Another gem on Netflix at the moment is The ABCs of Death 2, which is good gruesome fun even if it is overly long. Of course covering the entire alphabet will be time consuming and well worth the time spent watching this blackly comic horror anthology sequel to the first ABCs which came out in 2012.
In this collection of death via the letter, versus by the number, the stories move from the outrightly comic, B is for Badger had me almost hysterical with laughter as did the M is for Masticate, to the outrageous and bang on point, T is for Torture Porn for example. The Soska Twins, Jen and Sylvia, lay it on the line with their segment. So much so that their part of the anthology was banned in Germany. These two incredibly talented filmmakers were the ladies responsible for American Mary, See No Evil 2 and many more brilliant horror films.
The short films in each alphabetized death even included one that was so political that it hurt. The C is for Capital Punishment was ironic as well as blackly comic. One of the more disturbing attempts at trying to stop “killing killers” which while entertaining was also just a tad irritating.
Harking back to Jen and Sylvia, their “statement” about how women are treated in the industry and by some men in general was both amusing and worth cheering for. It makes one wonder just what made Germany censors so uncomfortable about the scene? The only thing missing from this exquisite little message is the delightful Katherine Isabelle who worked in both American Mary, as the lead, and See No Evil 2.
It is a shame that there are not more anthology horror films available in the US. There was a surge of these type movies from Hammer and this collection certainly has its fair share of English actors in a number to the short tales on offer. The Japanese collection of Tales of Terror are another excellent example of terror filled tales that range from the brilliant to eclectic and amuse as much as scare.
Horror lends itself incredibly well to the anthology format. The 2007 film Trick ‘r’ Treat was a splendid little multi-tale film with Halloween as its theme and The ABCs of Death may be that bit more graphic and, in some cases, disturbing to watch, K is for Knell is a good example of being just plain creepy to the extreme but still very entertaining. The only other recent anthology series is the VHS franchise which, despite its brilliant start, has lost steam.
There is a third in the series yet to come and one can only hope that Jen and Sylvia get another chance to do their bit. For fans of Horror anthologies this is great news and hopefully there will be more blackly comic and excruciating to watch short films on offer. This is a real 4 out of 5 stars for entertainment with the loss of a star for a couple of clunkers in the mix.
24 May 2015