Saturday, October 15, 2011

31 Days Of 80's Movie Slashers: 10/15 - The Burning (1981)

Day Fifteen:

The Burning
A Miramax/Filmways Picture
Original Theatrical Release Date: 1981
DVD: Yes

Plot: A horrible summer camp prank gone wrong leaving poor caretaker Cropsy with a very charred face and body. Five years later Cropsy is ready to go back to Camp. But this time to take care of business... The business of chopping up teenagers!

Miramax & The Weinsteins have produced the Academy Award Best Picture Winners Shakespeare In Love, The English Patient, Chicago, No Country For Old Men and The King's Speech and countless other award winners, nominees and critical darlings. Pound for pound in sheer entertainment value, The Burning trumps them all. 

Do you like my shirt, Todd?

Okay, The Burning is not the best Slasher film ever made. It's probably not even the best Camp-set Slasher film ever made. But it's definitely one of the more fun to watch Horror Films of the time period. Part of what makes The Burning so memorable is it's wide net cast of characters (including a supporting performance by Jason Alexander's backside) the camp setting and atmosphere (filmed in beautiful upstate New York) and of course, the special makeup effects by a Mr. Tom Savini.

Say what you will about Harvey Weinstein (who also came up for the concept of The Burning and co-wrote the screenplay with Peter Lawrence and future Sopranos producer Brad Grey) he is the shrewdest of Producers working. He had the great sense to scoop Tom Savini up after recently watching his great work on Friday The 13th. You will walk away from The Burning with a real sense of Savini's skill. The raft scene alone!

The Burning also benefits from a great score by Rick Wakeman (from the progressive rock band Yes) and sharp editing from future Slasher filmmaker Jack Sholder (Alone In The Dark, A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2). What may have been a simple run of the mill ripoff of the great surprise success of Friday The 13th here is a Slasher Movie with a small budget (1.5 Million) but good production values and a straight forward attitude. The Burning does what it can within it's means to deliver the fun. 30 years later it still does.


1 comment:

Ben Varkentine said...

Holly Hunter's an extra in this (she and Alexander were platonic roommates).

I think you can see her in a few long shots on the dock.

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