“The ABCs of Death” is an appallingly bad concoction of disgusting shorts that run through the alphabet but really should’ve stopped at “A.” A bloated omnibus pic from horror helmers Srdjan Spasojevic, Ti West, Jorge Michel Grau, Ben Wheatley and two dozen others, it features 26 variously morbid extrapolations on a given letter — “A” for “Apocalypse” and “B” for “Bigfoot,” etc. — but lacks even one with any imagination. Magnet Releasing’s repugnant yukfest will go the way of the distrib’s similar “V/H/S,” i.e., to VOD, where it’ll be DOA.
Why none of the many directors delivers a punchline to his or her five-minute joke of a splatter film is a question more compelling than whatever oozes at the edges of “The ABCs of Death.” The titles of West’s “Miscarriage,” Noburo Iguchi’s “Fart,” Kaare Andrews’ “Vagitus,” and Bruno Forzani and Helene Cattet’s “Orgasm” say it all; Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s “Quack” proves clever enough to be about filmmakers shooting a lewd short for an omnibus pic. Tech credits are disturbingly pro and vary little among the different episodes.
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The ABCs of Death
A Magnet release and presentation, in association with Drafthouse Films, Timpson Films. Produced by Ant Timpson, Tim League. Executive producer, Tom Quinn. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Midnight Madness), Sept. 12, 2012. (Also in Hawaii Film Festival.) Running time: 130 MIN.
Apocalypse Directed by Nacho Vigalondo.
Bigfoot Directed by Adrian Garcia Bogliano.
Cycle Directed by Ernesto Diaz Espinoza.
Dogfight Directed by Marcel Sarmiento.
Exterminate Directed by Angela Bettis.
Fart Directed by Noburo Iguchi.
Gravity Directed by Andrew Traucki.
Hydro-Electric Diffusion Directed by Thomas Cappelen Malling.
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