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John’s Horror Corner: The ABCs of Death 2.5 (2016), really not the best horror anthology, with a variety of perverted themes.

June 5, 2017


MY CALL: 
This really wasn’t a very good horror anthology unless you’re looking for slapstick drunk/high humor told over sexual and “dark genre” themes. There’s not much horror to be found here…nor quality.  MORE MOVIES LIKE The ABCs of Death 2.5The ABCs of Death (2013) and The ABCs of Death 2 (2014), both of which also feature 26 very short films by 26 different filmmakers and both of which were better than 2.5.

MORE HORROR ANTHOLOGIES:  Dead of Night (1945), Black Sabbath (1963), Tales from the Crypt (1972), The Vault of Horror (1973), The Uncanny (1977), Creepshow (1982), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye (1985), Deadtime Stories (1986), Creepshow 2 (1987), Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990), Necronomicon: Book of the Dead (1993), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Campfire Tales (1997), 3 Extremes (2004), Creepshow 3 (2006), Trick ‘r Treat (2007), Chillerama (2011), Little Deaths (2011), V/H/S (2012), The Theater Bizarre (2012), The ABCs of Death (2013), V/H/S 2 (2013), The Profane Exhibit (2013), The ABCs of Death 2 (2014), V/H/S Viral (2014), Southbound (2015), Tales of Halloween (2015), A Christmas Horror Story (2015), Holidays (2016) and XX (2017).

If you’ve followed my reviews for a while now then you ought to know that I love horror anthologies.  In some anthologies all of the short stories are directed by one person and written by another (e.g., Creepshow), other times we have three to six films (20-30 min each) each crafted by different filmmakers (e.g., V/H/S),  but in this case each of our 26 short stories has a different writer and director.  In fact, these were the 26 runners-up The ABCs of Death 2 (2014), for which each submission had to be titled by the letter “M.”

Unlike many anthologies which feature a story teller or wraparound story (e.g., Creepshow, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie) or taking the approach of linked stories in which one component of the previous story links us to the next (e.g., Southbound, Trick ‘r Treat), this anthology simply delivers a series of horror shorts related only by the first letter of their titles.  This is a cool notion and all, but realize that out of the top 52 submissions, these were numbers 27 to 52 whereas the best 26 made it into the previous anthology (The ABCs of Death 2).

Also, a bit strange is that there is little horror to be found here. Mostly these films are very dark comedies.  In fact, this would best be advertised as a “dark genre anthology.”  As I watched, I gave each 3-minute short film a “gut response” rating of 1 to 3 (3 being best, 1 being worst; sadly, there are a lot of 1s).

These short films cover a variety of horror, genre, and sexual themes including vampires, decapitation, cross dressing, maggots on wounds, an elderly Van Helsing, mutant ninjas, dismemberment, guts, a VHS-cyborg samurai, a poop golem, bile, vomit, sex scenes, perversions, boobs, full frontal nudity, mass suicide, genital mutilation, necrophilia, oral sex gone wrong, and some others I’m sure I’ve forgotten.  There are several foreign language shorts, including Spanish and (I think) Italian.  With as little spoiling as possible, here is an account of the short films with a few comments.

M is for Moonstruck [2.5] (directed by Travis Betz) boasts some innovative (even if cheap) style!  It’s cut paper animation…with a cut paper sex scene and cut paper nudity! LOL.

M is for Mother [2.5] (directed by Ryan Bosworth) is pure cheesy fun, complete with a great title shot and a fun CGI spider.

M is for Malnutrition [2] (directed by Peter Czikrai) is a barely serviceable zombie film.

M is for Marauder [1] (directed by Steve Daniels) is a garbage pail film about adults trying to kill each other while riding Big Wheels.  Some will find this hilarious.  I found it a bit annoying.  Watch it with friends and beer and you’ll get a few chuckles.

M is for Mobile [1.5] (directed by Baris Erdogan) features torture via text.  It’s cheeky.

M is for Mess [2] (directed by Carlos Faria) sexually fetishizes a man’s curse of defecating through his bellybutton. Of course, it’s disgusting.

M is for Marriage [3] (directed by Todd E. Freeman) is among the better produced, written and acted films. It involves some sort of pathogen…or parasite…or infection.

M is for Mind Meld [1.5] (directed by Brett Glassberg) is about a volunteer for some really twisted scientific experiments.

M is for Messiah [1] (directed by Nicholas Humphries) is a garbage pail film about a stupid cult. This was frustratingly bad.

M is for Make Believe [1] (directed by Summer Johnson) is about some little girls giving horribly improper first aid to an impaled man costumed as the King of the Fairies.

M is for Magnetic Tape [1] (directed by Cody Kennedy & Tim Rutherford) is dorky “stoner humor” full of dumb gore and inane dialogue. It’s funny, but terrible.

What can I say about M is for Munging [1.5] (directed by Jason M. Koch & Clint Kelly)? This is exactly what you think it is. Exactly!

M is for Mermaid [2] (directed by Ama Lea) is about a couple of fisherman who catch a topless mermaid, and it’s very silly.

M is for Meat [2.5] (directed by Wolfgang Matzl) is a trippy little stop-motion film about a carnivorous chicken leg. Yes, I meant exactly what I just said.

M is for Mariachi [1] (directed by Eric Pennycoff) features a death metal band with the best band name ever, a head banger, and a lot of murder.

M is for Mormon Missionaries [2] (directed by Peter Podgursky) features pushy, homicidal Mormons…or does it?

M is for Muff [2] (directed by Mia Kate Russell) is dumb, perversely funny, well-produced, and features a kinky accidental death.

M is for Matador [3] (directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero) might have been the most unexpectedly pleasing film. It involves a sick game of dress-up, roleplay, and the revenge of some scantily clad, blood-covered women.

M is for Manure [3] (directed by Michael Schwartz) is about a young man and his disgusting creation of vengeance.

M is for Mutant [2] (directed by Stuart Simpson) is a slapstick Australian film about some virus that causes stop-motion face-bursting mutants monsters.  It made me smile.

M is for Merry Christmas [1] (directed by Joe Staszkiewicz) features a British Krampus with some self-doubt issues.

M is for Martyr [1] (directed by Jeff Stewart) exhibits zero filmmaking effort and a marginally interesting concept.

M is for Mom [2] (directed by Carles Torrens) is somewhat well done, and features a ghoulish child with a crush.  The title seems a bit out of place.

M is for Miracle [1.5] (directed by Alvaro Nunez) is about a rabbit that falls from the sky and a psychopath in a bunny suit.

I have no clue how M is for Mailbox [2] (directed by Dante Vescio & Rodrigo Gasparini) got its name. This foreign language short features a creepy kid on Halloween.

M is for Maieusiophobia [3] (directed by Christopher Younes), the fear of giving birth, features disturbing Claymation, gory guts, and a weird pregnancy.

Well, there it is—a cornucopia of weirdness.  I wouldn’t recommend this. There are too many good horror anthologies out there.

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