John Carpenter’s most underrated work: Cigarette burns

Time for some more occult horror viewings and what better than Masters of Horror’s arguably best episode “Cigarette burns”.

A few months ago I originally planned to rewatch and review all the Masters of Horror episodes but I remembered that I disliked pretty much all of them. All but a very small number, the most memorable of which was “Cigarette burns”.

In it, a man by the name of Kirby Sweetman (played by Norman Reedus) is hired by a wealthy film collector (Udo Kier) to find an infamous movie by the name of “La Fin Absolue du Monde” (The absolute end of the world) known to be connected with a lot of bizarre and almost supernatural seeming events, even starting rumors that its premiere started a murderous riot after which it was destroyed.

Plagued by debt Kirby accepts the man’s offer and begins his search for the movie, however as he soon begins to notice strange things begin to happen as he gets closer and closer to finding the movie.

I remember watching this for the first time after a couple of disappointing episodes of the series. Boy oh, boy did it hit me like a truck. It was so much different than what I grew to expect in the series. So dark, creative and enticing, almost too enticing. It even made me want to watch the infamous movie myself even though of course it does not exist.

But to be fair I am a sucker for stories like these. I have always loved occult detective-like stories like Constantine, Ninth Gate, The order, etc… and this was no different. There is something about the concept of a rare movie or book shrouded in mystery and intrigue that makes you want to check it out even more and this movie portrays this perfectly. It constantly makes you feel uncomfortable and yet you do not want to stop watching.

Final verdict: 8.5/10

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