ABC’s of Death 2 – movie review

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ABC’s of Death 2

(Various directors)

Ok, we know the deal from the first film. 26 directors, each one takes a letter of the English alphabet and builds a short-short around it.

How do you tell a full story within a small amount of time and with limited dialogue? These shorts are not like watching a regular anthology or film. They are flash fiction pieces put to a visual medium. Some will make you chuckle others will jolt you with shock value. Still others will have little effect and little reason to be remembered. I often like the animated segments best ABCs of death 2 posterbecause of their unrestrained creativity. Many come off as art house films or student films with better production values. There is nothing remotely scary in the film as the cover art would suggest. I don’t find gore scary at all. It may make me squirm or cringe but it garners little fear in me.

B is for Badger was excellent. A real A-hole of a newscaster meets his untimely fate.
C is for Capitol punishment is super realistic gory and tragic.
D is for Deloused a gory animated short, extremely bizarre and unnerving because of it.
H is for Headgames is another unbridled animation segment.
L is for Legacy was a cool little demonic conjuring segment.
O is for Ochlocracy is exceptional, where zombies put a woman on trial for killing zombies.
In Y is for Youth, a teenage girl imagines the worst possible deaths
for her annoying family members. There are some imaginative gory
deaths in this segment that makes it comically entertaining.
T is for Torture Porn; a young woman auditioning for the latest skin
flick, gets the ultimate revenge against the pornographer.

Many of the segments are amusing but as a whole the film leaves little lasting impression. The film is like a calling card for directors and effects teams rather than an entertainment vehicle itself. Without any unifying thread it’s just too long to watch in one sitting. I liked this one a little better than the first because I was turned off by some of questionable subject matter in the 1st one, but overall, the ABC’s of death films are nothing more than a novelty. Unless they do something drastically different in the future, I probably wouldn’t bother wasting my time on another film in the series.

Added note – Some of these segments can be seen on Youtube. I myself, watched it on Netflix (in 3 sittings, a third at a time).

Texas Chainsaw – 3D (2013) – movie review

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texas chainsaw 3DTexas Chainsaw – 3D (2013)
Lionsgate Films

(spoiler alert – but I don’t think it really matters)

This movie is a direct sequel to the 1974 original. It begins with actual scenes from that film (in 3D nevertheless – don’t remember if it was 3D), with the young lady escaping Leatherface in the back of a pick-up truck. (Do the Leatherface ballet).  New footage starts and the townsfolk arrive at the house as an angry mob, shoot up the place and burn it to the ground. They save a baby which one young couple quickly adopts as their own. Everyone else is presumed dead, even Grandpa. Now its 20 years later (and its 2012 – fuzzy math) and we see a 20-something young lady, Heather, working in a butcher shop… in full make-up (first sign that things were going down the sh*tter) She inherits a house, so she, along with her three friends (and one hitchhiker) go to the town of ‘Newt’ TX, to stake her claim. She fails to read the letter her grandmother had left her that explains about her half-wit, violent, cousin locked in the basement and which states, she can live in the house but has to take care of him – and don‘t let him out of the cellar. One of the idiot friends unlocks the basement door – chainsaws, machetes, axes and hammers start swinging. The violence is harsh and graphic as blood splashes, heads roll, and body parts fly, all in glorious 3D. This part of the film is enjoyable for the horror fan. Its a gory intensity that fans of the genre expect. Unfortunately, after about twenty-minutes, its back to the lame storyline.

texas-chainsaw-3d pic 5OK, so Heather finds out the townspeople killed her real family and now the townspeople are after her to keep her quiet, permanently. Leatherface finds out that Heather is ‘family’. The townsfolk trap Heather in an abandoned Meat Factory – so, ok, wait for it…. Leatherface becomes the HERO and saves Heather from the evil townsfolk! They embrace. All is right with the world – wait a second Heather, did you completely forget that this masked man just killed all the friends you ever had in the world? I guess its ok now, cause we’re family (I’m gagging, swallowing hard to keep from throwing up).

Alexandra Daddario does a decent job acting, and we will see her later this year in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. Tania Raymonde, as the best friend, Nikki, may get best supporting actress, just because of the red hot-shorts and well placed camera angles – in 3D, may I remind you. The three buff guy actors were just there to be chopped, diced and sliced. (nobody has average looking friends anymore?) After a while, I actually enjoyed making fun of all the stupid actions of the characters – getting my own MSFT3000 kinda’ vibe going and having the whole row in the theater chuckling.

texas-chainsaw-3d pic 2This latest installment of the franchise failed to capture the character likeability of the 2003 remake, or the psycho-shock, bizarro feel of the original. But, I’m no prude that says only the original has merit… If you want some violence and gore in 3D (the 3D was cool), then go ahead and see it. If you can get over the dumb characters and the sappy ending, you may have fun watching this. Hey, Friday the 13th had no-brain characters and we all enjoyed that, didn’t we?

Three important things I learned from this film:

1) If you see a guy wearing a mask and wielding a chainsaw, standing in a cemetery, don’t ask, “Hey, what are you doing?”

2) If you hide in a barn from a guy chasing you with a chainsaw, don’t use a piece of wood as a barricade. (He has a chainsaw, duh)

3) When being chased by a psycho killer, don’t hide in a coffin.

texas chainsaw 3D pic 6 Texas-Chainsaw-3D pic 7