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You know that moment when you’re kissing someone and the nervous part of the brain takes over and all sorts of mental hell break loose? That’s what happens in the seconds immediately following the kiss seen in the image above, which is a still from the anthology horror ABCs of Death 2, sent to us exclusively by Magnet Releasing and Drafthouse Films. This movie is already going to blow your minds, and the segment this image comes from will do it quite literally.
Legendary animator and Oscar nominee Bill Plympton is arguably the most surprising filmmaker in the ABCs of Death 2 lineup, and his "Head Games" is one of the most gleefully unglued short films of the 26 that this sequel has to offer. It’s best not to really know anything about it going in, with this image leaving you assumedly secure that "Head Games" is an intellectually-driven romantic encounter that goes sour. But it’s so much more Plympton than that, and though it doesn’t read as horror like some of the gory violence seen elsewhere in this flick, it’s certainly frightening in its own right. Love is scary, guys.
If Plympton’s name doesn’t immediately ring a bell, perhaps you’ll remember his surreal early work that was regularly seen on MTV back when MTV did stuff like that, or his first longform film, 1992’s The Tune. His style is entirely his own, so it’s almost impossible not to recognize it once you see it. He’s gone on to create more features, such as 2008’s haunting Idiots and Angels and the upcoming Cheatin’. Take a look at the song "Flooby Nooby" from The Tune to get a sense of how crazy "Head Games" is going to be, just on a smaller scale, and with 100% less kites riding trikes.
Other notable directors involved with ABCs of Death 2 are Vincent Natali (Cube), E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills), Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh), Steven Kostanski (Manborg), Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter) and many, many more. It’s a better film than its predecessor in many ways, in terms of approaching both the humor and the horror, and you can get a better taste for the madness with the red band trailer below.
The ABCs of Death 2 hit VOD today, with its limited theatrical run beginning on October 31.