Masters of Horror

Season 1 Episode 8

Cigarette Burns

Aired Friday 12:00 AM Dec 16, 2005 on Showtime

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

Write A Review
out of 10
182 votes
  • A good episode of this series.

    Cigarette Burns, directed by John Carpenter, is an episode that deals with a man named Kirby Sweetman and his obsessive pursuit of a rare print of a movie that supposedly induces madness and acts of violence and death upon any who view it. As Kirby, looking to get the print for an eccentric collector in return for a sizable reward, travels from place to place in search of the film, his obsession grows even as the sights and gruesome history become darker with every step.

    For this reviewer, this episode was good but was missing something that is hard to put a finger on. The blood and gore scenes were fairly well done but seemed lacking, well, something. A good episode for the Masters of Horror series though this reviewer suspects many who view it will have widely ranging opinions on it.
  • Excellent episode. Carpenter at his best. I loved the story of a film so evil that it is in league with Lucifer.

    Loved this. Didn't really know what to expect, but the story was gripping. I really don't want to give much away, but suffice to say a film buff hires a guy to track down a very special film. This film was shown once, and murder and violence ensued.

    This seriously could be redone and made into a very successful horror film. There is a speech in this, that the audience is in the hands of the director, and we trust him not to go to far with his art. I am paraphrasing. A brilliant story, that will haunt your dreams !
  • Cigarette Burns leaves a lasting impression.

    In Cigarette Burns Udo Keir hires Norman reedus to track down a movie that is supposedly destroyed. The movie, Le Fin Absolue du Monde, which translates to the absolute end of the world, drives the people that watch it to commit horrendous acts of violence in a bloodlust. Kier is top notch in his role as the eccentric film collector proving once again why he is a mainstay in the horror genre. John Carpenter has had lots of success during his long carrer but i say that with Cigareete Burns he has reached the zenith of his career. This short film is one of the best pieces of horror that I have ever seen. The images of this work stuck with me long after having seen it. I have recommended it to all of my friends and none have been disappointed. If you're looking for a great horror story, you won't find any better than this.
  • Udo Keir seeks a 'lost' film and hires a man to find it...the consequence of which leads to horrifying deaths.

    John Carpenter remains a much neglected film-maker whose track record includes classics such as "The Thing", "Escape from New York" and "Halloween".

    In more recent years his productions whilst not without merit lack the atmosphere and narrative tension of his earlier works. It was with awe that I watched "Cigarette
    Burns". From its opening right through to its closure Carpenter doesnt put a foot wrong, tense, dark,black and at times surreal. There are some nice refrences for horror fans,the mentioning of a Dr. Phibes movie and Vincent Price brought a smile to my face,before the unease began to build as the search for the lost film becomes center stage. With each scene, Carpenter builds the narrative enticing the viewer into a dark nightmare of flash visions of blood and suicide,death and destruction! Add to this is a very good score by Carpenter's son, Cody , which is so like his father's work , that you cant help but wonder if the elder
    Carpenter helped out.

    All in all, "Cigarette Burns" shows a director back on form,displaying a drive and understanding for the genre that has been very much missed. Welcome back John. Horror has a name, and you know, it's still Carpenter!!!
  • A man looks for a old film that turned people homicidal when it premiered. As he goes on his quest to find it, he too starts to turn homicidal.

    This is only the second episode of this series that I have seen and I absolutely love it. It is about a man looking for a film that made people homicidal while watching it. The plot sounded intriguing and people said it was good on the Masters of Horror boards, so I decided to watch through Netflix. I watched and then found myself creeped out. I couldn't stop thinking about the episode. The episode is very powerful as well as gory. For those who are squeamish, do not watch this episode or any others in this series. John Carpenter did a magnificent job directing. Those who like "The Ring", will love this episode.
  • the first masters of horror I saw and it didnt disappoint.

    I don't have showtime so I rented most of the first season through netflix and this happened to be #1. I thought it was very well done for a one-hour movie really told a solid story which is sometimes hard to do with the amount of time available. It did what any good TV show should do in keeping me wanting more. I have sense seen 'Incident on and off a Mountain Road' and 'Deer Woman'. I plan on renting the rest of the series soon and I might be the upcoming season one set. I hope it continues for many more years.
  • Easily the best Masters of Horror episode.

    This would have made for a great feature film. Certainly the story could have been tightened up a bit, and the special effects are not terribly impressive, but I really loved this episode.

    While other Masters of Horror episodes seem to focus to heavily on 'gross out' scenes, this one used a really inventive story to capture the viewer's attention. I have got to think this was originally intended for the big screen, but somehow ended up as an episode of MOH. I kind of wish they would readapt it into a full length feature film.

    If you don't have Show Time, I'd actually recommend getting this episode via Netflix. You won't be disappointed!
  • "Film is magic"

    This episode is absolutely encaptivating. The idea of a movie that drives anyone who sees it into an insane frenzy is brilliant. Its such a great storyline, its almost impossible to take your eyes off the screen. John Carpenter has really outdone himself here.
    Scary as hell, especially during the scene where they film a girl getting her head hacked off (sort of explains how gory it is), Guy playing Kirby Sweetman could\'ve done a better job but still, I don\'t care, this episode was absoloutely amazing. Wekll scripted, well plotted and easily the best piece of television I\'ve seen to date.
  • Makes no sense.

    The stylized camera shots in this episode were amazing, but it lacks a story to go along with it. This episode suffers from too much exposition that leads to nowhere. The characters are not well developed, the storyline looks flat and lacks anything interesting. It conveys that something is intriguing except nothing is, the angel like creature is also underdeveloped and quite boring since not much is shown about it. Even though this episode only goes for an hour, it felt like it was going forever because of the very uninteresting premise, it's really boring, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
  • Excellent. This is John Carpenter back in form

    John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns is everything that a Masters of Horror episode should be. It's got a mood atmosphere, creepy characters and genuine tension, with a dash of mystery thrown in for good measure. And don't forget about the gore. Aside from Argento's I would say that this one is the goriest episode yet, complete with decapitations and disembowlings. When I read the story summary for this I thought that it would be a cheap Ring ripoff, but it turned into an excellent tale about the power of film. All in all, this is tied with Incident as my favorite.
  • Better than any john carpenter movie i have ever seen, flat out incredible!

    This episode of Showtime show Masters of Horror is, quite simply, incredible. The director John Carpenter puts all of his energy into this twisted and clever story. It is quite possibly the best episode of the first year of this show. It is about a man that sets out to find a rare film that once made people go into a homicidal frenzy at its only showing ever. After searching for quite a long time and going through quite an ordeal, he finally finds it. The results are shocking and riveting. Nobody that is a fan of horror should miss this.
  • Finally the show lives up to it\\\'s potential. Even though all the episodes have been above average we finally get THE one! Welcome back Mr Carpenter, we missed you.

    This one has it all, a great story, characters that are likeable, a great soundtrack and a creepy ending that is as nihilistic as anything put on any screen. After getting off to a decent start, the series was showing some signs of losing a bit of luster, but this episode (in my opinion) shines as the best one yet. Definately a must see for the geek factor alone.
  • This was the best episode so far... Did anybody actually keep count of how many times they mentioned the name of that movie?

    This was a good one... some of the short movies were okay, others boring and not worth it. But this one is worth it. It was kind of annoying at how many times they kept on saying the name of the film. Sure, say it once, and after that I'm sure it's safe to say people will know what you're talking about when you say "the film" or such. Let's hope we get more movies like this one from now on.
  • John Carpenter heads back into "In The Mouth of Madness" territory here.

    Of all the episodes of this series so far, this is the one that would have made the best feature film.

    Kirby Sweetman is the owner of a rundown theater showing classic films. On the side, he is a hunter of rare film prints for rich clientele (not unlike the Dean Corso character in “The Ninth Gate). He is hired by a collector to find the rarest of the rare, a French film called “Le Fin Absolute Du Monde” (The Absolute End of the World), a notorious film which was shown only once and is said to have caused its audience to go mad (possibly based on Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s “Fando e Liz?”) and riot in the theater.

    As for the quality… what a piece of film this is! John Carpenter proves again that he is one of the most underrated directors alive today. The film has an appeal that no other episode of this series has (and not many films of 2005 have had) and doing so with a slow burn that puts you on the edge of your seat. The strongest element of this film is the suspense that Carpenter injects into a script that would have otherwise been a “Ninth Gate” retread.

    The weakest element was the gore. Though it was very realistic and gruesome, it was unnecessary. I love gore as much as anyone else, but the suspense made this a very classy piece that was only marred by the excessive gore. I still can not understand why it needed to be so graphic. The graphic nature, however, was not enough to knock this episode’s rating down at all. It is still a 10 as far as I’m concerned.

  • and perfectly executed - JC is back...

    Wow, what a fine piece of horrormovie we have here. All the indigrients are here - a simple but gripping story, great characters and splatter of the really creative kind.

    Seems like John Carpenter ist back after lame entrys like Vampires and the clicheeridden mars-movie. So more than ten years after his last really great movie ("In the mouth of madness" 1994) his trademarked jump-scares and outbursts of violence finally click again.

    Absent from a little hole in the script (what happens after the beheading?) the story is almost perfect and one wishes it would have more time to develop.

    Some great performances - especially Udo Kier, who has another one of his freaky film-deaths here - and a lot of perfect designed splatter set-pieces makes this episode an instant-classic.

    More of this, please. :)
  • One of the best episodes for this series. Carpenter is back!

    I was already excited when I read about the story and that John Carpenter was directing it. It held up to its expectations. Not the most original story but has some twisted parts to keep it very interesting. The snuff movie part with the french weirdo was very strange yet joined well with the rest of the episode and explained quite a bit about the actual killer presentation itself.

    I like the whole apocalyptic ending where really everyone dies after watching the reel. The movie it self was quite disturbing especially the parts of the Angel's wings. Carpenter made a good comeback with the episode.
  • Wow, now this is what I wanted from this series when I first heard about it!

    I must admit I didn't expect John Carpenter to deliver one of the series most brutal blows so far, but that's just what he did. I was actually getting bored with this series that I'd been so looking forward to for so long. Then came Cigarette Burns.

    Original? No, the story has been done. But the way it's done this time, with the great mood and doom of the episode is a punch to the heart.

    Bravo. Good to see John back.