Masters of Horror (2005–2007)
76 user 52 critic

John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns 

With a torrid past that haunts him, a movie theatre owner is hired to search for the only existing print of a film so notorious that its single screening caused the viewers to become homicidally insane.


John Carpenter


Mick Garris (creator), Drew McWeeny | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Norman Reedus ... Kirby
Colin Foo ... Fung
Udo Kier ... Bellinger
Christopher Redman ... Willowy Being
Chris Gauthier ... Timpson (as Christopher Gauthier)
Zara Taylor ... Annie
Gary Hetherington ... Walter
Chris Britton ... Meyers
Julius Chapple Julius Chapple ... Henri Cotillard
Taras Kostyuk ... Kaspar (as Taras)
Brad Kelly Brad Kelly ... Horst
Lynn Wahl Lynn Wahl ... Cab Driver
Douglas Arthurs ... Dalibor (as Douglas H. Arthurs)
Gwynyth Walsh ... Katja
Brahm Taylor Brahm Taylor ... Protagonist


The bankrupted owner of the movie theater 'Vogue', Kirby Sweetman, is hired by the eccentric private collector Mr. Bellinger to search and find the only existing print of the legendary horror film "La Fin Absolue du Monde" by Hans Backovic. This lost film is considered magic and cursed, and has been presented only once to an audience at the Sitges Festival, driving the people insane and causing bloodshed in the theater. The director, the crew and everybody involved in its production seemingly have died since. Kirby owes 200.000 dollars to his father-in-law, who blames Kirby for the death of his daughter Annie, and accepts the assignment to pay his debt. Bellinger shows him a souvenir from the film in his basement, a chained angel that had his wings torn off in the movie. Kirby travels to France to meet a contact and has glimpses of his beloved Annie, initiating his journey to hell. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Parents Guide:

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USA | Canada



Release Date:

16 December 2005 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Highest rated episode of the series on IMDB. See more »


Kirby visits Henri Cotillard's office in Paris, France. When Henri asks Kirby for the name of the film he's looking for, he puts his right hand by his computer monitor. In the next shot, Henri's arm is by his side. See more »


Fung: I know what you want, you want to see the movie!
See more »


References The Birds (1963) See more »


Le Fin De Mond Theme
Written by John Roome
Courtesy of Mekong Records
See more »

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User Reviews

La Fin Absolue Du Monde...The Absolute End of the World.
30 March 2006 | by Golgo-13See all my reviews

This is the first "Masters of Horror" episode that I've watched and I thought it was a fairly cool and creepy little story. It reminded me of The Ninth Gate, only this time, instead of books, the search was for a very rare movie called La Fin Absolue Du Monde, or The Absolute End of the World. The movie was said to be so powerful, so evil, that anyone who watched it turned violently insane. The man who wants this notorious film is played by Udo Kier, who is always fun to watch and has great expressions. The rest of the cast is adequate and Carpenter's direction is mostly solid, though it doesn't really feel like a Carpenter picture. His son, Cody, composed the music, which fit the short quite well; it was like the Halloween theme with a touch of Goblin.

Cigarette Burns was a TV production and unfortunately, it felt like one. I think it would've been better suited as a full length feature, where the characterization and plot could be fleshed out further and fine tuned, instead of trying to cram everything into under an hour. Still, it was an admirable effort and the material is definitely interesting (I especially liked the angel subplot). And with the gore, crazy scenes, and several nods to horror fans, collectors, and cinema itself, Cigarette Burns turned out to be a pretty entertaining little picture.

The DVD has many extras (and Easter Eggs), including a commentary with the director and one with the writers. Carpenter's has a few fun moments but going by it and his interviews on the disc, he just doesn't seem to care much anymore. The writers, Scott Swan and Drew McWeeny (McWeeny…hehe), were a lot more excited and hopefully we'll see good things from them in the future. I see they're currently writing the script for the remake of Race with the Devil.

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