The stand-outs so far (according to several sources) were Xavier Gens (who made the brutal Frontier/s and The Divide; his name always gets dropped, and rightly so, when people mention ‘New French Extremist Horror’) and his segment called “X to XXL”, where a woman, “takes the ultimate action to reduce her body size”.
“T is for Talk” (2011), directed and co-written by Peter Haynes, was a top vote-getter in the “26th Director” ABCs of Death contest. Of course, that was back when the voting window for the contest was still open, which I managed to totally miss, thus this series to share the best other shorts with a wider audience. I’m pretty sure you’ll see why; it packs a hell of a wallop into four minutes. This is definitely one of the most intense entries, and isn’t something you should watch if you’re NOT in the mood for something dark, nasty…and very original. Oh, and if you have a pounding headache, I recommend waiting until your head’s back to normal (you’ll see why pretty fast). Check out the very NSFW, intense “T is for Talk”, from New Zealand, below!
Damn! A prequel to that short could be interesting in the right hands. Anyway, that’s eighteen down, seven to go (I think. I’ll do the math later). You can go back and read the first three posts, each with five picks either embedded or linked–some were only on Vimeo or the official voting contest page via the ‘related’ links below, or you can watch the first five entries (plus the introduction) here, the second batch of entries here, and the third bunch of five entries—which has one of the sickest entries in the series– here. I also went and posted a link (I couldn’t embed it) to one that I meant to post, but missed, a couple of weeks ago back in September, which you can check out here. Enjoy, and expect the last eight entries by the time of the full-length movie’s release, which should give me plenty of time since the release date got bumped way the fuck back to January 31st for VOD, and motherfucking March for a limited theatrical run (sigh). I read three reviews from sources I trust, and they said it was kind of a mixed bag; some were more toilet humor/gross-out* than scary or gory (or worth four minutes of your time).
Anyway, now that reviews are coming in, the reviewers said there were some great segments that made The ABCs of Death worth sitting through. The stand-outs so far (according to several sources) were Xavier Gens (who made the brutal Frontier/s and The Divide; his name always gets dropped, and rightly so, when people mention ‘New French Extremist Horror’) and his segment called “X to XXL”, where a woman, “takes the ultimate action to reduce her body size”. My guess it she does a little whittling down at home, taking matters into her own hands by using a sharp blade.** Another standout is supposed to be “L is for Libido,” dealing with (I am not making this up) a psychotic masturbation contest (worse than a biscuit party, I assume) –gee, how could THAT go horribly wrong in an unrated horror movie?–that ‘ends with sick and deadly results.’ I’m not proud of admitting this, but …SOLD!
Right now, I really want to see what Banjong Pisathanakun (half the team from Shutter and Alone ) does with his four minutes …and with what letter of the alphabet and title. N is for Natre? S is for Siamese Twin?
Well, that’s seventeen down and eight to go! More to come, definitely before the holidays (and probably sooner).
*I wonder if any of them had to (or needed to for the purpose of rating them, no-one held a gun to my head making me watch all of them, it was just too late in my project to back-pedal by then) sit through “T is for Testosterone Replacement Therapy”, “T is for Tentacle Rape“, or “T is for Tampon”? Those weren’t anywhere near scary, they didn’t have a plot, two out of the three were so misogynistic I felt like punching whoever was responsible for them in the teeth, and they didn’t even try to be entertaining –on any level. I got the feeling they only made the films because they had some serious issues and/or really filthy sexual fetishes to work through. Through the years, I’ve picked up on the fact that self-indulgence usually doesn’t make for an end product entertaining for anyone but the artist. Consider yourself warned if you’re somehow still compelled to watch them …especially if you’re eating at the time.
**For a while now, I actually have been fleshing out (no pun intended, I should get of my tired ass and take a stab at grabbing the thesaurus before half my comments sound like The Cryptkeeper introducing a story, boils and ghouls ) an outline for a short horror story, where a woman with some serious issues hates her body –and doesn’t have the money to go pay for lipo or another medical procedure. At the end, she really goes over the edge and tries the do-it-yourself approach with craving knives and maybe a vacuüm cleaner or other suction device. The scariest part? I’m afraid if I Googled or otherwise researched this, there will turn out to be not one but a ton of cases of people who already tried to do it. Self-surgery, not writing a short story about it, I mean. There’s no way that’s going to end well…
- The ABCs of Death-Horror Boom’s Top Twenty Picks from the T Competition (1/5) (horrorboom.com)
- “The ABCs of Death” Release Date Bumped To January 2013, Goddamnit! (horrorboom.com)
- The ABCs of Death – Horror Boom’s Top 20 Picks From the “T” Contest (2/5) (horrorboom.com)
- The ABCs of Death – Horror Boom’s Top 20 Picks From the “T” Contest (3/5) (horrorboom.com)
- Director Adam Wingard Talks V/H/S, YOU’RE NEXT, DEAD SPY RUNNING, and THE ABCs OF DEATH (collider.com)