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Masters of Horror - John Carpenter - Cigarette Burns (2005)

Norman Reedus , Colin Foo , John Carpenter  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Norman Reedus, Colin Foo, Udo Kier, Christopher Redman, Chris Gauthier
  • Directors: John Carpenter
  • Writers: Drew McWeeny, Mick Garris, Scott Swan
  • Producers: Adam Goldworm, Andrew Deane, Ben Browning, Bo Altherr
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: March 28, 2006
  • Run Time: 59 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E5KUME
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,397 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Masters of Horror - John Carpenter - Cigarette Burns" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by director John Carpenter
  • Commentary by writers Drew McWeeny & Scott Swan
  • "Celluloid Apocalypse: An Interview with John Carpenter" featurette
  • "Behind The Scenes: The Making of Cigarette Burns" featurette
  • "Working With a Master: John Carpenter" featurette on the director and his work
  • "On Set: An Interview with Norman Reedus" featurette
  • John Carpenter Bio
  • Still Gallery
  • Trailers
  • DVD-ROM: Original Screenplay and screen saver

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

John Carpenter's installment in the Masters of Horror cable-TV anthology series looks at the ominous, underground mystique surrounding a notorious 1970s horror classic (now there's something Carpenter should know about). Cigarette Burns tracks the search for said opus, Le Fin Absolue du Monde, by the owner of a repertory theater (Norman Reedus) on behalf of a highly decadent millionaire collector (a role made for Udo Kier). 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. Alas, the same can't be said for Cigarette Burns itself; the stuff about horror aficionados is good, but the production is slapdash, the dialogue stiff, and Reedus's performance incompetent. The basic idea, while a little film-schoolish, has some intrigue, and the notion of a film critic (supposedly a follower of Pauline Kael, no less) driven to write millions of words about this one barely-seen movie is amusingly sinister. --Robert Horton

Product Description

Film is magic. And in the right hands, it can be a weapon. For on-the-ropes movie programmer Kirby Sweetman (Norman Reedus of THE BOONDOCK SAINTS and BLADE II), the holy grail of cinema is LE FIN ABSOLUE DU MONDE, a legendary lost movie whose sole showing was rumored to have driven its audience to a homicidal frenzy. But as Kirby gets closer to the truth about the film, he’s sucked into a private hell of grisly hallucinations and brutal acts of violence. Now the only surviving print of the film is within his grasp… and the most horrific screening of all is about to begin. Udo Kier (SUSPIRIA,THE KINGDOM) co-stars in this gore-drenched mind-blower written by Drew McWeeny & Scott Swan, and directed by horror legend John Carpenter, the creator of THE THING,THE FOG, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK,THEY LIVE and HALLOWEEN.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the Best Episode of Season 1 February 22, 2006
By F.U.
Format:DVD
Masters of Horror is, at best, an uneven series, but this one is definitely a standout. It's similar to Carpenter's "In the Mouth of Madness," but with a lot more scares and some really nasty violence. It may not have worked so well if it were a full-length movie, but for a one-hour episode, it's brilliant. I gotta say, the series as a whole is a little disappointing, as some of them aren't horror at all, but comedies or political satires with some gore thrown in, which doesn't make them bad, necessarily, they're just not "horror" like the title would suggest. The good news is that Cigarette Burns is a real horror show, and it's the best thing John Carpenter's done in at least a decade. CHECK IT OUT!!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, surreal, gory, original, outstanding. March 14, 2007
Format:DVD
This is actually the very first work from John Carpenter since "The Thing" to scare me at all. I was eleven when "The Thing" blew me away with its gore, violence, and creepy horror, but ever since then it seemed as though his films were getting more and more cheesy. Even "In the Mouth of Madness" which I enjoyed for its Lovecraft-style themes and mood was more surreal than scary. "Cigarette Burns" is both surreal and scary, with dark underlying religious tones. There is the running undercurrent during the story of the fear of the unknown, or the unearthed secret and/or creation that should remain hidden for the sake of all mankind. Themes that are undeniably Lovecraft. I actually did not have a problem with the acting at all, I was simply too enthralled with the mystery and eventual horrifying climax to even notice. The heart of the mystery is incredibly original and thought-provoking, the journey absolutely worth taking. With so many bad horror films coming out these days it is incredibly refreshing to see a true Master of Horror show these young twerps just how it should be done. Even if it is just a short film. Excellent.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
An entertaining and fairly compelling story by first time writers Drew McWeeny (aka the movie/DVD reviewer known as "Moriarty" on the "Ain't It Cool" web site) and Scott Swan is brought home by veteran horror director John Carpenter. All horror fans will likely find something here to enjoy, though it will be especially fun for "film geek" types who obsessively follow favorite directors and can recount the names and plots of the most obscure movies faster than they can remember the names of certain cousins.

Admittedly, two or three things could have been done better in this quickly-filmed production (for example, it should have been more of a slow, dramatic reveal when we learn that a film critic has filled reams and reams of paper with one endless review of the mysterious, infamous horror movie everyone is searching for), but overall the story unfolds well, measured and methodical when it needs to be and weird and crazy when those things are needed.

I also liked the nice balance been artiness and good old storytelling craftsmanship in the final piece. "Cigarette Burns" keeps things mysterious and, well, artful by not over-explaining every little question that naturally occurs to the viewer, but it explains enough and keeps the narrative "normal" enough that, despite the mysteries and unanswered questions at the conclusion, we still feel like we were given a satisfying, coherent story. Just be warned that ultimately it's a blood-soaked satisfying, coherent story you'll be getting.

And if the creepy, gory main feature isn't enough for you, this modestly priced DVD also gives you a generous set of extras. I especially enjoyed the two DVD commentaries, one by the director and one by the writers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than advertised October 25, 2006
Format:DVD
One of the more criticized episodes of Showtime's Masters of Horror series, John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns is better than you've heard. The man behind Halloween, the Thing, etc., is in fine form here as down and out film expert Kirby (Norman Reedus) is hired by an enigmatic rare film lover (genre stalwart Udo Kier) to find a film that upon it's only showing caused the audience to go insane and kill each other. As his journey unfolds, Kirby learns the secrets behind the film's production, and the demonic truth that lay underneath the celluloid. Considering Carpenter's recent body of work, Cigarette Burns is a nice change of pace. Most of the criticisms of of Cigarette Burns arise from Reedus' performance, and while he may not be the best leading man, he's not as terrible as what's been described in previous reviews. The makeup and gore effects are top notch as usual, and for most of it's running time, Cigarette Burns is one of the better entries in the Masters of Horror series. All in all, Cigarette Burns is better than it's been given credit for, and is definitely worth checking out for Carpenter lovers and horror afficiondos alike.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Horror Fans, not the General Public May 30, 2007
Format:DVD
Carpenter dons his old school hat and delivers here. The story here is interesting and fits perfectly into the 1 hour format. Excellent gore scenes! Some genuinely creepy moments, and if I weren't so jaded, I may have actually been scared.

The plot is mentioned in other reviews-- sorta reminds me of Polanski's THE NINTH GATE (wouldn't it be nice to get Polanski aboard for an episode?). An rich eccentric, freaky film collector hires some bozo to track down the reel to a legendary film that was screened once and caused the audiance to go berzerka and slaughter each other. The rest is for you to find out and enjoy.

The dialouge is appropriate and the directing,cinematgraphy is great-- I don't care what the mainstream reviewers say. If you are a horror fan and enjoy the old Carpenter films-- you will dig this bad boy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated B-Horror Flicks
The entire Master of Horror collection are some of my favorite low budgets flicks. Creative, usually well shot, and lets be honest sometimes it's fun to just watch a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by adrakephoto
5.0 out of 5 stars John Carpenter Does It Again
Great Movie John Carpenter does it again a really great movie any john carpenter fan should watch. You want og wrong with this movie
Published 7 months ago by Jeffery B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Carpenter fans rejoice
This film is similar in tone and mind twisting to Carpenter's previous works: The Prince of Darkness & In the Mouth of Madness. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Seth A. Tucker
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy a good movie with someone special.
Have been fascinated with this flick since I first saw it. Just one of those things I had to add to my Horror Collection. >:)
Published 9 months ago by T & D Sturgill
5.0 out of 5 stars Cigarette Burns
It's John Carpenter...how could this be anything else but AWESOME!? A very rare French film that causes its viewers to murder themselves and/or others in creative, bloody ways. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Tracy Jernigan
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it for the amazing interviews with cast and director.
I enjoyed the story and the cast and the effects very much. Mostyly the interviews were amazing and the bhind the scenes fantastic. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Bonita Blackwell
4.0 out of 5 stars John Carpenter at his best.
John Carpenter and Norman Reedus are a great combination. If you like both, you will love this segment of Masters of Horror.
Published 14 months ago by melodie swanson
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't even smoke . . .
Many of the Masters of Horror were hit or miss . . . this one is a hit. The plot centers on locating a bizarre and dangerous film, with the fabulous and classic Udo Kier as the... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Lavinia
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary Angel!
WoW! How did I ever miss this sweet short!

I'll never be able to think of an angel in any other way!

Twisted. Violent. Gory! Read more
Published 16 months ago by C. Sheboy
5.0 out of 5 stars Masters of Horror - John Carpenter - Cigarette Burns
Not a big Masters of Horror fan, but this is a GREAT episode. Great storyline that will NOT have you bored.
Published 20 months ago by Jan Fogel
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