Starring: Norman Reedus, Udo Kier, Gary Hetherington, Chris Britton, Zara
Taylor, Christopher Gauther, Douglas H. Arthurs, Colin Foo, Gwynyth Walsh.
Directed by: John Carpenter
Story: Cigarette Burns tracks the search for said opus, Le Fin Absolue du
Monde, by the owner of a repertory theater on behalf of a highly decadent
millionaire collector. The film, supposedly destroyed after it caused a riot at
its only screening, causes viewers to turn into homicidal, cannibalistic
maniacs. Even as Reedus gets on the trail of the lone existing print--listening
to an interview with the director, looking at production stills--he begins to fall
under its supernatural sway.
The moment I saw John Carpenter's name in the list of directors who were
attached to the horror series Masters of Horror I knew for a fact that I had to
watch it. Seeing a lot of the other major directors on the list was impressive,
but for me just seeing John Carpenter attached to it had me excited right
away. He's directed many great and memorable movies, including my all time
favorite horror film Halloween with the remake The Thing in a close second.
What I love the most about Carpenters films is that he can take a basic plot
and so much with it in the movie. He also has a trust with actors and I
honestly think that it's a great way of film making. Improve can do a lot if it's
done right and Carpenter is open to different ideas and that's the part of film
making that I honestly enjoy hearing.
If I had to pick one episode to represent the first season of Masters of
Horror, I would definitely pick John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns. I thought
the other episodes were pretty good, but this one blew them all away. John
Carpenter has had his ups and downs with films and this one is just a step in
the right direction. Cigarette Burns tells the story of a man who is hired to
find a very rare film. A rich man is in fear that his days are up and hires a guy
to find a film called 'Le Fin Absolue du Monde'. A film which has a mysterious
past and is known for making its viewers snap on a violent rampage. As the
man digs deeper in his search he realizes that something is taking control of
his thoughts and flashing nightmarish past events.
John Carpenter has brought us some wonderful movies over the years. As I
mentioned before he's the man who scared us all with 'Halloween' and even
directed possibly the greatest horror remake of all time 'The Thing'.
Carpenter is my favorite horror movie director and this was the episode that I
looked forward to the most. It was definitely worth the wait, I was expecting
something great and I got exactly what I had hoped for. Cigarette Burns is a
great movie. Everything from the story to the characters makes this episode
a good watch. It's It also has some really great looking gore for all you blood
hounds to drool over. This just episode shows the true genius that
Carpenter is as a film maker. Unlike some of the other episodes, this one has
no humor. Its a dead serious and pretty straight forward episode. Most of it
runs as a mystery and about half way through all the good stuff starts to
happen. Once you actually see what this dark film does to people its just
straight madness and by the end of the episode it all makes sense. This is
just one of those episodes that you have to see.
The acting in this episode is also really good, I have no complaints. It's a
dialog driven film so there is a lot of talking and story in it, but those were
just some of the things in the film that I personally enjoyed. The plot to the
film reminded me of In the Mouth of Madness, a much older john Carpenter
picture. The music in this film is also really good. Cody Carpenter did a
fantastic job with the score. But most of all I have to tip my hat off to the
writers Drew McWeeny and Scott Swan. This episode was very well written
and enjoyable. After it was all over I couldn't believe what I had just
witnessed. I love this episode so much and it really put me in a good mood
when it was done. I wish that I could write more but I don't know what else
to say. I enjoyed the hell out of Cigarette Burns. I loved the story, I loved
the score, I loved the characters and all the good stuff that goes in between.
The major difference with this DVD is that the special features are shorter
compared to the others. It has the same basic features and you do learn
quite a bit of stuff. With the interviews they run pretty short. I'm guessing
that perhaps Carpenter didn't really have much to say about the films or his
career in the genre, but the features are still really good. This Masters of
Horror episode is my favorite in the first season and I don't think I'll get tired
of watching it. I enjoyed Cigarette burns very much. I've always loved
Carpenter's directing skills and this DVD made me appreciate his work even
more. I’m sure that I'm not the only one who will say that John Carpenter's
episode is one of the best in the series. You'd be crazy not to enjoy it.
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Rated: Not Rated
Runtime: 59 minutes
Studio: Anchor Bay
Online since: February 20th, 2006
Review done by: Nightmare Child