John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns (2005)
Masters of Horror, Episode 8
Directed by: John Carpenter
Written by: Drew McWeeny & Scott Swann
Starring: Norman Reedus, Udo Kier and some people I've never heard of
Interesting, if not entirely successful. A lot like In the Mouth of Madness but about movies, even down to the look of the thing. There's a little bit of The Ring thrown in there, too.
It's about a guy who's trying to find a movie, Le Fin Absolue du Monde (or The Absolute End of the World, for those of you who don't speak any languages derived from Latin), for Udo Kier. Supposedly, it drives whoever watches it totally insane and makes them kill each other and stuff. Then he starts seeing this Ring all the time, and then he keeps hallucinating about his dead girlfriend.
Anyway, it's fairly impressive for something that's made for TV, but I mean really, John, could you try a little bit harder to come up with something new? Ghosts of Mars was just kind of like Prince of Darkness but set on Mars. He's off his rocker, I swear.
Still, his stuff is interesting, and it manages to be vaguely disturbing. This sure was disgusting enough - a man running his intestines through a film projector stands out in my mind. I didn't really get the whole religious subtext, but I don't always get it with his films. I've been trying to determine whether he's pro-Church or not. It's one of those issues that keeps me up at night.
Moving on, it was a cool idea, but, like I keep saying over and over again like some horrible parrot thing, I've seen it before. I might have excused it if someone else had made it, but seriously! I don't know, maybe he likes that idea. I thought In the Mouth of Madness was executed better, so this isn't really an improvement. I don't think Norman Reedus is a very good actor, either. What the hell do I know?
Another point, I didn't think Le Fin Absolue du Monde looked very interesting. I don't think I'd even bother to sit through it (a lot like the video in The Ring, only that one's short). I suppose if I was expecting an art film I probably would... I guess that's the trick.