The Burning (1981)

This is why you don’t piss people off at camp!

The Burning (1981)
Directed By: Tony Maylam (Split Second)

The Prologue
Well we keep with the slashers with this one folks, as today I’m going to review the campy classic The Burning! Often mistaken for a rip off of Friday The 13th, The Weinsteins (yes THOSE Weinsteins) already had the script for the movie written by the time Friday the 13th was made. Meaning that THIS movie actually (in a way) came first! And it not only launched the careers of Bob and Harvey but was the first film for Miramax all together! As well as the feature film debut of Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens, and Holly Hunter.

Adding to all that Tom Savini actually picked this movie over Friday the 13th part 2, I suppose at the time he didn’t like the whole idea of Jason coming back but that’s another story.

But none the less here we are with a film many consider to be one of the better slashers out there, and I must admit I whole heartily agree.

The Movie
A former summer camp caretaker, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, lurks around an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teenagers responsible for his disfigurement..That’s the plot folks, but there is one noticeable thing THOSE kids that did it aren’t even here for the rampage! But it’s only a small complaint as the movie it’s self is pretty darn good with a camp full of kids you don’t actually hate which makes the kills means a lot more than all the kills you see in your average slasher.

As said before, Savini is here for the effects so what you get is VERY good, it goes without saying, but the raft scene is just awesome! I had heard about it and I had seen part of it in the documentary Going To Pieces but it’s very awesome to see when complete with the whole movie.

I keep noticing the pattern of just about every horror movie from the 80’s having something happen, then get a kill or two, then draaaaag on with nothing, then unload everything mostly in the last 30 minutes. That’s still kept in this one as well, but when you get the gore it’s Savini so he pays you back for the long-ish wait.

I just got to ask why this camp has such half ass counselors? I mean I’ve never been to a summer camp but isn’t there more people watching over everyone than the one or two we always get in camp movies?? And why must each counselor be a moron?? I guess this is the same as asking why geeks have to die, virgins live, and the killer never really dies and stay dead when it comes to horror so I suppose I’m wasting my time asking.

One thing I’ve noticed..The killer here Cropsy (who is pretty bad ass for a burned guy) uses large garden shears to do most his dirty work. You know where I’ve seen someone with large shears before?

I wonder if the two are connected?

The Conclusion
Well, it’s not the original Friday the 13th or Sleepaway Camp but it’s way better than most slashers, including a whole group of entries in the Friday the 13th franchise. The kills are good, the actors are likable, the killer is cool, but it’s still a slasher of the 80’s so we can’t go much over the above average area even if it is good fun. But for a slasher from the 80’s that is saying a whole lot.

The Rating (6.5/10)