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The Burning 1981

4.3 out of 5 stars (74) IMDb 6.5/10

This slasher film has some outstanding gore effects. A group of unruly kids play a prank on the janitor at their summer camp but it goes horribly wrong. Suffering severe burns he spends five years in hospital.

Starring:
Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres
Runtime:
1 hour, 27 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Horror
Director Tony Maylam
Starring Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres
Supporting actors Brian Backer, Larry Joshua, Jason Alexander, Ned Eisenberg, Carrick Glenn, Carolyn Houlihan, Fisher Stevens, Lou David, Shelley Bruce, Sarah Chodoff, Bonnie Deroski, Holly Hunter, Kevi Kendall, J.R. McKechnie, George Parry, Ame Segull, Jeff De Hart, Bruce Kluger
Studio Echelon
BBFC rating Suitable for 18 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Fallen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Dec. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An excellent 80's slasher; better than Friday the 13th in my opinion. Poor Cropsy a teen camp caretaker gets horribly burnt in a cruel prank by a group of campers, survives but spends 5 years suffering in hospital subjected to unsuccessful skin grafts etc before leaving terribly disfigured and more than a bit peeved to lash out at all and sundry though gravitates back towards 'Blackfoot Camp' to wreak his vengeance against the soon to be unhappy campers who reside there.
A bit of a slow burner, there is only one slaying within the first half of the film but then all hell is set loose and Cropsy really goes to work with his garden shears. Featuring a good protagonist in Cropsy, good killings with one stand out set piece of slaughter in particular, great special effects by Savini, nudity, and a nice straight-forward story The Burning has lots to recommend though is unlikely to convert those who just don't like slasher type films. Hadn't seen it for 20 years and was really impressed with how the effects still looked great, a so much better time for horrors before the advent of CGI. Excellent all round.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A group of boys play a prank on the camp caretaker Cropsy, but the prank goes badly wrong and he is burned and horribly disfigured. A few years later and upon leaving hospital Cropsy is out for revenge and goes to the camp to slaughter those he blames.

One of the very best early 80's slasher movies with many positive points, the special effects by Tom Savini are excellent , the performances are unusually for this kind of thing very decent including some soon to be famous faces- Jason Alexander, Holly Hunter, Fisher Stevens, the direction is competent, the look and feel of the production overall way surpassed my expectations and the fact they used a real urban legend in Cropsy as the maniac was a real bonus. The movie also conjures up a modicum of tension also the raft and cave scenes are particularly good. The only real downside however is the lack of originality thanks in no small part to the previous years Friday The 13th, which did make me feel I'd been here before. Head and shoulders above many of it's contemporaries this does stand out among films of the time with the fact it's just a very good film.

Thorn EMI who released the film in the UK on home video in 1982 in error released the uncut version not the BBFC slightly trimmed version and this uncut version subsequently landed on the video nasty list in 1983, this also clearly gave the film some of it's notoriety.
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***SPOILER ALERT*** Wonderful film, with some of the greatest murders in the history of slasher films. I mean the raft massacre was so brutal. It was one minute of pure blood and guts, from fingers flying to heads being cut open, and even though I know this is going to happen when the kids were heading towards the canoe, it still shocks me, this is a horrific scene and one I will never forget, and it's up there with the best. The great thing about this film is the acting, it has to be one of the best I have ever seen from the 80s era, which made the film very intense and a joy to watch.

I have read that most film critics at the time did not think highly of this film, which led to the film being a flop at the cinemas, but with the cult following which followed the VHS release,(good old fans again) they are now changing their views. For me and most horror fans who love this film ew new it was pure class when we first seen it.

This is a brilliant film with a great cast/plot and direction. Hopefully their will be a UK Blu-ray release soon, as the yanks release is region locked, once again.
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Any fan of the genre of 80's horror will love this movie, but beneath the norm of gory deaths, naked teens and campfire stories there lies a truly great movie behind the surface. The storytelling is great, the build up and character development is sensational for a slasher movie, and if the wonderfully gruesome special effects aren't enough to keep you hooked the magnificent plot will. Apart from a great story this movie does what many other in it's genre fail to do - scare you! There are many edge-of-your-seat moments and genuinely frightening scenes. Overall it is a great movie which is underrated by many, I would put it up there with the likes of Friday 13th and Halloween, it's a shame it doesn't get recognized in popular culture like the two aforementioned do because it's really a top drawer horror movie. It's refreshing that an 80's slasher movie can have such an original plot and back-story, but it doesn't stray too far from it's roots leaving both hardcore horror fans and casual movie watchers satisfied.
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Format: DVD
For a slasher film belonging to the Vipco horror label this film is actually very good. Of course, only fans of the genre will truly like it, as people who don't like these type of films will probably detest it.
THE BURNING has some notoriety as being one of the goriest slasher movies ever made, and it is easy to see why it has built this reputation in this new uncut version of the film. Tom Savini, the make-up artist best known for his work on the latter two of Romero's zombie trilogy (he also directed the 1990 remake), was responsible for the impressive gore effects, and they are indeed very gory.
The story is familiar: a group of kids play a prank on someone, it goes wrong, then the person comes back and takes his revenge. In THE BURNING, the sadistic caretaker of a summer camp is burnt practically beyond recognition in a prank gone wrong, and after five years of unsuccessful recovery in hospital, ventures out to exact his revenge on the teenage population of various summer camps.
Where this film rises above such trash as FRIDAY THE 13TH is its inclusion of some actual sub-plots. A teenager is constantly bullied, there are various relationships taking place, things like that. On taking a canoe trip the teenagers later find that their canoes have been taken, and have to deal with being stranded in the woods as well as being terrorised by a disfigured serial killer (whose face we get to see in all its gory detail at the end of the film).
The acting is good for a slasher flick, and there are some actors in the film that have gone on to make names for themselves today (look out for a young Holly Hunter; believe me, I couldn't spot her until I read the filmographies on the DVD).
While not a patch on HALLOWEEN, this is really an above average horror film, with its fair share of humour, shocks and gore. Definetly one of the few good Vipco horror films.
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