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If two’s company and three’s a crowd, then 26 is the number of directors to helm a horror anthology. You’d think producing a film with that many filmmakers is a feat that would only happen once, but Drafthouse Films is at it again, with the sequel to their polarizing flick The ABCs of Death, which released last year to pretty shitty reviews, even from horror-themed media outlets. And while a select few of the shorts included were pretty fantastic, the immediate news of a forthcoming sequel fell flat. Luckily, the list of all 25 directors was just released, and it’s got more than enough intriguing names on it to get me more interested than I was the first go-around. Plus, Drafthouse has brought back the contest allowing anyone (even you!) to be the director of the 26th installment. So it’s like a win-win, really, only everyone loses because everyone dies.
The newly announced directors are definitely an eclectic group. First and most unpredictable is the U.K.’s Julian Barratt, perhaps best known as Howard Moon from the surreal comedy series The Mighty Boosh. This will be his first feature directorial effort, and should be a pointedly twisted one. Steven Kostanski, the creator of the over-the-top schlockfest Manborg will bring his low-budget talents to this sequel. Cuban filmmaker Alejandro Brugués, who created the surprisingly awesome festival favorite Juan of the Dead also signed on, as well as Todd Rohal, director of the comedies The Catechism Cataclysm and Nature Calls. The new bunch is rounded out with Japan’s Hajime Ohata Henge, Canadian short film wiz Chris Nash (My Main Squeeze) and U.K. short and commercial director Jim Hosking (Renegades). While I’m not as familiar with the last three, some of their shorts can be found around the Internet, so I’ll make myself familiar.
They join an already impressive list of artists, and while I won’t rattle out the entire list, some are definitely worth mentioning. The Oscar-nominated animator Billy Plympton (Your Face) is getting in on this, which is pretty incredible in every way imaginable, joined by Vincenzo Natali, best known for the simple complexity of 1997’s Cube and 2009’s WTF sci-fi horror Splice. E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills), Sion Sono (Suicide Club), and Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter) are also worth mentioning. Most of them are really, as most are internationally recognized. But on to the contest.
From now until midnight on October 31, just go to this website and submit your short film creation. Your only real rule is that the theme has to start with the letter "M." Do you want your character to die after getting the Monkeybone DVD put through their skull? Go ahead! You be you!
You’ll be able to vote for your favorite videos on the website until November 30th, and the winner will be announced on December 15. The winner’s short will be featured in The ABCs of Death Part 2, which will probably lead to a career of some kind, as it has for the winner from the first film’s contest, U.K. animator Lee Hardcastle.
After watching the contest video below, let us know which director you’re most excited about in the comments.