Monthly Archives: December 2014

ABCs of Death N-Q

Last review of 2014, and this marks my 100th post on The Lively Mind Reviews. Thank you once again for all of the feedback, recommendations, and for just generally being awesome. Have a happy new year, and here’s to kicking ass in 2015.

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When I first saw this, I thought it was mildly entertaining. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a person’s infidelity revealed by a talking parrot. Then I started to think…why did this guy think it was a good idea to buy a parrot that mimics everything it hears BEFORE cheating on his girlfriend? In order for the parrot to repeat everything that was said between this guy and “Joy”, it had to basically be in the same room as them. No one deserves to be murdered, but this guy kind of had it coming for cheating and just being stupid. I give it 2/5. While nowhere near as bad as some of the earlier shorts, it is pretty forgettable and on the bland side.

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This might not be for everyone. If you’re looking for a literal “death by orgasm”, you will not find it here. Forzani and Cattet go for an abstract and almost experimental explanation of the French term for an orgasm: la petit mort, or the little death. I don’t think it’s horrible, but I’m not going to say it’s that great. What does a melted Barbie have to do with getting your rocks off? I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had bubbles floating around during sex acts. I appreciate the fact the directors opted not go for the literal. I just wish they still could’ve done something that made a lick of sense. I give it 2/5. It’s interesting, but still difficult to grasp if you’re unfamiliar with the French term.

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Mother of God…

What is the point of this? People in poverty will do anything to survive? Rich people always have sick fetishes? This short has several implications that I don’t think Rumley ever thought of. If you’re unfamiliar with crush videos, I envy you. I don’t even think I can explain what they are without ending up on some watch list. All I want to know is what was Rumley trying to do here. Is it social commentary? Nope, it’s just a decade old script for a full length movie he wasn’t able to make, so he decided to condense it here just so he could use it. This gets a 0. It starts off as something that could very easily raise awareness about pretty much anything, but it ends up being…well, nothing respectable. If you decide to see for yourself for any reason, keep in mind I was able to find that no animals were harmed during this short. At least there’s that.

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Oh Adam Wingard…I want to say you’re talented, believe me I do. But I think your middle name is Inconsistent, because anything you’re involved in clearly reflects that. This short isn’t really bad. It’s just extremely lazy. I think Wingard was going for some sort of meta joke, but it doesn’t work. We know each director had the same budget and time constraints, but they didn’t use their respective segments to vent their frustrations. It doesn’t help that the death isn’t even tied to the letter. It gets 1/5. If someone was able to show a death based on Hydro-electric Diffusion, Wingard should’ve been creative enough to find something else that started with Q.

ABCs of Death J-M

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I had to do a bit of research for this one. I thought it was good, but I wanted to know if there was anything significant about the “samurai movie”. From what I gathered, these films are probably serious in nature given the time period they’re based on, and I think laughing while committing seppuku is generally frowned upon. It doesn’t help we’re treated to faces like this: The_ABCs_of_Death_J_for_Jidai-geki_3-1024x575

As bizarre as it is, I think it still deserves a 3/5. It doesn’t rely on senseless shocks, and I think it’s pretty damn funny. The only downside is the humor might be lost on those who are unfamiliar with samurai movies. I find it entertaining because I apparently have the same sense of humor as a toddler.

 

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I still am at a loss for words about this one. What am I supposed to say about seeing a woman die from her turd launching itself forcefully back into her butt? I don’t even know how that works. I wouldn’t have thought to associate the word “klutz” with “death by poo”, but that’s just me. The whole short is based on Morgenthaler’s fascination with the fact that women also feel the need to poop. I’m dead serious. I’m going to give this 1/5. I personally don’t think it’s funny because it’s highly unrealistic. If your poo suddenly came to life and nuzzled your foot like a cat, would you stay in the bathroom and try to coerce it back into the toilet? You know you wouldn’t. I know I would run from the house screaming and call a priest. And I hate this segment for making me think about how I would react to something like that.

 

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Yet another segment that I refuse to watch again. It’s disgusting, but it’s exactly what the director was going for. You can easily guess this is overly sexual in nature, but it goes way past that. We’re subjected to increasing degrees of sexual perversion, each instance being worse than the last. I wanted to give this a low rating just because of what happens, but here I can’t do that. It’s highly effective, the effects are outstanding for a $5,000 budget, and I personally think this is one of the few segments that succeeded in what it was trying to do. I say it earns a solid 3/5.  As good as it is, it’s still pretty damn nasty. I just could do without being subjected to some of the most horrible fetishes in existence.

 

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Here we have the last segment that I won’t watch again. The biggest issue I have is that TI West decided to take one of the most traumatic experiences a woman can have, and compare it to a clogged toilet: annoying, but hilarious for the audience. I have a big problem with that. I don’t see the humor in a woman trying to dislodge a dead fetus from her toilet with a plunger. I get that West was going up against directors that actually had a concept in mind. What I cannot understand is why he would want to poke fun at something like this. It gets a 0. It’s not funny, it’s not really shocking, and it lacks any directorial talent. It’s just shows what little creativity West actually has.

ABCs of Death F-I

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It’s the first entry from Japan, and it involves flatulence (duh), implied pedophilia, lesbianism, people being killed by God’s farts (?), and a student seeking refuge in her teacher’s butthole, which is basically a yellow womb. You would think it would be funny, but it still manages to fail in that department. Fart jokes are always hilarious to me, but the comedy is nowhere to be found. Iguchi claims the theme is actually an earthquake disaster, but he just had to add in his obsession with farts. I’m just going to give this 2/5. It gets that much because at least it’s original. Weird as I don’t know what, but still original.

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I believe this is the least offensive out of 26 entries, but that’s only because there’s so little to it. I can’t help but like it. I will admit I was completely lost the first time I saw it, but then it clicked upon a second viewing. We’re seeing a man commit suicide from his point of view, but it’s not outlandishly done. This segment uses the bare minimum to tell a story, and I respect Traucki for making it that way. I give it 3/5. While I like how it’s done, there are still some questions that I still have to ask. Why did he choose to die in such a way? Who is he, and what led him to this point?  It’s better than most of the other segments, but I still feel like it’s missing something.

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Why furries? Also, if you’re going to go the furry route, would it kill you to make sure you can’t see the damn seams and wrinkles on the fursuit? I had to watch this twice because I kept getting distracted every time I saw the actress’ real skin, or when the suit bunched up with every movement. I’m going to leave the Nazi aspect alone because I’m trying to keep this review relatively short. Most importantly, out of all the words in the English language that start with H, this is what you pick? Were you trying to be different? Is it an inside joke? Did you really just want to do something with furries, and the concept just spun out of control? Yes, I can clearly see the homage to Tex Avery. What I can’t get past is the fact I was forced to look at furry boobs. It gets 2/5. I have to give the director credit for thinking outside the box, but this is ridiculous even by my standards.

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I have to admit I was intrigued by this one. . While watching this, you’re not 100% what or why this is going on. According to Grau, we’re not supposed to know. This is shining light on the “femicide” occurring in Mexico, in other words the high number of senseless murders of women. With that information, I give it 3/5. I give him credit for trying to raise awareness, but it loses points considering I had to do a search to find what the hell this was about. I’m also not sure if this was the right place to try and do that. It’s a powerful message, but it gets lost in the shuffle of the other segments and the overall flow of the movie.

ABCs of Death: A-E

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This seemed like a strong start: a woman viciously attacks a man, but we discover she was only trying to kill him because the world was going to end. The screen fades to red, and we assume the couple has died together. It sounds interesting enough, but at the end I have more questions: How did she know the world was going to end? Why was her first thought to slowly kill her husband? And if the world is going to end, why was she concerned about no one finding out she was the one that was trying to poison him? Did she try warning the rest of the world, or did she only plan for her survival? I know my mind shouldn’t be analyzing this so much, but I know I’m not alone. It gets 2/5. I don’t think the first segment should leave your audience with so many unanswered questions even if you only have 5 minutes for a short.

 

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Something just seems so off about this, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. I think it’s the disappointment stemming from the fact that there isn’t Bigfoot. If your title is B is for Bigfoot, I fully expect to see a damn Yeti busting through the wall like the Kool Aid man, and start ripping out hearts. Instead we get a creepy garbage collector with a milky eye and ninja like stealth, and a severe lack of seeing what he does with the hearts. I’m guessing he just collects them and then puts them in garbage bags. If that’s the case, I actually want to see it. This is supposed to be the ABCs of Death, and it’s holding back this much? I call shenanigans, and also give this 2/5. I give it that much because of the banter is mildly entertaining, and I can’t ignore the hilarity of the world’s shortest sex scene.

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I think I found the biggest flaw of the movie. I get these directors had less than 5 minutes to create something, but that doesn’t mean they had to bypass semi decent story telling. This is the second segment where I have more questions than answers. What exactly is this cycle? Is it a daily occurrence? Why does this guy kill his clone with glee? What in the hell is in the hole in his yard that creates copies of him? I can create an entire post about all the questions I have about this one. It gets 1/5. There’s really not much to it, and the bits that are there are just confusing.

 

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I’m cheating a bit because I refuse to watch this again. Why? Animal cruelty, that’s why. I’m sincerely hoping that it was only a dog puppet that got punched in the face, but I’m not so sure. I get the feeling this is supposed to be some social commentary about who’s the real monster: man or dog? Or something about greed since this basically a cockfight. It probably would’ve worked, but this is another case where violence and going for shock completely overshadows any message it was trying to make. This gets 1/5. If you’re trying to make a statement, you can do so without shocking the audience.

 

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Angela Bettis has some serious issues. Anytime this woman writes or directs something, there are insects involved. That point aside, this is arguably one of the best shorts of the film. I hate spiders, but the battle between the man and the spider is pretty funny. How can you not laugh when a grown man does a “heebie jeebie” dance? I’m tempted to question why the spider seems like it was genetically altered, but I’m just going to go with it this time. I give it 3/5. It’s not perfect and noticeably low budget, but it’s effective and entertaining.