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Fantastic Fest capsule review: ABCs of Death 2

Joe Gross
jgross@statesman.com

If you were at Fantastic Fest last year, you know the drill with this one. A bunch of directors get a letter of the alphabet and create a short film based on that letter (“F for Fart,” for icky example, from the first film). Here we go again.

Produced by Alamo/Fantastic Fest “ABCs of Death 2” is a bit different. There are actually 26 directors this time around, up from 17 for the first movie, offering, well, 26 new ways to die. The batting average is higher than the first film but nothing is quite as extreme. Or maybe it doesn’t seem as extreme. You get numb to this stuff pretty quickly.

Standouts include the opening volleys, Evan Katz’s “A for Amateur,” spotlighting a the lighter side of a hit gone very, very wrong; Julian Barratt’s “B is for Badger,” featuring, well, you can probably guess. Dennison Ramalho’s “J is for Jesus” presents a version of the Christ we have not seen before.

The exceptionally revolting animated “D is for Deloused” by Robert Morgan is probably the most stomach-turning cartoon you will see this year. Speaking of animation, the legendary Bill Plympton contributes “H is for Head Games.”

Todd Rohal straight up cheats with his entry, making the title a crass stuttering joke AND cheating on the letter, while Hajime Ohata’s “O is for Ochlocracy” is not a bad little zombie story. Nigerian director Lancelot Imasuen contributes the strong, unexpected “L is for Legacy.”

Personal favorite? Make sure to stick around for Steven Kostanski’s blackly comic “W” entry which is straight-up fan-service for anyone who has every owned toys. Which is probably all of you. “ABCs of Death 2” screens 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25.