Monday, June 6, 2011

bad/awesome flixxx review: John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns (2005)

"That's not art, that's just fucking murder!"- Kirby

"I know what you want! You want to see the movie!"- Butler

"I didn't bring you all the way out here to find me something that made a schoolgirl cringe."- Bellinger

So technically this isn't really a movie. Its a short film done by (pretty much) my favorite director- John Carpenter. It was made for the Master's of Horror TV Show that airs on Showtime. It's an hour long, so it fits here as far as I'm concerned. The plot is VERY similar to "The Ninth Gate" by Polansk, but its classic John Carpenter down to the eerie keyboard soundtrack, this time provided by his son Cody. Starring Norman Reedus from Boondock Saints, and Udo Kier from The Kingdom, this is one flick that had me jump and say "OH SHIT" as least twice. Maybe a few more times actually, but definitely twice super loud. Ya gotta check out CIGARETTE BURNS!!!

Here we have the story of a wealthy rare film collector, who is hell bent on getting his hands on a copy of this movie called La Fin Absolue du Monde or The Absolute End of the World. He hires a specialist named Kirby to find it. The film was said to have driven a whole theater mad upon its first screening and was subsequently destroyed before the director could get it out of the country where the film festival was held. Kirby says if there's a copy out there, he would have heard about it. Bellinger (the collector) says he has proof that it still exists, and he shows Kirby an albino dude he's got chained up out back with places on his back where it looks like wings have been chopped off. In the other room are wings hanging on the wall.

The film is shrouded in mystery which makes Kirby curious. Bellinger says money is no problem so Kirby asks for 200,000 bucks to cover the cost of a small independent theater that his dead fiances father gave him a loan to buy. The dad in law is pissed and gives Kirby a week to pay up. Kirby's fiance is dead because they were junkies together and doing drugs kills you. Now he is haunted by her in his thoughts. Ok, so Kirby goes off on his journey looking for the film first checking out this critic who wrote a review of the film. He found a crazy man, surrounded by a house full of stacked papers that had been redrafting his review for YEARS now, and was "almost finished". He desperately wanted to see the film one more time if Kirby found a copy. All the while Kirby is getting more and more curious, even though everyone he meets warns him against it.

The critic gives him interviews he did with the director, and Kirby flies to France to try and meet with someone who helped make the film. He listens to the interviews and starts to see these "cigarette burns" in real life flash before him, and everyone says, "they've begun." He finds out everyone is dead pretty much, but he cons an old buddy into giving him a weird dudes address who may know how to get to the film. He goes to see the weird dude, and the guy has his bodyguards hold him while he sticks a needle in his neck after he views some papers. Then he wakes up, and the weird guy is all in bondage gear, holding a machete, and Kirby and the cab driver are tied up and gagged.

!!!!!!!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!

Then he says that "murder has become art" or some crap and chops the girl cab drivers fucking head clean off!! (OH SHIT #1).
Then he hops up on top of Kirby and starts huffing and puffing and somehow Kirby has another cigarette burn flash and the dudes is on the ground, the bodyguards are dead and Kirby starts torturing the guy until he tells him where he can find the flick. He says Seattle.

So Kirby cleans the blood off his shirt and flies to Seattle to meet up with the director's widow. She says the flick is pure evil, the producers are most likely the four horsemen of the apocalypse... because she mentions sorrow, chaos, suffering, and famine. She tells him to take it. He goes back to Bellinger and gets the bread to pay off his dick father in law. That dude has locked up his theater and was sitting outside of it in his car waiting. Bellinger calls him to come back over and the dad in law follows. Kirby walks in and....

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

he sees the Asian butler, and the guy has his shirt off and is bleeding from multiple stab wounds, and he's brandishing this huge knife, and he's like, "what are you doing here? YOU brought this evil here, oh you want to see the movie huh?" And Kirby is like WTF? and then the guy STABS HIS OWN FUCKING EYES OUT!!!! (OH SHIT #2) Then Kirby talks to Bellinger and he's using his own intestines as a film strip, and then the butler unlocks the angel, and Kirby's dad in law confronts him.
I'll spare you the ending since I've given you so much else, just so there's still some magic left. Pretty raw shit though. As far as it goes, I don't remember any "OH SHIT" moments in The Ninth Gate. So its not so much of a rip of that, as just similar in plotline. But a badass short nonetheless. Recommended fo sho.

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