8. The ABC's of Death
Director: Kaare Andrews, Angela Bettis, Ernesto Diaz Espinosa, Jason Eisener, Bruno Forzani, Héléne Cattet, Adrián García Bogliano, Xavier Gens, Lee Hardcastle, Jorge Michel Grau, Noboru Iguchi, Thomas Malling, Anders Morgenthaler, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Banjong Pisathanakun, Simon Rumley, Marcel Sarmiento, Jon Schnepp, Srdjan Spasojevic, Timo Tjahjanto, Andrew Traucki, Nacho Vigalando, Jake West, Ti West, Ben Wheatley, Adam Wingard, Yudai Yamaguchi
Prior to the second, and final, public screening of The ABC's of Death, which took place Tuesday night, the word around the festival was that the high ambitious and outright insane anthology feature was a worthwhile disaster. And it was easy to accept that claim: Comprised of 26 directors each presenting a different means of life termination based on letters from the alphabet, it's one of those concepts that sounds amazing in theory but has a high potential of turning into a clusterfuck in execution. But it comes with fervent, pleasant enthusiasm to report that The ABC's of Death was one of Fantastic Fest's greatest surprises. In fact, it's an absolute blast.
Granted, several segments are complete wastes of time, namely The Innkeepers filmmaker Ti West's disappointingly lazy "M is for Miscarriage" and Angela Bettis' "E is for Exterminate." The combined weakness of the film's lesser offerings is easily dismissible, however, when one takes into account the awesomeness of The ABC's of Death's high-points, from Deadgirl director Marcel Sarmiento's exceptional "D is for Dogfight," Ben Wheatley's (Kill List) intense first-person exercise "U is for Unearthed," and Jason Eisener's (Hobo with a Shotgun) demented and uncomfortably hilarious "Y is for Youngbuck."
Don't believe the negative hype that's been circulating around the film in recent weeks—Though it's flawed, The ABC's of Death is, altogether, a giddily sick, nonstop shot of sadistic perversity to one's system.