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PHOTOGRAPHY

MASTERS OF HORROR: JOHN CARPENTER'S CIGARETTE BURNS

DVD Reviews by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 59 minutes, two audio commentaries, two featurettes, two interviews, trailers, still gallery, DVD-ROM content

STUDIO: IDT Entertainment/ Anchor Bay/ Nice Guy Productions/ Industry Entertainment

RELEASE DATE:

John Carpenter is one of my favorite directors and his films are a wide range of stories with many being my favorites (HALLOWEEN, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, THE THING, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THEY LIVE, STARMAN, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, and IN TEH MOUTH OF MADNESS). I hope his days of making movies aren't behind him, but the MASTERS OF HORROR episode CIGARETTE BURNS proves he can still make great stuff. CIGARETTE BURNS follows film buff Kirby (owner of a movie theater that shows obscure films) tracks down rare films for money. He is hired by an eccentric film collector (Udo Kier) to track down a lost film called La Fin Absolue De Monde which supposedly caused the theater audience to erupt into violence on each other during it's one legendary showing at a film festival. Kirby starts to get sucked in deeper and seeing strange things and lose time as he tries to get the film and pay off the father of his dead junkie wife (or the theater will be shut down).

The one hour format fits CIGARETTE BURNS and the casting is great (Norman Reedus and Udo Kier). The script shares a kinship with IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS while I wish the ending was different. CIGARETTE BURNS has momentum that builds and builds until the ending which just disappoints. With John Carpenter directing an episode for season 2 of MASTERS OF HORROR, I hope he directs another movie soon.

VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Not a bad transfer. Colors and black values fit in with great image detail.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby Surround

Subtitles: English

Dialogue and sound come in clearly.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

two audio commentaries were recorded for the episode-

The first is with director John Carpenter and the second commentary is with the writers of the episode, Drew McSweeney and Scott Swann.

Both commentaries are worth a listen. One thing they should have done is pair John with an actor since I have heard John's commentaries with Kurt Russell are his best audio commentaries for his movies.

An interview with John Carpenter covers some of his career and his experience directing CIGARETTE BURNS.

BEHIND THE SCENES: THE MAKING OF CIGARETTE BURNS- a few minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from the production of CIGARETTE BURNS.

WORKING WITH A MASTER: JOHN CARPENTER- various interviews with people who worked with John Carpenter. Interesting comments on how people reacted to THE THING back in 1982 and later. He allows his actors to contribute to the movies he directs. A better look at John Carpenter's films than John's interview segment.

ON SET INTERVIEW WITH NORMAN REEDUS- Boring and disappointing. It should have been a more interesting interview.

Also included on the DVD are a John Carpenter text bio, a still gallery, trailers for eight MASTERS OF HORROR DVD releases and movies on DVD from Anchor Bay (Halloween, Room 6, Demon Hunter), and DVD-ROM extras: the screenplay and a screen saver.

FINAL ANALYSIS: CIGAREETE BURNS is a great episode in the MASTERS OF HORROR series and I might check out other episodes on DVD. Each DVD has loads of extras.

this review is (c)7-5-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com