. One of the standouts for example was “F is for Fart”.
I think there could be a new genre here. Instead of toilet humor, it’s toilet horror.
Whether or not someone is able to withstand a bombardment of bite-sized bathroom filmmaking for 2 hours is another point to wrestle with entirely. But there are some understated, well conceived films in ABC’s of Death that deserve equal mention among the princes of shit. “O is for Orgasm”, “Y is for Young Buck” and “D is for Dogfight” seemed really inspired pieces that took advantage of the medium. It wouldn’t surprise me if those projects began as music videos and were later incorporated to fit this anthology series.
See it or Skip It:
See it. If you missed the screening at the DFF this year you won’t get to see it in a theatre, but The ABCs of Death should appear on VOD very soon.