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Cigarette Girl

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Director  Mike McCarthy
Country  United States
5.8/10 IMDb

Language  English
Cigarette Girl movie poster

Release date  July 10, 2009 (2009-07-10) (Revelation Perth)
Tagline  She'd Kill for A Smoke

Gwen joy the cigarette girl

Cigarette Girl is a 2009 film written and directed by Mike McCarthy and starring Cori Dials, Ivy McLemore, Helen Bowman, and Danny Vinson. The film premiered on July 10, 2009 at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival in Australia.



In the not too distant future, society has levied laws against smoking and forced citizens to live in a certain part of town called the "SMOKING SECTION" if one wants to smoke cigarettes. After crossing the line into the smoking ghetto, Cigarettes now cost $63.49 a pack, and are sold on the street corners and underground bars. The unnamed heroine (Cori Dials) of the film works in the "Vice Club", an abandoned 1930s era cigarette factory turned club, where a once iconic emblem of a giant cigarette tipping over into a giant ashtray, now sits atop the factory coated with rust like a cancer. Occasionally still tilting into the astray if the wind is strong enough, the giant cigarette squeaks like a siren, going throughout the city.

We find the heroine, after her grandmother (Helen Bowman) is hospitalized with emphysema, the Cigarette Girl attempts to break her addiction to nicotine while also escaping the clutches of her employers, the mob-associated operators of the smoker hangout, the Vice Club. Deciding to start packing a pistol along with her packs of cigarettes, the Cigarette Girl becomes an angel of death when she stops smoking and starts killing on the third day to alleviate her acute psychological withdrawal manifested primarily by the ghost of a cowboy who is always on her back to keep smoking. The film's tag line "She'd kill for a smoke."


  • Cori Dials as The Cigarette Girl
  • Helen Bowman as Grandma
  • Ivy McLemore as Runaway
  • Danny Venson as Cowboy
  • D'Army Bailey as Store Owner
  • James Buchanan as Johnny Valet
  • Lynne Turley as Vice Boss
  • J. Lazarus Hawk as Ace
  • Donald Meyers as Doctor
  • Christian B. Walker as Prophet/Dead Grass Boy #1
  • Christopher Tyzhai Allen as Dead Grass Boy #2
  • Markus Seaberry as Dead Grass Boy #3
  • Emmy Collins as Suspicious Dude
  • Lary Love Dolley as Hat Check Girl
  • Daniel Lee as Customer
  • Daniel Reed as Customer
  • Glenn Payne as Customer
  • Jacob Burcham as Customer
  • Promotion

  • World Premiere: Revelation Perth International Film Festival, July 2–12, 2009 in Perth, Australia
  • US Premiere: Malco Theatres' Studio on the Square, Sept. 10, 2009 in Memphis, TN. Promoted by a collaboration between the On-Location Memphis & Indie Memphis Film Festivals.
  • Reception

    "Both sex and violence are embodied in the fishnet film-noir presence of the striking Dials, 28, a McCarthy 5-foot-9 'starlet' who works as an intern mortician in a Virginia funeral home when she's not stalking through McCarthy's eccentric mise-en-scene or singing lead vocals in his rock group, Fingers Like Saturn." Written by John Beifuss in the Commercial Appeal on September 7, 2009.

    "Everything in Cigarette Girl orbits around Dials, though. McCarthy demands a lot from her in what might be considered something of a superhero origin story. She is asked to be an iconic presence, and she delivers. Dials is a spectacle even when not stripped down to bra, panties, and fishnets. Her palpable combination of toughness and vulnerability makes her character click." Written by Chris Herrington on Sept. 10, 2009.

    "Pure 'smokesploitation,' CIGARETTE GIRL mixes misfit social commentary with beautiful babes and bad boys, guns and glamour, and lots of cigarettes, all shot with the feel of a classic drive-in grindhouse roughie. McCarthy's works include the crowd pleasing SORE LOSERS and TEENAGE TUPELO, regarded as a classic of the underground-into-indie film scene of the '90s. CIGARETTE GIRL looks like it will be his biggest film to date." Live from Memphis on Aug. 20, 2009.

    "'Cigarette Girl' epitomizes guerrilla indie film by experimenting liberally with the medium. It employs hazy, green-toned imagery and dilapidated settings. The retro décor of the sets and the rockabilly costumes feel natural in the world McCarthy has created. It looks like a sleazy dystopian hell to the square crowd, but the progressive viewer will appreciate the detailed fantasy world, rich with atmosphere and attitude." Small Town Critic on Sept. 11, 2009.

    "Cigarette Girl, American indie director, Mike McCarthy’s first feature film since Superstartlet AD in 2000, was shot in Memphis over eleven days and is a noirish, low budget genre piece that has parallels with exploitation-oriented films such as Tarantino’s Kill Bill diptych. The lead is a strong, kickass, take-no-prisoners type who, through the film, despite its being set in future times, wears the 1940s cigarette girl nightclub uniform - lacy crinoline skirt, corset, fishnet stockings, and stiletto heels - and drives a black 1970 Cadillac Deville. She is both tender and compassionate whilst being equally willing and able to dole out justice to anyone who wrongs her." Written by Shannon O'Neil on Cinephilia.

    "Cori Dials and Michael McCarthy caused great interest with their special brand of Memphis styled exploitation with Cigarette Girl" Monster Year Ends on Revelation Perth International Film Festival, July 14, 2009.


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