ABCs of Death 2, as well as its predecessor, are films I've written about in this short film column a couple times before. But hey, what can I say - when a movie inspires you, it inspires you. And while said movies may not necessarily be high-brow, they are certainly brimming with creativity due to their nature as anthology films, which means tons of different filmmakers with different ideas and styles contributing to the films. And while we're on the topic of inspirational people, there is one short in ABCs of Death 2 - and one person in particular that appears in it - that I wish to highlight.

The short I wish to highlight is one titled N Is for Nexus. The short centers around a couple getting ready to meet each other at a costume party on Halloween. This short is one of the segments of the film to interest me the most, although not for the reason you might think. You might guess story, direction, cinematography, or something along those lines, but not to dismiss those aspects of the short, they aren't what make the short for yours truly. What makes it is a cameo appearance by the one and only Aurelio Voltaire. While the man has recently made appearances in films such as Model Hunger, he isn't actually best known for acting. Then again with all the different artistic ventures the man has undertaken, which include music, stop-motion animation, books, and toys to name but a few, who's to say which one he is best known for?

I was first introduced to Voltaire's work through an episode of the animated TV show The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, although I did not know it yet at the time. At the time it was just one of my favorite episodes from one of my favorite shows. Later when I became aware of Voltaire and realized his part in the episode, it made it that much cooler. The episode in question is called Little Rock of Horrors, and is built around the song BRAINS! which Voltaire wrote for the episode and sings on as well. The song also appears on the man's Boo Hoo album.

While this was my earliest initial introduction to the work of Aurelio Voltaire, he made his biggest impact on me with his sophomore album Almost Human. During a time when I was feeling varying types of emotional distress, I happened to listen to a song from this album by the name of 'Feathery Wings'. This song resonated with me on a profound level, and prompted me to listen to the whole album. And on the first half of the album, I found damn near all of the songs to be just as relevant to my feelings as 'Feathery Wings' was, if not more. What I was feeling was all there in tracks like 'Dunce', and the music only helped to make the emotional impact on me all the more profound. Those songs helped me a great deal, and still do today.

But as much as I love to gush about how great Voltaire is, this is still a short film column I'm writing. So let's talk about Voltaire's cameo in N Is for Nexus, which I find an interesting one for a few reasons. The obvious one of course is that it's a cameo by someone I'm a fan of. But it's also interesting that Voltaire is playing the role he's playing, as well as the way he plays it. In the short, he plays a father out with his son on Halloween, and for the occasion he is dressed like a pirate. Fans of the man will note though that the pirate get-up he's wearing is the same one he wore at the time while performing on stage (he also appeared in promo pictures in said get-up as well). This allows him to more or less appear as himself with his own recongizable look in the short, yet at the same time, the filmmakers are able to rationalize the man's appearance by explaining it as a Halloween costume. It is also interesting to note that Voltaire, like his character in the short, is a father, so even more of his own persona makes it into the short.

If you have never checked out Aurelio Voltaire's work, I strongly urge you to do so. I myself am a self-proclaimed metalhead and yet I still fell in love with the man's brand of dark cabaret which is what his music is often called. Chances are, you might love it too. And even if you don't dig his music, you may still find his other art compelling. If you're into hilarious, weird, and/or graphic horror, you should definitely check out ABCs of Death 2 (and its predecessor The ABCs of Death, of course). Voltaire doesn't appear in that one though. Sorry.