The Burning [Blu-Ray]

Tony Maylam

BY Serena WhitneyPublished May 23, 2013

Long before the Weinsteins became the notorious, and infamous, co-founders of Miramax, they helmed The Burning, a second-rate Friday the 13th rip-off in 1981 that's mostly known for its special effects from goremeister Tom Savini and, more notably, for introducing George Costanza to the world. Loosely based off a popular campfire story called The Cropsy Maniac, The Burning starts at Camp Blackfoot (a site that resembles Camp Crystal Lake), where a janitor named Cropsy (Lou David) is left horribly burned and disfigured after a group of asinine campers' practical joke literally goes up in flames. Years later, Cropsy arms himself with a pair of sharp garden shears and returns to Camp Blackfoot and takes out his bloody vengeance on a new batch of annoying and horny camp counsellors and campers in horrifically gory ways. In spite of the fact that today, the scariest parts about The Burning are watching any scene with Jason Alexander with full head of hair or witnessing character actor Ned Eisenberg play a stud, the memorable raft massacre (which landed the film on UK's Video Nasties' list) is still quite gruesome and frightening to watch even 32 years later, which is an achievement for both the director and special effects artist Tom Savini. Additionally, the formulaic slasher film does set itself apart from other camp slashers, such as Friday the 13th and Sleepaway Camp, as it's refreshingly devoid of certain horror tropes that have made the sub-genre famous. Virgins and likable characters perish, which makes it difficult to tell which characters will be added to the body count. The Burning may not be an iconic horror film by any means, yet it should still be considered a revered addition to any hardcore horror fan's collection. Scream Factory gives horror geeks multiple nerdgasms with its impressive packaging and striking transfer to Blu-Ray. The special features include "Blood N'Fire Memories," a retrospective piece featuring Savini recalling his time working on the set. Also, the Blu-Ray includes interviews from the cast and crew, poster galleries, a theatrical trailer for the nostalgic and an honest audio commentary from director Tony Maylam, which is definitely worth a listen for fans.
(Shout! Factory)

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