“A is for Apocalypse”: (writer/director Nacho Vigalondo) The world is about to end, and a housewife is finally given the excuse to kill her husband. “B is for Bigfoot”: (writer/director Adrian Garcia Bogliano) A babysitter tells her charge a story about a monster that kills children who aren’t in bed by 8PM, just so she and her boyfriend can have uninterrupted sex. Gee, I wonder who comes knocking? “C is for Cycle”: (Writer/director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza) Looking into strange holes in the background leave a man beside himself. I thought C is for Cookie? That’s good enough for me, at any rate. “D is for Dogfight”: (Writer/director Marcel Sarmiento) An underground fight between a man and a dog. “E is for Exterminate”: (Director Angela Bettis) A man with spider removal problems. “F is for Fart”: (Writer/director Noboru Iguchi) A student with an extremely bizarre and extremely gaseous same-sex attraction to her teacher. “G is for Gravity”: (Writer/director Andrew Traucki) It’s about a surfer. “H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion”: (Writer/director Thomas Cappelen Malling) Story of a British canine pilot during WWII. “I is for Ingrown”: (Writer/director Jorge Michel Grau) A scene of torture porn as a woman is tied up and left to die by her husband. “J is for Jidai-Geki (Samurai Movie)”: (Writer/director Yudai Yamaguchi) We witness the execution of a samurai. “K is for Klutz”: (Writer/director Anders Morgenthaler) A woman is haunted by an un-flushable turd.
“L is for Libido”: (Writer/director Timo Tjahjanto) A bizarre ritual involving masturbation and torture. “M is for Miscarriage”: (Writer/director Ti West) A woman has a miscarriage but can’t seem to ‘get rid of it’ down the toilet. “N is for Nuptials”: (Co-writer/director Banjong Pisanthanakun) Guy buys a bird for his girlfriend, bird violates one of the fundamental rules of the Bro Code. “O is for Orgasm”: (Writer/directors Helene Cattet & Bruno Forzani) Pretty self explanatory, really. “P is for Pressure”: (Writer/director Simon Rumley) About a single mother hitting seriously hard times in trying to feed her kids. “Q is for Quack”: (Writer Simon Barrett, Director Adam Wingard) The filmmakers discuss what to do for this segment and settle on killing a duck. ‘Coz they go quack. And quack starts with Q. Yay! “R is for Removed”: (Co-writer/director Srdjan Spasojevic) A man tries to escape the captors who have operated on him. “S is for Speed”: (Writer/director Jake West) A woman and her hostage attempt a fast getaway, but are pursued by a masked figure. “T is for Toilet”: (Writer/director Lee Hardcastle) A Claymation story about a young boy’s wasteful experiences in the bathroom. “U is for Unearthed”: (Co-writer/director Ben Wheatley) A scene from the middle of a horror film as someone is being pursued by a vampire for reasons perhaps left on the cutting room floor of Ben Wheatley’s mind. “V is for Vagitus”: (Writer/director Kaare Andrews) A futuristic tale involving robots and unsubtle abortion debate subtext. “W is for WTF”: (Writer/director Jon Schnepp) The filmmaker ponders what to film, whilst a whole bunch of W ideas are presented all around him. “X is for XXL”: (Writer/director Xavier Gens) A fat chick thinks she has found a cheaper way to ‘trim the fat’. “Y is for Youngbuck”: (Writer/director Jason Eisener) Is allegedly about a child and their abuser. “Z is for Zetsumetsu (Extinction)”: (Writer/director Yoshihiro Nishimura) See review below, a plot synopsis would be useless for this entry.
A film that collects a bunch of short stories about death is not an endeavour without promise. However, when the number of short films is 26 (as in the 26 letters of the alphabet), that means you’re likely getting 2 minutes a film, at best. If anything, they play like a lone scene of a film, something you might do to get investors to give you money to make the rest of the film. Perhaps these 26 films represent potential investments that were never picked up. 26 letters of the alphabet, 27 directors, and a whole lotta nothing. I’ve seen trailers longer and more whole than these films. This 2012 anthology is a complete botch job, I’m afraid.
“A is for Apocalypse”: Pretty gory, with a nice sliced hand, but this already tips you off to the fact that these aren’t films, they’re barely sketches. “B is for Bigfoot”: is not only misnamed- it should be the Abominable Snowman- but it’s a one-joke idea that isn’t funny. “C is for Cycle”: C is for Clearly Badly Shot trailer masquerading as a short film. A well-shot and full-length version of this “Twilight Zone”-esque idea would be interesting but at this length? Worthless. “D is for Dogfight”: More like D is for Dumb. It’s a pointless and disgusting fight scene between a boxer and a dog. I mean, come on. Are these filmmakers even trying? “E is for Exterminate”: This one is from weirdo “May” actress Angela Bettis. And it sucks. A spidery tale that was done a lot better with cockroaches in “Creepshow”, an anthology horror outing that knew how to work the format. “F is for Fart”: Yep, it sure is. From the director of the hilarious “RoboGeisha”, here’s a segment that actually achieves what it aims for. It mixes sex and toilet humour like a Cat III film from the 80s. I’d prefer if the sex and the toilet humour weren’t in the same scene, but at least I could see the influences here, appreciate them and have fun with it. It’s too short, but it’s one of the only ones that seems designed for a short format, albeit longer than the 2 minutes or so afforded it. It’s funny in a stupid way, and clearly making fun of Asian sex fetishes, especially of the Japanese school girl variety. Everyone else hates this segment, but they simply don’t get it. “G is for Gravity”: Aussie director Andrew Traucki was one of the talents behind the excellent “Black Water”. Go watch that instead, because I completely blanked on this one. I didn’t get it at all, and shot like a “Crank” movie without the fun, it was a complete waste of (very short) time. “H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion”: The single dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. I’m convinced director Thomas Cappelen Mallory didn’t take this assignment remotely seriously, and I have absolutely no idea what the point of this WWII story with dogs and cats is. Drugs are bad, m’kay? “I is for Ingrown”: One scene of ‘torture porn’ without any real context for it. Zero entertainment value. “J is for Jidai-Genki (Samurai movie)”: Moving on... “K is for Klutz”: This one’s about a turd that won’t flush. At least with “Fart” there was some subtext and obvious influences going on, this is just a crappy Nickelodeon cartoon.
“L is for Libido”: This one is probably the second best, but only because it’s compellingly bizarre. You keep watching just to see where it’s all going. What the hell? “M is for Miscarriage”: Is about 10 seconds long and thus it’s potential for shock and controversy is null and void. “N is for Nuptials”: is about 20 seconds longer and is about a talking parrot who blabs about a guy’s infidelity. Seriously, how did this damn movie even get a release? “O is for Orgasm”: Weird, abstract, kinky, and not nearly as much fun as it could’ve and should’ve been. Pretentious and arty, and it took two directors to make it. “P is for Pressure”: Next! “Q is for Quack”: Tries to be meta by being about the making of this segment. It’s got boobs and cocaine, and a duck supposedly supplying the only ‘real’ death on screen. Whether that’s a good or bad thing doesn’t matter because the segment still sucks, and the duck gets out alive anyway. What was the point, Adam Wingard? “R is for Removed”: This one is one of the closest attempts at something beyond the length of a title card. It’s nearly about something (Film buffs will appreciate it more). Otherwise, why not just flash the title cards up on screen and be done with it? “S is for Speed”: Director Jake West proves he has seen “Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!”. He doesn’t prove anything else, however. “T is for Toilet”: Or C is for Crap Claymation. “U is for Unearthed”: Ben Wheatley gives us a middle scene of a horror film without any context whatsoever. At least that means it’s not an interminable dirge like “Kill List”. Then again, the anthology it’s a part of is probably on the whole even worse than “Kill List”. “V is for Vagitus”: The title makes no sense as Kaane Andrews gives us a trailer for a lens-flare obsessed SyFy Channel TV show with robots. Hooray if you like robots, I guess. “W is for WTF”: Is literally just the filmmaker giving us a bunch of ideas for the ‘W’ segment without giving us one, so they’re even shorter than the real entries. Pathetic and uncreative, Mr. Joe Schnepp. “X is for XXL”: Xavier Gens is at least an appropriate name for a director for the X segment, but his story of a fat chick who goes to painful means to cut some fat is sorta clever, yet only sort of an idea as well. I expected more from the director of the shattering, unpleasant, but unforgettable “The Divide”. Disappointing. “Y is for Young Buck”: Get back to me on this one, will ‘ya? ‘Coz I got nothin’... “Z is for Zetsumetsu (Extinction)”: Japanese Nazi chicks with giant prosthetic penises containing swords, and a chick who shoots potatoes out of her you know what. And then they make love. One chick has a building tattooed on one boob and a plane on the other. Uh-huh. This needs to be turned into a feature film immediately. I’d leave out the 9/11 gag, though. Fun, if short segment to end an absolutely terrible waste of two hours.
Most of the filmmakers made it difficult for themselves by creating ideas that needed more fleshing out in order to either be enjoyed or simply make sense. The project was doomed the moment the decision was made to have each of the segments last less than two minutes. 2 ½ hours would’ve been a bit of an endurance test, but it’s also the only way to do this right. But there’s no way “Gravity”, “Hydro-Electric Diffusion”, “Quack”, and “Young Buck” were ever going to work, no matter the length. And as is, the only segments that don’t suck are “Fart”, “Libido”, and “Zetsumetsu (Extinction)”. What a stupid filmic endeavour, and I’m not sure how the hell it qualifies as ‘horror’, either.