When The ABCs Of Death was released a couple of years ago I was very excited. Then I watched the film. One or two segments weren't great, but that was alright as they were short enough so I knew that another one would be along in a minute. Then more segments weren't great. And more. And a few more. The film just managed to hit an above-average rating, but it was a real wasted opportunity, in my opinion. Of course, the whole idea behind the movie makes it hard to maintain any consistency - as a variety of directors are given one letter of the alphabet, a set budget, and the creative freedom to do whatever they like.
Thankfully, and somewhat surprisingly, ABCs Of Death 2 manages to well and truly make up for the disappointment of its predecessor. There's still that unavoidable uneven feeling at times, but none of the segments truly stink (in the way that the ironically-named "F for Fart" did, for example). And almost every punchline is either disturbing or hilarious, or both.
Frustratingly, I can't say much more about the film. Part of the fun, as it was the first time around, is trying to figure out what word the directors have gone for. I thought that the first segment, for example, would be called "A for Assassin". It's not.
With a roster of talent that includes Larry Fessenden, those Twisted Twins (Jen and Sylvia Soska), Vincenzo Natali, Bill Plympton, Robert Morgan, Julian Barratt, Julian Gilbey, Juan Nartinez Moreno, Steve Kostanski, Hajime Ohata, Alexandre Bustillo, and many more, this is almost as well-travelled as the first movie. I say almost, however, because there seemed to be a bit of a predominance of British talent involved this time around. Maybe that was just the luck of the draw, maybe it was for financial reasons, or maybe I just noticed the Brits more than the other nationalities involved. Either way, I was pleased to see such good representation from the UK.
Highlights, without giving away any title names, include segments A, B, C, D, J, Q, R, S, T, Y and Z. Yes, I know those letters will mean nothing to you right now. You'll just have to watch the film and find out which ones you agree with me on, if any.
Varied in style - you get some animated shorts, one black and white segment, some that are haunting and sedate, and some that are ramped-up shots of sheer viscera - this is an anthology movie that really does have something for everyone. You'll laugh, you'll wince, you may even be stunned once or twice, and you'll be alphabetically entertained throughout. And it's a perfect viewing choice for the run up to Halloween. Check it out, help it to be a success, and who knows . . . . . . we might just get a third outing that's just as good as this one.