Horror Thursday, Reviews — August 18, 2011 at 3:00 am

HORROR THURSDAY: THE BURNING

by

1980. A small film about a group of campers getting killed one by one opens up. It does fairly well and soon, a whole bunch of sequels are ordered.

1981. Another small film about a group of campers getting killed one by one opens up. It doesn’t do all that well. But it’s ok cause the two guys that produced it took it as a lesson and went on to form “Miramax”. The 1980 film is of course Friday the 13th and the 1981 film is The Burning.

Produced by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, The Burning was merely a product of “Well that other movie did so good, let’s do OUR version!” This was nothing new. Right after Jaws came out, we got a shitload of “Insert killer animal in the seas” film. Hell, even “insert killer animal in the woods” films as well. But those are for another time. You people want to learn about The Burning, a cult classic.

We open up with a group of boys at a summer camp heading to a shack in the woods. Inside the shack is Cropsy, the care taker of the camp. The boys don’t like Cropsy a whole lot so they decide to play a prank on him. The prank involves a skull, some bugs, a candle, and of course fire. When Cropsy wakes up and finds a flaming skull covered in bugs, he freaks out, knocks it over, and catches on fire.

He runs through the woods on fire, while Smokey The Bear yells at him the whole time, until he falls into the lake. He’s sent to a hospital for 200 degree burns and stays in the hospital for five years. When he’s released because his insurance ran out (Man, I should be a camp care taker, they have better benefits than I do), the first thing he immediately does is buy a prostitute. He is a guy after all. But the instant Cropsy is alone with the prostitute, he kills her. This isn’t really explained. I guess he just needed target practice.

We then cut back to another camp and we spend the next 45 minutes setting up our victims characters. The main ones you need to worry about is Alfred, who isn’t popular. He likes spying on girls in the shower. And then there’s Glazer, the bully who likes picking on Alfred. And for good measure we have Jason Alexander, who was roughly 35-years-old playing a 15-year-old, and Fisher Stevens.

You probably don’t know who Fisher Stevens is by name (well Dylan probably does) so I’ll just say he’s the weird Ethnic guy from Short Circuit. He also was on “Early Edition” but only me and 4 other people remember that show. CHICAGO REPRESENT!

Anyway, many camping shenanigans ensue while we get a POV cam from Cropsy as he wanders around the woods. He doesn’t really kill anyone yet. I guess instead of just slashing people left and right like Jason, he takes his time and plans shit out.

One particular weekend, all the older kids in the camp (Alfred, Glazer, Jason Alexander, and Fisher Stevens included) are gonna canoe down a river and sleep over on some island. I don’t get the point of this cause it’s all just woods. It’s not like they were sleeping in RV’s and now they’re sleeping OUTSIDE. They were doing that already. Ok, it’s to set up the fact these kids are LITERALLY up a creek without a paddle. HA!

They arrive at the island, where Cropsy sets free all the canoes so they have no way off the island. When the campers discover this, they decide to get to work and make a raft. And believe it or not, they make one in like 3 hours. Fuck, it took the people on “Lost” like 2 weeks to make a raft! And their raft only was gonna hold 3 people. This raft is able to hold like 8 people. Including Fisher Stevens.

So the raft is floating along when they find the canoes. Waiting in the canoe is Cropsy, who springs up and kills all the kids on the raft in a really graphic but awesome manner. In fact, and I’m not kidding you, this scene was so graphic, it was originally edited down in the theatrical release but has since then been put back in on all the home video and DVD releases. I’ll mention here that I’m super wicked awesome for owning this movie on VHS. Yeah! SUCK ON THAT!!

Anyway, the raft full of dead kids float back to the island and the rest are traumatized. Not traumatized enough to get on the SAME raft and float back for help. Meanwhile Glazer and his girlfriend sneak off to fuck, but Glazer can’t keep it up, much to Alfred’s delight. Oh, cause Alfred is watching this. In a teleport move that’ll make Jason jealous, Cropsy suddenly shows up and kills Glazer and the girl. When Alfred makes his location known, Cropsy starts chasing after him.

One of the main councilors Todd finds out Alfred is missing and goes looking for him. He spots Cropsy chasing Alfred and sets out to help. Cropsy finally catches Alfred and instead of killing HIM right away, he just pins him to a beam inside a barn. Todd comes in to save him, but Cropsy shows up and we get our twist…

….ready? Ok.

Todd was one of the original kids that pulled the prank on Cropsy that burnt him! So now Cropsy wants revenge! A small fight ensues where Cropsy ends up covered in gasoline and Todd, again, burns him alive. And that pretty much ends the movie.

The Burning is a little slow but it’s a pretty good slasher film. The acting leaves much to be desired, but again it’s a slasher film, what do you expect? There are a lot of boobs in this movie, so that’s always a good thing. The best thing about it though has to be the raft massacre scene. It was so brutal this film ended up on the UK’s Video Nasties list. Jesus, UK, sensitive much?

♥♥♥

-Jason

3 Comments

  • I love Horror Thursday!

    • That was pretty good, if only to see Jason Alexander in a horror flick. I love the raft scene, but my favorite one was the blonde bully’s death. The point of view during the scene cracked me up.

  • Dude, I just wrote this one up today. Great minds think alike (so what’s our excuse?) It was hilarious how old these “teenagers” were.

    @ Nic Cage – I too was glad to see Glazer get his. What a toolbag.

    Click over to the site and check mine out since we posted on the same day.

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