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Since I started the website I've done a Slasher marathon every summer. This time I thought I'd start things off in the first week of...

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Burning (1981)



So, the last slasher I reviewed, Girls Nite Out, was likely one that you haven’t heard of. This time I’m going to review one that most fans are aware of. The Burning is an early entry into the genre and boasts some great special effects by Tom Savini, as well as an early appear from Jason Alexander (he had hair!). So, if you are ready for some annoying campers to get their comeuppance let’s check out The Burning.

Cropsy is an unpleasant fellow who enjoys messing with the kids at a summer camp. Eventually he picks on the wrong kid who pulls a prank on him that ends badly. Burned horribly he lives but is disfigured beyond recognition. Years later when he is released he heads back to camp armed with some hedge clippers to get some payback. Not the same kids, but Cropsy doesn’t seem to care. A whole new batch of campers are about to feel his wrath and one counselor that has a connection to his accident will also suffer.

Some fans find The Burning to be a bit slow but I disagree. In my opinion, this is the ultimate summer camp slasher that doesn’t involve someone named Voorhees. The Burning has just about anything that you would want in a slasher movie. Starting off with a kill in Times Square after Cropsy is released from the hospital we mostly get stalking until the last twenty or thirty minutes when things get insane. Unlike a movie like
You really don't want to check out the raft!
Terror Train where not much happens here we get a lot of POV shots from the killer where he almost gets someone. When the perspective changes to the victims it is equally satisfying as you never really know when and if something is about to happen. For added fun there are a couple of nice jump scares that act as a release for the tension that builds up. They are also spaced out so that you don’t get fatigued with one after the other. Even when Cropsy isn’t adding to his body count the movie is still engaging and fun. I don’t find it slow at all.

Cropsy rules!
I’ve already mentioned the great special effects work of Tom Savini. The design of Cropsy is amazing. You only get glimpses of him until the big battle at the end of the movie. When he is finally revealed the makeup is very disturbing. His choice of weapon, the garden shears, are also a great idea. Not only for the iconic poster but they make short work of the camper as well. The kills are mostly all on screen and include fingers getting lopped off, a slashed forehead, and someone getting stabbed thru the throat and pinned to a tree! Honestly if you like gore in your slasher movies this is one of the best you will ever see.

Clearly, I’m going to recommend The Burning. Great kills, cool looking killer, jump scares, and a general creepy vibe make for a fun way to kill an hour and a half. If you like ‘80s horror you should have already seen this one. If not do so right away! I highly recommend it.

Next up in my Slasher marathon is The Final Terror

© Copyright 2017 John Shatzer


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