Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Friday, March 6, 2015


A Producer Responds To News A Teacher Has Been Jailed For Screening 'The ABCs Of Death'

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor of Twitchfilm.com 

Note: The entire article can be found at http://twitchfilm.com/2015/03/a-producer-responds-to-news-a-teacher-has-been-jailed-for-screening-the-abcs-of-death.html

I'll be honest. When I first heard that substitute teacher Sheila Kearns was facing criminal charges for showing anthology horror project The ABCs Of Death - a project on which I am an associate producer - my response was one of curious incredulity.

That a 58 year old substitute teacher even know about this film was somewhat surprising, for one thing, and that she'd be foolish enough to show it multiple classes of high school students was surprising on a whole different level. The film's a lot of things, but educational? That's a stretch. But, really, the big reaction came from the prospect of legal consequences? They can't be serious, can they? Do the courts really have nothing better to do than press criminal charges against a woman for showing a film that premiered (at the Toronto International Film Festival)?...

...First of all, as a producer I'm proud of the film. When the project was conceived we envisioned something that would give creators complete creative freedom and we delivered that. Some chose to be transgressive and push the envelope of good taste. Some delivered bitingly funny pieces of comedy. Some delivered pieces that are strangely beautiful. And some delivered pieces that, frankly, individual producers didn't care for all that much but the mandate was freedom for creators and we treasured that above all else and so they all went in. That said, I'm also a parent to two children - a nearly 14 year old boy and a 9 year old girl. And these children will never see this film by my doing, not by my hand and/or not until they are significantly older. It was not made for them and is not appropriate for them.

This is why we have ratings boards - the film is rated R here in Canada, and absolutely correctly so - and those guidelines should have been respected... Parents SHOULD be outraged by Kearns behavior here. The film wasn't made for school viewing and should never have been shown there. As a parent, I would have been every bit as angry as the parents of Kearns' students had this film been shown to my children without my advance knowledge and approval and I am personally in full support of Kearns being fired for doing so. It's a monumental and phenomenal lapse of judgement.

But jail time? Really? That's just insane. Kearns did something stupid, not something criminal. In a world where those convicted of assault and other serious, violent crimes often never see the inside of a cell this woman is going to spend ninety days there for showing students a film that any one of them could have legally rented or purchased on their own? That's madness.

This case just strikes me as failure compounding failure, with Kearns' original failure of judgement being compounded by an even more egregious failure in the courts. I'm amazed it wasn't thrown out before it got to the judge and doubly so that the judge didn't have the good sense to throw it out the moment it got there. Remember that old 'two wrongs' saying? That very much applies...

The ABC's Of Death 2 (2014) US/New Zealand/Japan

"Somebody's gonna sue you." That I hear a lot because of my column. Nah, never happen, not in a country of free speech and equality. Unless you choose to show an 'R' rated movie to five classes worth of students. Oh wait, that teacher wasn't sued, she was jailed. So now it's "Somebody's gonna throw you in jail." And you know what? I can't just utter a disgusted noise and continue this time.

Not a person on earth could say what she did was particularly smart. Legal (Hint, hint - oh justice system, are you listening?), but not smart. And this is MY blog for those who are legally using their computers to read it. Know what was kind of funny? I was watching this sequel yesterday when the hubby pointed out the article about Sheila Kearns. Pffft. I was looking for a nugget or two for this review but you know - this is just the same as the first, 26 letters in the English alphabet, 26 directors (actually more than that since some had two but we'll get to that), for each letter. 

The results? Some of the segments weren't as good as the first movie, others were much better. But my main reason for watching the sequel was to see the Soska sisters and their segment, and was also pleased to see them do a cameo in another segment as well. Yes, I am a Soska fan, and their work just gets better and better.

So for this sequel I'm simply going to list the segment and let y'all take your own risks by watching this or not:

A is for Amateur (directed by E. L. Katz)

B is for Badger (directed by Julian Barratt)

C is for Capital Punishment (directed by Julian Gilbey)

D is for Deloused (directed by Robert Morgan (animator))

E is for Equilibrium (directed by Alejandro Brugués)

F is for Falling (directed by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado)

G is for Grandad (directed by Jim Hosking)

H is for Head Games (directed by Bill Plympton)

I is for Invincible (directed by Erik Matti)

J is for Jesus (directed by Dennison Ramalho)

K is for Knell (directed by Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper)

L is for Legacy (directed by Lancelot Odawa Imasuen)

M is for Masticate (directed by Robert Boocheck)

N is for Nexus (directed by Larry Fessenden)

O is for Ochlocracy (mob rule) (directed by Hajime Ohata)

P is for P-P-P-P SCARY! (directed by Todd Rohal)

Q is for Questionnaire (directed by Rodney Ascher)

R is for Roulette (directed by Marven Kren)

S is for Split (directed by Juan Martinez Moreno)

T is for Torture Porn (directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska)

U is for Utopia (directed by Vincenzo Natali)

V is for Vacation (directed by Jerome Sable)

W is for Wish (directed by Steven Kostanski)

X is for Xylophone (directed by Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo)

Y is for Youth (directed by Soichi Umezawa)

Z is for Zygote (directed by Chris Nash)

What in the world could these words mean in terms of a short story? Buy it, rent it, however you get it. Just don't watch it at school, please.