Sunday, 10 March 2013


Lest one film about death shouldn't prove enough, The ABCs of Death offers 26. You could hardly accuse it of missing any opportunities. Alas, these are not so much films about death, rather than films which feature death, so you can imagine what kind of route we're on. It's a horror geek's fantasy, replete with just as much icky sex and scatological humour as blood and guts. The best thing about anthology films such as The ABCs of Death is that you know the bad ones are going to end soon and you can look forward to what's up next; at the least, these shorts are of a broad enough variety that the frequent changes of pace and style sustain your interest even when the individual segments are disappointing. And there's an impressive display of talent in several, including T (for Toilet, indeed), which is a terrifically-animated British comedy, I (for Ingrown), which is naturalistic and disquieting, and O (for Orgasm), by Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani, two Belgian directors of extraordinary ability. These shorts treat their subjects with earnestness and dedication, contrary to the shoddy execution of corny meta concepts on show in too many of the other shorts: the main offenders being F (stupid), H (odd), Q (not half as clever as they wish), W (tedious) and Z (also stupid).