Masters of Horror - John Carpenter - Cigarette Burns

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Film is magic. And in the right hands, it can be a weapon. For on-the-ropes motion picture 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 motion picture whose sole showing was rumored to have generated its audience to a homicidal craze. However as Kirby gets closer to the truth about the film, he's sucked into a private hell of grisly hallucinations and ruthless acts of violence. Now the only surviving print of the film is within his grasp ... and the most dreadful screening of all is about to start. 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.John Carpenter's installment in the Masters of Horror cable-TV anthology series takes a look at the ominous, underground mystique surrounding a notorious 1970s horror classic(now there's something Carpenter need to learn about ). Cigarette Burns tracks the look 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 produced Udo Kier ). The film, supposedly damaged after it triggered a riot at its only screening, triggers audiences to turn into bloodthirsty, cannibalistic lunatics. Even as Reedus gets on the path of the only existing print-- listening to an interview with the director, looking at production stills-- he begins to fall under its supernatural sway. Unfortunately, the exact same can't be said for Cigarette Burns itself; the stuff about horror aficionados is good, however the production is slapdash, the dialogue stiff, and Reedus's efficiency incompetent. The basic idea, while a little film-schoolish, has some intrigue, and the idea of a movie critic (supposedly a follower of Pauline Kael, no less )generated to write millions of words about this one barely-seen motion picture is amusingly ominous.-- Robert Horton

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