Monday, 9 February 2015

Don't Watch This At School! The ABC's of Death 2 (2014) DVD Review

ABC's of Death 2 (2014)
Director: Various directors
Starring: Martina Garcia, Tristan Risk and Various Actors and Actresses
Running Time: 125 min

  With all the controversy and heat about the teacher bringing the first ABC's of Death film to school, showing his class & going to jail, I couldn't think of a better time to release this fantastic sequel.  Man, you can't buy that kind of press.  Anyway,  I saw this in October during it's theatrical/VOD run and I've been really looking forward to seeing this again because I thought this was a really enjoyable collection of twisted shorts.

  The series of shorts has a terrific animated opening credit sequence with kids playing and being mutilated at school.  From there, just like last time, they start with the letter A and tell a terrible tale that accents a word that begins with that letter until they get to Z.  Each letter has a different director from someplace around the world.

  Again, I really enjoyed the film and thought that this was an incredibly strong collection of horror shorts.  My favourites being Steven Kostanski's letter W, who takes every 80's kids dream and turns it into a feverish nightmare, Hajime Ohata's letter O, who turns the zombie genre on it's ear, and Erik Matti's letter I, who has family members trying to brutally murder their mother.  Great stuff! My all time favourite though is still Rodney Ascher's very clever and interesting throwback piece with the letter Q.  I don't want to get to into them because it might spoil the surprise and they have some terrific twists.
  I think the producers Ant Timpson and Tim League did an excellent job collecting all these talented people and gave them an exceptional opportunity to showcase their skills and after watching it again, I've even come to dig some of pieces that I was that crazy about.
  With that said, there are 26 different pieces from 26 different people and not everybody is going to love them all.  This ABC's of Death has a bit more humour than the first one and there aren't as many pieces here that push that extreme limit like some of the directors of the first one.  However, there is also hardly any existential & exploratory art pieces like in the first one either.  Mostly solid horrorific situations with a bit of fun and scares.  

  I really enjoyed the special features on the DVD and would recommend listening to the audio commentary to any writer, director or anyone looking to get into the film industry.  Almost, every film is talked about by the director of their piece and they mostly describe the process and how they collaborated with their team to create this piece.  Most are very insightful, some are humorous but they all give you an idea into how much time and energy go into making a short film.
  Also, there are some very fascinating Behind the Scenes footage for some of the pieces and they give you a much better appreciation for the people who work behind the camera.  You get a chance to see all the practical effects work being done and see the creatures and weird things being created for Soichi Umezawa's letter Y piece, as well Steven Kostanski's letter W.  There is one that looks at Vincenzo Natali's letter U piece and how he has only 12 hours to shoot it before he loses his location.  These are fascinating behind the scenes stuff that any film nerd will really dig.
  Also most of the films have at least a gallery of stills.  So, you can see some candid shots of you're favourite shorts.

  All around this is a great DVD/Blu-ray for any horror fans collection.  This is outstanding collection of horror shorts by talented directors, as well as an incredible compilation of behind the scenes footage that will give you a better appreciation for the work and artistry that goes into creating them.  So if you're looking for an anthology of terror that will scare and surprise you, than this is film for you but don't bring it to school, just watch it at home.

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