Concept of the anthology: 26 letters in the alphabet, 26 shorts, and all must have at least one death and open and close with the color red. To say the anthology is a mixed bag is obvious. You have some good films here mixed with a lot of bad ones mixed with a whole lot of forgettable ones. "The ABCs of Death" just proves how incredibly hard it is to make a good short film, and I'm sad to say the bad far outweighs the good.
The first decent short does not come all the way until the letter L, which is almost halfway through the alphabet. It's not until you get to the second half of the letters where you finally begin to see some good shorts, my favorite being Q, directed by Adam Wingard. Other notable filmmakers involved include Ti West (M) and Nacho Vigalondo (A). Unfortunately, West's segment feels incredibly lazy and shot in five minutes while Vigalondo's segment rehashes the same apocalypse premise we've seen many times before. T is a notable segment because it was for a competition, and it's one of the best ones here. X is the most violent (and is also very good), which isn't surprising coming from French filmmaker Xavier Gens ("Frontier(s)").
Shorts F, J, and Z are all Japanese, which you think might be a good thing, but they are huge stinkers in the bunch, especially "F is for Fart." It's pretty much self-explanatory. Another one that I hated is W, appropriately titled "WTF!" O is the most visually breathtaking with uses of slow-mo and sound effects, but it's pretty much style over substance. But hey, compared to most of the shorts you see, it's a welcome change. G seems to be the most pointless one where all you see is a guy surfing. Seriously, I'm not joking. That's all there is.
I guess I was a bit mad watching this because, as an aspiring filmmaker, if someone were to give me $5000 to make a short, I would work very hard in creating something good. Seeing all the wasted effort from most of the filmmakers here just angered me. Overall, "The ABCs of Death," while a neat idea, is mostly just a collection of forgettable to incredibly bad shorts sprinkled with very few good ones.
The Good: L, N, P, Q, T, U, X // The Bad: E, F, G, H, J, M, W, Z // The Best: Q // The Worst: W // The Forgettable: All others not listed.