Anchor Bay has recorded two completely different commentary tracks for this DVD. The first track is with John Carpenter, who goes this one solo. Anyone who has heard him speak on the other DVDs he's done commentary tracks for knows that the guy is pretty enlightened when it comes to filmmaking and that he's got a lot of interesting stories to tell. This track proves yet again that he delivers some of the most interesting tracks out there as he schools us on how he came on board to get involved in the Masters Of Horror series and how Cigarette Burns was born.
The second commentary track is with Drew McWeeny (better known as Moriarty from Ain't It Cool News) and Scott Swan – the two writers. These two guys have obviously got a lot of enthusiasm for the project and while the cover some of the same ground as Carpenter does in his track, they give us more insight into some of the ideas behind the story, where certain spots found their inspiration, as well as what it was like working with Carpenter and his cast and crew.
Behind The Scenes: The Making Of Cigarette Burns is just under four minutes worth of on set footage set to music. There are some sound clips here and there with some of the people who appear on camera but for the most part this is just a quick and dirty look at the shooting and production of the film without a lot of context.
Up next is Working With A Master: John Carpenter, a nineteen minute long documentary on Carpenter and his career made up interviews with some of the people who have worked with him – P. J. Soles from Halloween for example – and the man himself. We learn of how he got into film, his early works, how the success of Halloween launched him into the big time and how he came on board to work on Cigarette Burns. While long time fans will probably be familiar with the bulk of this material, for those not in the know as to Carpenter's roots or history this makes for a really good crash course in his life and for those who are already familiar, well, this works as a nice refresher as well.
Celluloid Apocalypse: An interview with John Carpenter is an eighteen minutes video interview with him that, while it covers some of his earlier work, is geared more towards his output for the Masters Of Horror and how that all came to be. Once more he proves to be an interesting guy, as he talks about working with Udo Kier and Norman Reedus as well as the script writers and special effects technicians. All in all, a very solid discussion of Cigarette Burns.
On Set: An Interview With Norman Reedus is, as it sounds, an interview with the star of the movie. Clocking in at just over seven minutes in length it doesn't get too in depth but it does give the man a chance to talk about his work on the project, how he came on board, what he thinks of working with Carpenter, things like that. He also gives us some interesting insight into his character and explains why he enjoyed the role as much as he did.
Rounding out the supplements on this release are a Stuart Gordon text biography, trailers for the first batch of Masters Of Horror entries and a few other Anchor Bay horror titles, a still gallery, a storyboard gallery, and if you're DVD-Rom equipped you'll find the screenplay, and a screensaver.
A nice return to form from Carpenter that, despite some flaws, makes for an unsettling and atmospheric viewing. Say what you will about some of his more recent output, but this one proves he's still got what it takes and Masters Of Horror – Cigarette Burns definitely comes recommended.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.