Follow TV Tropes


Film / ABCs of Death 2

Go To
A first sequel to 2012 anthology horror film The ABCs of Death. Like the first film, it consists of 26 shorts, directed by filmmakers from around the world, and each named for a letter of the alphabet and dealing with the subject of death. The title of each segment is only shown after it has ended, providing a guessing game for the viewer as to what word the short's designated letter stands for.

Each segment provides examples of:

A is for Amateur

From the USA. Directed by E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills). It's about a hitman who was given an assignment to kill a drug dealer. He imagines a perfect execution of sneaking through air vents with the plan to enter the room via the dealer's penthouse and assassinate all the targets. However, the reality says it differently in the worst way.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: The assassin imagines crawling through an air vent in classic movie fashion. In reality, the vent is cramped, dirty and vermin infested. The assassin gets stuck and winds up dying in the vent.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The hitman's target is killed by a bullet from the dead hitman's silencer.
  • Black Comedy: Some dark humor can be found in the hitman managing to kill his target posthumously.
  • Deconstruction: Of action movie tropes. Mostly deconstructs Air-Vent Passageway by showing how easy it is to get harmed and killed there.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The hitman imagines himself flawlessly using an Air-Vent Passageway, only to learn the hard way that a person can't actually fit inside without getting stuck.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: The drug dealer masturbates to and films a video of two women making out.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The hitman dies from blood loss while crawling through air vents, but the drug dealer got killed by a gun from the hitman's corpse that fell from the air vents.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: The assassin manages to complete his assignment when his corpse falls out of the air duct, and his gun goes off when it hits the floor, shooting the coke dealer in the neck.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In fact, it is very difficult and outright dangerous to attempt an Air-Vent Passageway crawl, as the assassin finds out the hard way.

B is for Badger

From the UK. Directed by Julian Barrett (of The Mighty Boosh). It's about a wildlife documentary filmmaker named Peter (played by Barrett) documenting the endangerment of badgers caused by a local power plant nearby.

C is for Capital Punishment

From the UK. Directed by Julian Gilbey (A Lonely Place to Die). It's about a town which handles local matters, including law and crimes, calling for the execution of a man for the supposed murder of a teenage girl. The man tries to reason with the locals, proclaiming his innocence and suggesting they call the police to deal with the matter. The locals promise to call the police if he confesses or face execution if he does otherwise. After confessing, however, the locals plan to execute him.
  • Downer Ending: The man is executed, after it turns out that he was in fact innocent.
  • From Bad to Worse: Oh boy, where do we begin? The man confesses, but the townspeople gives him a death penalty. On the way to the forest, where the execution will happen, the teenage girl turns out to be alive. Discovering their mistake, two men attempt to stop the execution, only to later die in a car accident. The execution then takes place by beheading, which fail on the first several attempts and finish the deed after the final swing.
  • Kangaroo Court: The man is sentenced to death by a court of locals who have no authority to do so. The 'jurors' are even identified in the credits as 'the Kangaroo Court'.
  • Off with His Head!: The man has his head chopped off slowly by an ax.

D is for Deloused

A Stop Motion Animation short directed by UK-based animator Robert Morgan. It's about a large bug that helps an executed man get revenge on his ghoulish killers.
  • Animalistic Abomination: Whatever the hell came out of the portal, it only barely resembles the cockroach it once was.
  • Arc Words: You pay for life turns up several times in this segment.
  • Ass Shove: The man "pays for life" by... shoving the decapitated heads of his captors up the insect's asshole to be devoured by the demon.
  • Body Horror: This segment features rather gruesome transformations and mutilations of the human body, combined with some really disturbing Facial Horror. Not to mention the cockroach after it is revived.
  • Deranged Animation: It's often compared to tool's music videos, with a touch of David Firth.
  • Downer Ending: The man's second body/soul is forced to watch his mortal head get eaten by the bug, and has his now decayed head spitefully crushed underfoot by one of the reanimated captors, as the bug goes back to the portal to hell. Or something like that.
  • Off with His Head!: The executioners die of decapitation in this segment then reanimate briefly.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The man gets his revenge, though rather forcibly so by the insect.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: The man starts strapped to an operating table, waiting for his killers to arrive.
  • Tragic Mistake: The man then gets his own head stuck inside the insect's asshole by accident when trying to push one of the decapitated heads that refused to budge, leading to his second death.
  • The Unintelligible: All of the characters speak in indecipherable roars and other sounds. The only voice we hear in the entire short is the demon inside of the bug, who has four lines total.

E is for Equilibrium

From Cuba. Directed by Alejandro Brugués (Juan of the Dead). It's about two castaways who have their friendship tested when a beautiful woman washes ashore.

F is for Falling

From Israel. Directed by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (Big Bad Wolves). It's about an Israeli female paratrooper who got caught in a tree after jumping from a plane and is hanging by her parachute. An Arab boy discovers her hanging there and aims his rifle at her to kill her.

G is for Granddad

From the UK. Directed by Jim Hosking. It's about a rude young man living with his grandfather who is exasperated by his grandfather's retro taste and style. As he lays down in his bed, there is a noise beneath the mattress.
  • Berserk Button: Granddad can't stand being called a wanker because he doesn't have a penis.
  • Evil Old Folks: The basic premise of the segment is that a man lives with his rotten grandfather, although he's no prize himself.
  • It Tastes Like Feet: The grandson insults his grandfather's cognac by saying "I've had wee-wees that tasted better than this".
  • Offing the Offspring: The grandfather ends up stabbing his grandchild in the neck, leaving him to bleed to death.

H is for Head Game

From the USA. Directed by Bill Plympton. This hand drawn animated segment is about a man and woman kissing, which turns into a surreal power struggle.
  • Call-Back: To Plympton's earlier surreal works about kissing.
  • Surreal Humor: It's a Bill Plympton short. Of course there'd be absurd and surreal visuals for comedic purposes.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Subverted. All of them die without any victory.

I is for Invincible

From the Philippines. Directed by Erik Matti (On the Job, BuyBust). It's about a family that tries to kill the matriarch for her inheritance, which is composed of an ornate stone that makes its host immortal, along with cash and a beach house.
  • The Ageless: The matriarch is over 100 years old and doesn't appear to have aged as much.
  • Black Comedy: The mortal injuries the matriarch survives are played for dark laughs.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The youngest of the siblings gets the stone and she has to live forever like the now-dead matriarch.
  • Immortality Inducer: The stone enables whoever wields it to live forever.
  • Man on Fire: The oldest son tries to kill his mother by setting her on fire. She still lives.
  • Off with Her Head!: The youngest kills her mother by cutting off her head.
  • Reusable Lighter Toss: The eldest son soaks his mother in gasoline and lights her up by throwing his Zippo into her lap.

J is for Jesus

From Brazil. Directed by Dennison Ramalho, who is known for making controversial horror shorts that deals with religious fundamentalism. It's about two religious fundamentalists torturing a gay man, who is having a hallucination of them being demons.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: The man urinates himself as he is being threatened by his captors.
  • Bury Your Gays: One of the men was murdered off-screen. The other lives when the vengeful spirit kills his torturers.
  • Cure Your Gays: A wealthy businessman hires a team to kidnap his gay son and exorcise the gayness out of him.
  • Electric Torture: During the attempt to cure the man's gayness, the fundamentalists take jumper leads connected to a car battery and apply them to his genitals.
  • Gay Aesop: The gay man's dead lover comes back as a ghost, kills the two fundamentalists, and tattoos the words "Love is Law" (in Portuguese) on the man's arm.
  • Offing the Offspring: The father ordered one of two fundamentalists to kidnap his son and torture him for being gay.
  • Religious Horror: The fundamentalists torturing the gay man end up killed by the vengeful spirit of the man's lover, most likely as punishment for using their religious beliefs as an excuse to be homophobic.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: The gay man being tortured sees the fundamentalists as horrific eyeless demons.

K is for Knell

From Lithuania. Directed by Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper (Vanishing Waves). It's about a woman who sees a big, floating sphere of black liquid that causes people from another apartment to kill each other. The black liquid is now going after the woman who is alone in her own home.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Word of God cited H. P. Lovecraft as one of their influences.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The black liquid, a large spherical shape in the sky that influences the people who live across the street to murder each other. It then causes our protagonist to bleed profusely at its presence when it reappears outside her door.
  • Foreshadowing: The segment begins with a woman painting her nails with black nail-polish. And then the black liquid is coming after her.
  • Hate Plague: The liquid induces violence.
  • "Rear Window" Witness: From her balcony, the woman witnesses multiple murders being committed in the apartment block opposite.

L is for Legacy

From Nigeria. Directed by Nollywood icon Lancelot Imasuen. It's about an African tribe's sacrificial ritual that goes horribly wrong, which summons a demonic creature that attacks several villagers.

M is for Masticate

From the USA. Directed by Robert Boocheck. It was a winner for the 26th director contest. Shot mostly in slow motion, it's about a large man with strange looking eyes who runs in his underwear down a street while knocking down several bystanders and attempts to eat someone.
  • Creator Cameo: The director was with this man when he's about to snort a bath salt.
  • Drugs Are Bad: The man's cannibalistic rampage started because he snorted bath salts 37 minutes earlier.
  • Ear Ache: The man bites the ear off the bystander he knocked down.
  • How We Got Here: The final scene of the short explains how all of this started.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Defied. The man bites off the bystander's ear and the policeman shoot him in his head.
  • Man Bites Man: The man bites the bystander he knocked down and rips his ear off.
  • The Reveal: This was all started when the man snorted bath salt 37 minutes ago.
  • Spree Killer: Begins with a crazed man running along a city indiscriminately attacking and trying to kill people.

N is for Nexus

From the USA. Directed by Larry Fessenden (Wendigo). It's a Hyperlink Story sets in New York City during Halloween. It involves 1) a man dressed up as a Frankenstein monster in a hurry to meet his girlfriend, who dressed up as the Bride of Frankenstein, 2) a taxi driver trying to solve a crossword puzzle while driving to his passenger's destination, and 3) the man's girlfriend waiting for him.
  • Death of a Child: A boy out trick-or-treating is killed when the bike flipped by the cab hits him in the head.
  • Downer Ending: See Hyperlink Story.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: After the bike crashes into the trick-or-treater, there is a shot of his spilled Halloween candy lying in a pool of his blood.
  • Hyperlink Story: It all later connects together at the end when the taxi driver, who's lost in his crossword puzzle (the answer turns out to be nexus), accidentally hits the man's bike and kills him. The bike lands on the boy's head, which gives him (who got candy corn from the man's girlfriend in waiting) a fatal concussion. The man's girlfriend screams in horror after seeing this tragic accident.
  • Shout-Out: One of the people the man passes by is wearing a fox mask from You're Next, which Fessenden starred in.

O is for Ochlocracy (mob rule)

From Japan. Directed by Hajime Ohata (Henge). It takes place in a post-apocalyptic society where zombies are the ruling class and the human survivors are put on trial for killing zombies for survival.
  • Hanging Judge: The judge is quick to sentence the defendant to death and never changes his mind.
  • Joker Jury: A courtroom consisting of (ex-)zombies tries humans who 'killed' them during a zombie plague.
  • Offing the Offspring: Justified. The woman's daughter was bitten by a zombie and she kills her by shooting her head.
  • The Reveal: The reason why zombies got so smart and act like regular human beings is that the vaccination reverses the negative impacts of the zombie virus.
  • Undead Child: The daughter comes back as a zombie to testify against her mother.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The segment takes place in a setting where nearly everyone has become zombies and zombies become the ruling class of the society.

P is for P-P-P-P SCARY!

From the USA. Directed by Todd Rohal (Nature Calls). It is about three prisoners who encounter a strange man and a baby.

Q is for Questionnaire

From the USA. Directed by documentarian Rodney Ascher (Room 237, a documentary about conspiracy theories surrounding the movie ]]The Shining''). It is about a man takes an intelligence test on the street, juxtaposed with footage of his brain being forcibly removed.

R is for Roulette

From Austria. Directed by Marvin Kren (Blutgletscher). It is about two men and a woman who play Russian roulette while hidden in a basement.
  • Genre Shift: It starts out like a period piece set during World War II. But it's later revealed that it's set during the zombie apocalypse.
  • Mercy Kill: Once the husband realizes he is the loser, he shoots his wife's head instead of himself.
  • Russian Roulette: It's in the title, isn't it? Though this one plays differently, as the loser of the game ends up killing his wife, to spare her from a possibly worse fate.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The sound from the surface implies that they are hiding from zombies.

S is for Split

From Spain, done in English. Directed by Juan Martinez Moreno. All done in a Split Screen format and is a home invasion thriller about a woman attacked in her home by an intruder while her husband is in France.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: While we don't know if she ends up being arrested or not, the wife of the other man succeeds in killing the man's wife and child.
  • Bury Your Gays: Inverted. The husband is having a gay affair with the intruder's husband and survives. As for his wife and child...
  • Death of a Child: The baby is bludgeoned offscreen. We see the crib being covered in blood after.
  • Double-Meaning Title: It is referring to the way the movie was presented and the revelation of the man's gay affair with the intruder's husband.
  • Drop the Hammer: The intruder uses a hammer to murder the man's wife and child.
  • Homage: This one is an homage to the early works of Brian De Palma.
  • "Rear Window" Witness: A man in France is on the phone to his wife when an intruder breaks into their home and attacks her with a hammer.

T is for Torture Porn

From Canada. Directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska (American Mary). It is about a woman who is treated in a sexist manner at an audition for a porno. Soon, this woman is revealed to be hiding something.

  • He-Man Woman Hater: The men at the audition are disgustingly misogynist.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The woman is revealed to be a horrific creature with a humanoid form, with penises protruding from her body and killing everyone in the room.

U is for Utopia

From Canada. Directed by Vincenzo Natali (Cube). The segment takes place in a world where everyone is perfectly beautiful and no ugly people are among the crowd.
  • Kill It with Fire: The fate of "sub-normal" beings is to be cremated on the spot.
  • Murder by Cremation: A mobile unit travels around executing "sub-normals" by cremating them alive.
  • Public Execution: Anyone who's ugly and does not live up the standard beauty gets killed in broad daylight.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: This "utopia" sees ugly people as a flaw that needs to be wiped out so that only beautiful people exist.

V is for Vacation

From Canada. Directed by Jerome Sable (Stage Fright). It is a Found Footage segment about a man who is on vacation overseas with his best friend as he video chats with his girlfriend at the hotel balcony. Behind the curtain, the man and his friend have been doing a wild alcohol and drug-fueled binge and have sex with mother and daughter prostitutes.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The man's best friend told the girlfriend about how the mother prostitute did some kind of sexual acts with a screwdriver. She later use this to kill him.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The mother prostitute stabs the man's best friend and pushes the man off the balcony. And the man's girlfriend witness this in horror.
  • Found Footage: The film is shot through a video chat between a man and his girlfriend.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: Deconstructed. The sleazy best friend shows what they have been doing last night and the man tries to stop him showing the darker side of himself.

W is for Wish

From Canada. Directed by Steven Kostanski (Manborg), the special effect artist from Canadian filmmaking team Astron6. It is a deconstruction of children's action figure commercials. It starts out looking like a TV commercial for a toy called Champions of Zorb, and one of the kids playing with the figures wishes they could help the main hero. They're both transported to the fantasy world of Zorb, where the bloody war is happening.
  • And I Must Scream: Oddly implied. As one of the boys rides an elevator to be taken to Zorb, he witnesses prisoners of war undergoing Cold-Blooded Torture. One of them involved a living skeleton about to be branded. This might cross into Fridge Horror though, considering the boy's friend was burnt to a crisp off-screen and could possibly be next in line for that.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: As the title would suggest, the boys learn that wishing to be in the world of their favorite action figures was a big mistake. The world of Zorb ends up being a MAJOR Crapsack World with the bad guy winning the fictional war. And as it later shows, not even children are safe
  • Creator Cameo: The Soska sisters appeared as twins ripping a heart from POW, played by David Cronenberg's son Brandon.
  • Creepy Good: Fantasy Man either fits this trope or Evil Old Folks, depending on how one interprets his intentions with the boy he rescues.
  • Death of a Child: The first kid is killed by the villain Zorb while the other escapes with Fantasy Man, who mistakes the surviving boy for a princess.
  • Deconstructive Parody: The segment is a deconstructive parody of children's toys commercials by demonstrating how the children fighting alongside the heroes would realistically play out.
  • Dirty Coward: Prince Casio is revealed to be one in this reality, even pushing the boys down so he can flee the massacre.
  • Eldritch Abomination: What we see of Zorb underneath his helmet is that there are tentacles protruding from his face.
  • One-Man Army: Defied. Zorb's army wins because they have strength in numbers.
  • Subverted Kids' Show: A dark parody of your typical children's toy commercial where it ends badly for the kids wishing to fight alongside the hero.
  • Trapped in TV Land: Two boys find themselves trapped in the world of the ads of their favourite action figures.
  • War Is Hell: This segment shows the downsides of warfare in a kid's commercial!
  • Wham Shot: As Fantasy Man rides off with the "princess," the camera pans to a discarded sack... similar to the one Fantasy Man has imprisoned the boy in... and it's full of children skulls. Looks like Fantasy Man has some bad plans in mind for the child he "rescued."

X is for Xylophone

From France. Directed by Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (Inside). It is about a grandmother (played by Maury and Bustillo's regular Beatrice Dalle) who is emotionally affected by her grandchild's xylophone.
  • Body Horror: The child is made into a horrific mockery of the xylophone.
  • Death of a Child: Grandmother brutally murders her grandchild and turns her body into a gory version of the instrument she's playing.
  • Xylophones for Walking Bones: After the grandmother murders her granddaughter, she turns her body into a gory mockery of a xylophone: playing on the bones of her ribs.

Y is for Youth

From Japan. Directed by nationally renowned special makeup artist Soichi Umezawa in his directorial debut. It is about a teenage girl who violently fantasizes about her negligent parents' death.
  • Abusive Parents: The girls' monologue lists out how many bad things her parents have done to her, like neglecting to take care of her dog, only giving her junk food for her school lunches, and her mother apparently molesting her when her stepfather wasn't in the mood for sex.
  • All Women Are Lustful: The girl certainly thinks this about her mother. The girl attributes much of her mother's neglect to her being distracted by lust since her husband died, and her stepfather isn't interested in sex. She implies that her mother may have molested her during her worst fits of horniness.
  • Flipping the Bird: The girl ends up having a giant hand flipping the bird protrude from her crotch.
  • Power Fantasy: The segment is about the girl fantasizing about using Reality Warping abilities to inflict horrific transformations and punishments upon her mother and stepfather.

Z is for Zygote

From Canada. Directed by Chris Nash, who submitted his entry for the previous 26th director contest called T is for Thread. It is about a pregnant woman who has been staving off birth for 13 years and is living with a 13-year-old inside her uterus after her husband left years ago.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Because the child has not been born, neither they nor their mother know what their gender is. Their voice is also ambiguous, as its high enough to either be a young girl or a boy whose voice hasn't deepened with puberty yet.
  • And I Must Scream: Subverted. The 13-year-old child in the mother's womb really wants to come out but is not tormented by it.
  • Body Horror: See Death by Childbirth below.
  • Death by Childbirth: Morbid example. The mother runs out of her birth-delaying root, the child then proceeds to make more room for itself by killing and disemboweling the mother. The child then proceeds to wear the mother's skin.
  • Dress Hits Floor: The last shot is of the mother's dress landing at her feet as the father undresses her. Considering he's about to have sex with his own child in the mother's skin, the effect is WAY more horrific than sexy.
  • Here We Go Again!: The father abruptly returns at the end, and after learning the mother "miscarried," simply says they'll try again and begins undressing her. Possibly subverted, if the child wearing the mother's skin is genetically male, but it's not as if science is involved here.
  • Longest Pregnancy Ever: One that lasts for 13 years.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Is the woman at the end really a 13-year-old child living in its mother's skin, or did the woman have an abortion/big miscarriage right before her husband returned?
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: The woman's jerkass husband leaves the house and she has to stave off the birth alone with years long supply of birth-delaying roots until he returns.
  • Surprise Incest: At the end the segment, the husband is about to take his 'wife' to bed to make another baby after she tells him that she has lost the child she was carrying. If you believe that the child has taken over her mother's body and is wearing her skin (and this is not just a delusion of the mother), then this would be a case of incest.