Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The ABCs of Death (2012)

So for the first real entry on this blog in well over a year I am totally not doing what I said I was going to when I gave you that list of things I’d be reviewing and strayed far and wildly into something TOTALLY NOT ON THE LIST. If you have a thing about lists, this probably just completely rubbed you the wrong way. And if that’s the case, I’m sorry, but also, seriously, lighten the hell up. Because this gem of a movie rolled into my hometown for ONE WEEKEND ONLY and I did the only sensible thing a creepy confection in my position could, flapped her hands wildly going “OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD” and then proceeded to high-tail herself down to the only theater playing it. If you’re questioning this level of excitement, just what the fricking trailer, and if afterwards you’re still all Mr. “meh, whatever” … well then I don’t think this relationship is going to work after all, I’m sorry honey, we can discuss who gets the kids on which holiday.

Now tell me that doesn’t look magical to you. Or you know what. Don’t. Because you’ll make me angry, and you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. I rip off my clothes and go on a path of destruction, mowing down people in my path, and knocking over furniture. I don’t actually get bigger or turn green or anything, I usually just come home tired and embarrassed, while my poor roommate tells the cops how sorry she is for my immature behavior and promises to try to make wear some sort of covering in public, and you know, stop punching children….

Wait… what was I talking about… and how did I get here? Oh yeah. Anyway, ANYWAY.

Here is the premise of the film at its most stripped down and basic: 26 film makers are given the task of each creating a film that has something to do with death, with the catch that it must also somehow relate to an assigned letter of the alphabet. These short films come to us from all corners of the globe and span a wide gamut of genres and subject matter; from the comical and camp, to downright artsy fartsy, from freaking disturbing, to the incredibly tragic, and then there’s a couple in there that you just sit, blinking slowly, and going “…. The fuck?”

I will not lie to you dear readers, not all of the shorts are good. In fact, some of them made this girl just sit there, scowling in contempt and making a disapproving clucking sound. However, I was at no point bored, nor did I zone out. Which is, frankly, a huge accomplishment, since I generally have such issues with spacing that I have on three separate occasions walked straight into sign poles, and each time it was so sadly ironic I would have laughed if not for the metal buzzing sound in my ears and the mother bitch of a headache, since they were ‘stop’, ‘no parking’, and ‘yield’, respectively. Hell, I zoned out halfway through writing this sentence.

It’s hard to really write a particularly succinct review about a movie that is a collection of shorts, especially when half the fun of them is trying to guess what word they’ve chosen for their assigned letter, and to the credit of the film makers, very few of them were an obvious choice. So here’s the thing; if you want a movie where you’re going to be constantly engaged by the material, then yeah, see it, totally see it. But if you’re prone to fainting or some other form of general sissarey (yes I just made that up, but it’s my word now, and I’m getting it copyrighted) you’re gonna want to take a pass on this one. Maybe go to the bigger theater down the road, catch that new Nicholas Sparks movie, that as far as I can tell is about a girl who cries a lot because she has to ride her bicycle around a quaint beach town.

Your delicate modern, sensibilities, will be offended, there's just no way around that, Gertrude, I'm sorry. Hell, at points my sensibilities were offended and that takes doing. But despite the fact that there are large clumps of this film that are offensive, and even occasionally hard to watch, I'm going out here and saying watch it. It takes chances, and generally speaking, I'm more offended by a movie that leans towards the safe and throws me something trite and predictable, than I am a movie that makes me queasy at points and at others makes me wonder if I'm actually just going mad very slowly. And sure, maybe I'm a little biased here, because when I saw it I had basically the perfect viewing experience  a midnight showing with only six other people, in an awesome, tiny art theater with ridiculously good popcorn. Maybe I would not have this level of affection for it if I'd just been sitting on my couch watching it. Maybe. But I would still respect the novelty of it. And that ought to count for something, right? No? Geez, don't be such a buzzkill...

Well, that's it for me, for now at least, but you can look for more of my slightly off-kilter views on things soon.
But now this girl is going to bed.

Until next time:
Hugs and kisses

Spooky Pie


  1. Interesting concept, but like all anthologies it's def a bit of hit & miss. Watching this is almost like being a stoner - terrible on your own, much better with a group of good friends!

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