While sequels have gotten a bad rap around the horror genre these days, there are still franchises that I wouldn’t mind seeing a continual influx of entries from – The ABCs Of Death being one such series. Created by buddies Ant Timpson and Tim League, the horror anthology brings together 26 filmmakers for a unique experience that provides one killer death sequence for each letter of the alphabet. It’s fun, fresh, and with so many letters, there’s something for everyone. So why is the franchise now at a standstill after recently releasing its first sequel? Simple: Pirates.
I thought The ABCs Of Death 2 was a huge improvement over the original experiment, but despite an upgrade in quality, illegal downloaders may have stopped The ABCs Of Death 3 before it was even announced (despite a credits tease that suggested a third film was surely coming). I had the chance to talk with Ant Timpson while he was promoting Deathgasm at South by Southwest, and when I asked about the state of The ABCs Of Death 3, this was his update:
Tim [League] and I are thinking about it. At the end of the day, it’s a financial thing. Sequels always drop down a little bit from the first film, and [The ABCs Of Death 2] got pirated up the wazoo, so that sucked. We got pirated before VOD, even. Before our world premiere. That’s the worst case scenario. That’s the Expendables scenario. It really hurt us a lot, so we’ll have to crunch the numbers, talk to Magnolia Pictures, and see what’s going on.
Let me take a moment to say that if I don’t get The ABCs Of Death 3 because of a massive pirating outbreak, I will be a sad panda. I’ll hold my tongue and not voice my opinion on the people who illegally watched number two, but to those who say downloading movies doesn’t hurt the industry, here’s a perfect ‘effing example. It’s never a movie like The Expendables that goes down hard due to pirating, but instead the little guys who depend on every VOD sale to stay afloat. Support indie film, don’t kill it.
So as it stands, The ABCs Of Death 3 may not happen because greedy thieves somehow think that people like Ant Timpson and Tim League are the enemy. It’d be horrible to see a unique, fun, and entertaining horror franchise die because of a pirating fiasco, but as Ant said, it’s still a numbers game. Filmmaking is a business, but when the smaller guys lose, we all lose. Without indie filmmakers, we’re left with nothing but the mainstream sleepers that fans continually complain about. If you’re OK with that, keep downloading away – just understand who you’re hurting.