Sunday, March 27, 2011

Masters Of Horror: Cigarette Burns - 4.5/5

Directed By John Carpenter (known for "Halloween", "They Live", "The Thing" and oh so many more)

An emotional torn and often battered for money movie theater owner and fanatic (Reedus) is given the opportunity of a life time. He is hired by an elite film collector (Kier) to track down one of the most rare and controversial films ever, La Fin Absolue du Monde. A film that supposedly drives everyone who sees it made with homicidal rage. As our hero Kirby begins to scour the world for this elusive film, he begins to discover that not all myth is exaggerated and finds himself spiraling into a nightmarish existence where the lines of madness and reality blur.

Although John Carpenter's film output in has been...well, less than stellar as of late, his first "Masters Of Horror" episode is a crazy one. It's clever, taunt, and expertly paced for the series and it truly utilizes his style to its efficient best (even if he claims the style to be watered down for this episode). It still retains those over-the-top Carpenter moments, a chained up angel for example, but its foundations in the real world is what makes it so effectively creepy and horrifying. It's got a great cast to go with it, although Reedus can be rather wishy washy in the more stretched emotions of his character, and with a stellar score by Carpenter's son it really works to bring light to a tale of nightmares. This is the style that Carpenter should have embraced in the 90s and beyond - this episode does have a distinct "In The Mouth Of Madness" vibe to it - and its one of the stronger episodes of the first season. It even caters to that 'horror film fan base' that Carpenter has been a root of for decades. A must see episode for the series.

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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