Cigarette Burns ★★★½

I know what you want, you want to see the movie!
-Fung

I had been meaning to watch this for years now but never really gotten around to it because no matter how much I love John Carpenter his output passed the year 2000 barely contains any of the genius you see in almost the entirety of the rest of his filmography. That and watching a bad Carpenter film is kinda heartbreaking.

Now that I've watched it though, I think this might be the best thing he directed in the last 15 years. It might be a bit of a cheat though since it is very similar to one of his previous films, In the Mouth of Madness, but my first instinct was that Cigarette Burns would make a great companion piece to that film.

It stars a young Norman Reedus when he was still living off his Boondock Saints fame and The Walking Dead was still just a comic book. He's a questionable guy that is hired to find the supposed only existing print of La Fin Absolue du Monde, a film that has a legend like no other.

The back story of the fake film is actually great. The title sounds real, the director's name and even the legend itself sounds like it almost could be a real urban legend of a long lost French film. The cherry on top is probably the fact that Reedus is hired by Ubo Kier who plays an eccentric rich European to perfection because I imagine that he really is an eccentric rich European, like a real life James Bond villain.

My only complaint would be that the Masters of Horror budget wasn't quite sufficient for what Carpenter was trying to pull off here. There's a bit of "globe trotting" when Reedus is trying to track down the film and it's painfully obvious that he is Vancouver and not in France... or wherever it was. Besides that it was great.