20 'ABCs of Death 2' Entries Worth Your Vote - Part 1

By: Heather Seebach

Two years ago, Drafthouse Films held their first ABCs of Death 26th Director Competition, and I compiled my favorite entries. That list can be found here. Now, with the anthology sequel in the works, the second competition is well underway. I have been watching a lot of the entries, and have compiled my favorites once again below. If you would like to give a special shout-out or recommendation to a short not mentioned here, feel free to do so in the comments below!

Each entry must involve death and revolve around an "M" word. The call for entries closed on Halloween, but voting is open until November 14th. If you like a video, PLEASE click the title and then click the little Facebook 'like' button above the video. Countless talented filmmakers contributed entries this year, and I wish I could write a post about them all! But alas, I can only highlight a few, so I encourage you to spend some time watching shorts - and don't hesitate to watch those on the bottom, as there are some real gems hidden down there! 

Here are the first ten of 20 films I intend to recommend to you. Click here for part 2 (with my ten favorite entries in the competition)!

20. M is for Messiah (d: Owen Rodriguez and Ruby Avina) (USA)

There isn't a whole lot to this little story of a homicidal maniac, but it's shot so beautifully with a lead so strong that I found myself drawn to it. The central highlight of the piece is a great tracking shot through a church and Sharaina Turnage's performance. There are also undertones about Christianity (just ignore the typo in the beginning...)

19. M is for Mother (d: John Rocco and Abiel Bruhn) (USA)

A man comes home during Christmas time and finds something unpleasant in his marital bed. This simple but good-looking short is elevated further by fantastic creature and sound design. Less than 100 people have viewed this one (with a meager 11 likes) so if you dig it, support it!

18. M is for Mind Meld (d: BC Glassberg) (USA)

A man undergoes a mysterious experiment involving self-abuse. I like the concept of this one, and it's pretty entertaining for any gore hound, but it's this far down the list because it felt far too close to torture porn for me. Great looking short, though!

17. M is for Misdirection (d: Andrew Santoro) (USA)

No, this is not the M is for Misdirection currently topping the competition. Instead, this one has been viewed under 100 times, so it sorely needs your votes. I like this one because it mocks the concept of the competition with all the "M" ways a person can die (M is for Meta!).

16. M is for Miracle (d: Juma Fodde) (Uruguay)

This one plays like a twisted version of Toy Story, with a little girl who plays doctor with her dolls. Somehow this one managed to make a teddy bear a compelling actor! It's creepy and gory.

15. M is for Misunderstanding (d: Dan Frantz) (USA)

This short about a home invasion is twisted, good-looking, and darkly funny. With only 119 likes at the moment, it deserves much more!

14. M is for Middle (d: Soichi Umezawa) (Japan)

This oddball Japanese entry is about a depressed teenager frustrated with her asshole parents. It is funny and full of bonkers creature FX.

13. M is for Malnutrition (d: Peter Czikrai) (Slovakia)

It's easy for zombie shorts to get old fast but not only does this Slovakian entry look good, it subtly draws a comparison between humans and zombies alike struggling to find food.

12. M is for Members Only (d: Chris Cullari and Jennifer Raite) (USA)

This short presents a Satanic ritual gone-wrong. There are some creature FX and a few really cool shots, but mostly it's just very funny.

11. M is for Magnetic Tape (d: Tim Rutherford and Cody Kennedy) (Canada)

I recently saw another similar short from these filmmakers at Toronto After Dark called "The Last Video Store." These guys are friends of Astron-6 and their VHS-nostalgia-loving shorts definitely reflect that. Fans of Jason Eisener, Troma, Peter Jackson, etc. will also dig this.


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