This is Sesame Street from Hell: A group of children magically toss items at their teacher (or just plain victim?) and obviously enjoy the pretty gory results. Strangely enough, all they have to do is yell words starting with a „T“. But then again, there’s nothing strange about the latter (and the letter) because this weird scenario is part of a witty filmmaking contest. 26 directors team up for the horror anthology „The ABCs of Death“, with each of them dedicating a 4 minute short to a specific letter of the alphabet that describes a (mostly surprising) cause of being killed off. The letter „T“ is still open for submission, and so filmmakers from all around the world upload their shorts to the project’s website, hoping to receive the highest amount of online votes. „T is for Toss” is one of the most unexpected contestants.
Convceived by producer Erica Harrell („Entourage”, „Happy Endings”) and FX artist Jenn Rose („Hatchet“, „Tron: Legacy”), both of them first-time filmmakers, this entry is pretty much out-of-the-box. While the majority of shorts being sent in so far are obviously influenced by slasher and torture porn, „Toss“ rather functions as a hilarious parody on children’s education shows and choses a tongue-in-cheek meta-approach to the contest itself by using the listing of „T“-words as a central plot device (or MacGuffin, if you will). The look is different too. Unlike the usually dark settings of horror in general, the colors are bright and friendly, supported by cartoonish sound effects, playful barrel organ music and a simple shot/countershot technique, not to mention the visible fun the kids had in playing with the gore effects.
„T is for Toss” already succeeded in getting a lot of attention (including a mention on the NZ News), but also controversial reactions proving the effectiveness of the concept. With „T is for Twig” the filmmakers were also part of another contest entry using the same crew. Director Judson Scott in return functioned as a producer on this one. Right now they are producing their first feature horror film „Hunters” together.
Recommended LINKS for further reading:
- Official Homepage: The ABCs of Death
- Official Homepage: Jenn Rose
- Judson Scott and Erica Harrell join The ABCs of Death
- Judson Scott and Erica Harrell talk Hunters
- Ryan Levin and Jack Perez join The ABCs of Death