Amazing! Entertaining! Captivating! These are three words that are rarely used in unison for movies reviewed on AbsoluteHorror.com. But we have decided to review all of the episodes of the Masters of Horror series and thank the lord for that! I have stumbled upon a true gem of a film – “Cigarette Burns” by John Carpenter. This film, I venture to say, is the best in the series and an instant classic.
The story begins with an eccentric collector played by Scream King Udo Kier and his obsession over finding a print of a French film entitled “Le Fin Absolue du Monde”. The film was shown only once in a theater and caused riots and deaths because of its content. After the mayhem, the French government ordered the original print to be destroyed. Well, as you can imagine, this film is more sought after than an XBOX 360 and Udo will do anything to get it..
Well, Udo finds a rare film bounty hunter played by Norman Reedus and Norman accepts the mission to find this rare gem after being offered $200,000. As Norman digs deeper into the history of the film, he finds that the movie was intended to instigate murders and the closer he gets to finding the movie, the more hauntings he receives from his dead ex-wife. There is also a backstory involving his father-in-law and a loan, but it merely serves as momentum for the true story: the search for “Le Fin Absolue du Monde.”
There is some very good blood and gore in this film as tortures, beheadings (too soon!) and self-mutiliation all take a bow. However, the true power of this movie is the lore and mythology behind the film that kills. Carpenter is best known for doing the whole “creepy killer who you can see coming from a mile away, but who just can’t be avoided.” The same can be said for “Le Fin Absolue du Monde”. Once you have sought to view or acquire the film, it is, as the director’s wife says “already too late”.
I know this is a short review for two reasons: 1.) I watched it and reviewed it after an afternoon/evening of drinking and I am now sleepy, but more importantly (2) I just don’t want to give away too much of this film as it is that good. Carpenter is at his best here and the Masters of Horror series is seriously back on track. Who knows, maybe I am under some sort of “Le Fin Absolue du Monde” spell because I don’t normally offer such praise for a film.
RATING: ***1/2 (out of four)