Burning, The (1981)
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Release Date: 11-SEP-2007
Media Type: DVD
Oh, those crazy days of slasher films, when every summer camp became a potential slaughterhouse. The Burning was one of the flood of movies that followed the success of Friday the 13th, and it's more notable today for an unexpected roster of talent than for its success as a horror movie. You will note that the opening titles feature the unusual credit of "Created and Produced by Harvey Weinstein," and sure enough, this is the first feature film bearing the name of the future Hollywood mogul. Let's acknowledge that Weinstein's instincts were shrewd, since this junky thing fit right into the kill-the-teenagers trend after Friday the 13th, and thus a safe way to get a return on investment. We're at Camp Blackstone, where a disfigured loony, still sizzling after getting burned by unhappy campers years earlier, exacts his revenge on the empty-headed current crop. Among the campers are future Seinfeld star Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens, and (in a smaller part) Holly Hunter. There's a vintage early-'80s synthesizer score by Rick Wakeman, but the real star of the movie is effects whiz Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead), who does his bloody best with the murders. We don't care much about the teenagers, but students of gore will savor the throat-cuttings and the finger-loppings. --Robert Horton
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Top Customer Reviews
I love that a great deal of the `horror' takes place in the daytime or in well lit areas, this is rare for these types of films. It helps that the `gore' in this piece is well designed by Tom Savini, who obviously wanted it featured. Everything else runs second to his art.
I was never happier than when I first discovered this film. It holds a place of prominence in my collection.
The SHOUT! release is nothing short of splendiferous, and the TLC handling of this spectacular exploitation movie is superbly realized by the production team. It's about time that someone realized the value in these old titles and began to preserve and distribute them for us nerds. The picture and sound on the set is superb. It is almost as if SHOUT! is creating a new film package every time they set out to remaster an older title--simply amazing work. The interview with Savini is priceless good fun to listen to. The interview with Cropsy is also amusing. I really enjoy the audio commentary tracks--yes, there are two of them, both fun. No complaints from me on the widescreen picture and the sound presentation. I don't like all slasher movies out there, but this one is definitely a keeper, with many creepy moments, many great gore effects shots, and plenty of, believe it or not, suspense. My reviews on this site take into consideration the quality of the product being sold (the item that I am reviewing) AS WELL as the content that makes up the movie experience (what I call the "movieness") of the film itself, and I try to weigh both the scores evenly before doing the grading. So, once again, this is an easy A for Shout! Factory/Scream!