Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cigarette Burns

Masters of Horror: John Carpenter

(2005) *****

Kirby, a theater owner that is in serious debt and in danger of losing his theater. He is hired by a millionaire collector to retrieve the infamous and supposedly destroyed film “La Fin Absolue du Monde” which means The Absolute End Of The World. It is reported that at the first showing of this film the theater erupted in violence and people went totally insane. He quickly discovers that being associated with this film comes with a hefty price. He begins to have disturbing visions and must meet up with some real shady characters in pursuit of legendary film.

Perhaps I’m being overly generous with a five star rating for a 1-hour film but daaaaaaamn! After JPX recommended I watch this episode I immediately put it into my queue. The beginning drew me in straight off; I wanted to see the film they were talking about and hoped it would be something cool. As the search went on and the disturbing stories surrounding the film were revealed I sat enthralled by the looming possibility that he would actually find this film. I found myself simultaneously wanting to watch it and not wanting to watch it. The fact that the film was totally fictional and just part of this story escaped me, I was completely sucked into the mystery & suspense. Finally, I have to give a 5 star rating to any horror film that stays with me for days, even weeks invading my thoughts and keeping me wondering about it. This segment of the series is deliciously dark and mysterious. Though the religious tones are imminent I have to say that it really had little to no impact on the fear ratio of this film. That uncomfortable feeling comes from yearning to see and yet being afraid to see the forbidden film itself. The repeated warnings Kirby gets to stop his pursuit really get your blood up.

The funny thing is, though it’s not a real film part of me still wants to see it. It's much like that disquieting video in the ring, admit it, you had to watch it. I googled it to see if anyone had thoughts on it and found there are many, many people who were left feeling the same way. I found so many requests for people seeking possession of the prop poster for "La Fin Absolue du Monde" it was almost disturbing in itself. I sincerely raise my glass to John Carpenter for accomplishing so much in so little time with the minimal budget this series provides. Clearly this is the best segment in the series, if I’ve missed a better one please let me know.


Catfreeek said...

I just found JPX's review of this here and it's really funny that we both made a "Ring" video reference although he did rate this lower than I did the similarity of our reviews is pretty amazing considering I hadn't read his first.

JPX said...

This was my favorite Masters of Horror episode!

Octopunk said...

Okay, clearly I need to stop ignoring the MoH series. So far I've only done the Gordon one because it's a Lovecraft story and the Miike one because, well, he's Miike.

Great point about wanting to see the fictional movie. I've always loved when that happens. In the J.D. Salinger story "Seymour, an Introduction" the narrator describes at length a book of haiku-like poems that should but won't get published, and goddamn if he doesn't make you want to steal a copy of that manuscript. And it doesn't exist.