MOHCigaretteBurnsStarz / Achor Bay Entertainment
2005
NR

Deeply in debt to the father of his late wife, a rare films dealer is hired by an old and creepy cinephile to find the only existing print of a rare movie that has this tendancy to drive anyone who watches it completely insane…

Being the good horror fiend I am, I proudly attest that I am a John Carpenter fan. If there’s anything that’s even remotely tied to Mr. Carpenter, I will watch it at least once. Halloween, The Fog, The Thing, Escape From New York, They Live, In The Mouth Of Madness…heck, I’ve been known to enjoy much of what a lot of fan boys (and girls) consider his “lesser work” — Escape From L. A., Village Of The Damned, Vampires, even Ghosts Of Mars has a particular charm.

So it should come as no surprise that one of the first episodes of the Masters Of Horror cable television series that I decided to start watching on DVD involved one by John Carpenter. The MoH episodes themselves are only an hour long, but Carpenter managed to pack a lot of wallop into that hour. Seriously, I came out of watching Cigarette Burns thinking anyone who still claims that Carpenter is washed up as a horror director needs to watch this, and then promptly go do something that’s a physical impossibility. Metaphorically speaking, of course…

I would consider Cigarette Burns to be something of a spiritual companion piece to In The Mouth Of Madness, inasmuch as the theme of blurring the line between art — in this case film — and insanity. Two of my favorite pairings, right up there with chocolate and peanut butter. The visuals are stark and disturbing, with the fine performances from the actors, the cinematography and musical score all gelling together that, once the end credits roll, left me with a nice warm glow. Nearly an hour well spent, methinks. Recommended…

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