ABC’s Of Death 2 (Blu-ray Review)

abcs of death 2 whysoblu thumb26 horror shorts all in one package?  Sounds neat!  That said, horror anthology films tend to be a mixed bag for me.  Sometimes I find them very enjoyable.  Other times they tend to go on for too long, exhausting me in the process, and leaving me with only so much to praise, despite the strong effort coming from the filmmaker(s) involved.  Truth be told, I never got around to seeing ABC’s of Death, as I had heard things that led me to believe I would not really appreciate it.  For ABC’s of Death 2, however, I had heard the short films presented were mostly much more effective this time around.  Given that there is no continuity in a film like this, I went for it and got what I expected in terms of overall reaction.  Now the film is on Blu-ray, with 26 different shorts for viewers to wrap their minds around.


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As this is a unique type of film, I am just going to give lots of credit to Wikipedia and those involved in assembling an account for all the shorts and directors involved, rather than just retype it.  With that in mind, here is a summation of the different shorts presented:

  • A is for Amateur (directed by E.L. Katz)

A hitman’s meticulously planned hit doesn’t go quite as planned.

A wildlife documentary goes awry when the team encounters a giant badger.

A man is violently beheaded for a crime he didn’t commit.

A stop-motion animated short about a large bug that helps an executed man get revenge on his killers.

Two castaways have their friendship tested when a beautiful woman washes ashore.

An Israeli woman is caught in a tree by her parachute and is found by a hostile Palestinian boy.

A young man discovers his grandfather has been sleeping under his bed.

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A man and woman kiss, which turns into a surreal power struggle.

A family tries to kill the matriarch for her inheritance.

A young man is violently martyred for being a homosexual.

A woman experiences the effects of a black liquid that turns people into killers.

A ritual sacrifice goes horribly wrong.

  • M is for Masticate (directed by Robert Boocheck)

A man runs down a street in slow motion, attempts to eat someone, and is shot by police. It’s revealed that he did bath salts 34 minutes earlier.

A man hurries to meet his girlfriend on Halloween.

A woman is sentenced to death by a courtroom full of zombies.

  • P is for P-P-P-P SCARY! (directed by Todd Rohal)

An homage to black and white comedy in which three prisoners encounter a strange man and a baby.

A man takes an intelligence test on the street, juxtaposed with footage of the man’s brain being transferred to a gorilla.

Two men and a woman play Russian roulette while hidden in a basement.

A woman is attacked in her home while on the phone with her husband.

A woman (Tristan Risk) is treated misogynistically at an audition, but when asked to strip, reveals tentacles where her vagina should be.

An unattractive man is singled out in a mall full of seemingly perfect people and publicly executed.

Two men are killed by a prostitute they hired while on the phone with one man’s girlfriend.

Two kids wish themselves into a fantasy world, only to be violently taken prisoner by the villain.

A babysitter (Béatrice Dalle) is emotionally affected by a child’s xylophone playing.

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A young girl violently fantasizes about the deaths of her abusive family.

  • Z is for Zygote (directed by Chris Nash)

A pregnant woman has been staving off birth for 13 years and living with a 13-year-old inside her stomach.

(Also, stay after the credits)

Producers Ant Timson and Tim League certainly have a neat idea here and if they can continue to recruit 26 directors for further installments, I am happy see this level of creativity continue on.  That said, there is only so much to take from a majority of these shorts, beyond a level of respect for the resourcefulness of the filmmakers clearly getting a kick out of this opportunity.  With each short only given around 3 minutes to work with, the biggest issue with this structure is how most of the segments have so much potential to be something bigger, but stop short of it or end just when things seem to be getting started.

It is a little humorous to basically be asking for more, but that is what a lot of these shorts left me with.  Others are just too much in terms of the various types of gore and extremes they want to present, while only a handful really manage to get in and get out, delivering some kind of message in the process, and feel fully accomplished, given the short length, and other elements.  That being said, I am curious what people think about a lot of these shorts specifically.  Some certainly leave an impression, even if I am not huge on the segment overall, while others I likely won’t recall ever again.

If there is an ABCs of Death 3, I can only hope the directors that have done the best shorts along with some yet-to-be-found talents come along to make the ultimate version of this unique and ambitious anthology.  There may not be some sort of overriding theme, aside from things not working out for anyone, the ‘unratedness’ of it all, and the alphabetical approach, but this is an engaging (and often disgusting) horror experience that horror fans should certainly seek out.


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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail: Not as tricky to describe as maybe considered, ABCs of Death 2 is consistently clean throughout, despite the use of different cinematographers for every segment.  Shot digitally, each short may have a different look, but even with low budgets, every segment has a clear level of detail that has been designed to look professional enough and fitting for a major film project such as this.

Depth: Background and foregrounds seem sharp enough throughout, with not much blurriness to speak of.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and inky with minor amounts of crushing.

Color Reproduction: Colors are consistently solid, especially given the varied palettes we see throughout this film.  That actually helps quite a bit, in terms of the way this film is presented and features so much variety.

Flesh Tones: Natural, with lots of facial detail to be seen.

Noise/Artifacts: The nature of this film could lead you to believe in seeing some flaws, but I think everything presented on this transfer turned out pretty much the way it should.



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Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics: This lossless audio track has lots of crazy uses of sound, given all of the different segments and the kind of films that are being presented.  It does a very fine job of keeping the viewer invested, as sound is quite key in some of these segments that are much happier to go for the sound effects and environmental aspects.

Low Frequency Extension: Depending on the segment, the LFE channel is kept busy and it very much helps the film.

Surround Sound Presentation: Again, depending on the segment, some of the channels get a greater amount of usage, but this mix is plenty enough for what we are seeing.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Lots of people suffer in this film, but they are all heard loud and clear.



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There is plenty to admire about the fact that nearly every one of the 26 segments have some sort of special feature.  Having a commentary that features almost every director is also a positive.  Overall, this is a strong collection for a film like this.

Features Include:

  • Filmmaker Commentary (Over 26 Filmmakers): Timson and League are basically the hosts of this track, which has almost all the filmmakers discussing their segments, with some more serious than others.
  • A, C, D, E, F, I, J, L, N, O, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y, ZAn Offering of Behind the Scenes, Making Ofs & Galleries (HD) – Each of these segments have a menu featuring some kind of bonus look.  Some of the behinds the scenes segments are even a lot longer than the short films that were shot.
  • AXS TV: A Look At ABCs of Death 2 (HD, 2:23) – A brief discussion with a couple of the filmmakers about their segments.
  • Trailers
  • BD-Live


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ABCs of Death 2 is an ambitious project that will likely lead to another installment.  The shorts can be polarizing for sure, but it is an engaging watch for horror fans into the more extreme sides of things.  Getting to see so many different visions from various filmmakers is certainly an intriguing concept into itself, which is why I can ultimately recommend this film.  The Blu-ray is also quite solid, with plenty of features to go with most of the shorts and a solid enough video and audio transfer.  Horror fans into some disturbing stuff on film (but, y’know, made for regular audiences in some way) should seek this out.

Order Your Copy Here:

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

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