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Showing 1-10 of 84 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 206 reviews
on October 14, 2013
This is one of my favorite horror films from that time era. I had the DVD edition and sold that copy to a friend when I picked up the Blu-ray version. we both enjoyed the film a whole lot. It is definitely different from most of the other slasher/horror movies out there. The boat scene is priceless, and so worth getting this movie for. The DVD edition of the movie is really nicely done, and has more gore than what you would expect to find when compared to other movies out there. The Blu-ray edition of this movie is totally slamming. if you know of this movie and want it, I highly recommend getting the Blu-ray version of this. great cinematography, lots of scares, thrills, and even gore to keep you happy. 5 out of 5
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on November 20, 2010
The Burning verges on being a classic slasher flick and boasts some of Tom Savini's most memorable effects ... most notably a surprise attack on a raft full of kids that is sure to amp up the heartrate. The characters are more likeable than those in the Friday the 13th series, including some recognizable faces in their earliest roles. Fans of early 1980's slasher films, arguably the golden era of the subgenre, will not be disappointed in this film even if, as he reveals in the commentary, the director feels it falls apart in the third act due to formulaic editing on the part of the producers. Nevertheless, The Burning is a fun if by-the-book slasher. Really, the only orignal aspect involves a nubile female victim ... who is killed because she chooses not to have sex. Had she stayed and put out, Cropsy would not have gotten her when he did. So in this way The Burning plays against the notion that vice precede slice and dice, even if it later reenforces it after a love scene that ends with poetic justice for the film's bully.
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on September 22, 2007
Cropsy the caretaker (Lou David) was not very well liked by the kids at camp Blackfoot. In fact, they hated Cropsy and wanted to play an evil trick on him. So, a group of boys crept out of their cabin one night and went to the caretaker's shed. Finding Cropsy inside, passed out in a drunken stupor, one boy entered and left the "gift" for Cropsy. Well, things didn't quite go as planned. Cropsy woke up, saw the hideous "joke", panicked, and somehow ended up on fire! Not good. Now, long after the failed skin-grafts, after the hospital released him without being able to help him, Cropsy is back. The kids are back too, back at camp for the summer. THE BURNING is a surprisingly effective tale of revenge and bloodletting, where the killer is actually pretty frightening. Cropsy is dark and silent, like a deadly shadow. He is vengeance incarnate, with no reason to live other than to destroy those who have destroyed him. He gave my flesh a nice crawl! The raft scene is legend! Tom Savini's make-up and gore fx are very realistic. Also, the kids aren't all that annoying. I actually cared whether they lived or died! I even wanted some of them to escape their fate! As much as I love FRIDAY THE 13th 1 and 2, HALLOWEEN 1 and 2, or any other maniac-on-the-loose movies, I only get the shudders when watching Cropsy do his thing! This was Holly Hunter's (as Sophie) first movie. Jason Alexander ("Seinfeld") is in it too! Watch THE BURNING before going on a camping trip for added fun! This belongs on every horror-hound's shriek-shelf...
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on August 26, 2013
This is fan service done right. One of the best 80s slashers is back on a fantastic Blu-ray set. The case artwork and just plain everything about this is great and well worth your hard earned money. The transfer also looks and sounds fantastic. If your fan of this great 80s flick then this is the edition to get.
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on March 22, 2017
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on July 25, 2001
There always seems to be this inescapable stigma attached to films that slip-stream their way to success (or notoriety) behind the mainstream glory of a film that paved the way for it's genre. A film's individual merits always seem to pale against the easiest most obvious comment of 'jumping on the bandwagon'. The Burning is definitely one of those films that is worth far greater attention and praise than a quick once over, and the conclusion of 'just another Friday the 13th clone'.
5 years previously at Camp Blackfoot, a practical joke orchestrated by a small group of kids on their notoriously cruel caretaker named 'Cropsy' goes badly wrong. The result leaves him horrifically burnt, and enduring years of hospital treatment to restore even the vaguest quality of life. Soon after the final attempt at a skin graft operation fails, he is released back into the world where an encounter with a prostitute forces him to confront the extent of his disfigurement, and he's pushed over the edge. Now hell-bent on revenge, he returns once more to Camp Blackfoot where he has now ascended into folklore and brings the camp-side scare stories to bloody life as he begins dispatching the counsellors and the typically conformist/non-conformist group of young teenagers one by one with a pair of garden sheers.. The Burning's inspiration is obvious, but it's execution is far less so. Through the ealiest section of the film we are given a brutal taste of Cropsy's rage and then left purely at the mercy of Maylam's voyeuristic, unsettling direction and the devilish games-playing that manipulates audience anticipation at every turn. In many ways it feeds off it's genre and it's predecessors superbly to keep the audience unsettled and on edge until it unleashes on them with an inventive and shocking brutality, courtesy of effects maestro Tom Savini. Rick Wakeman provides the jarring yet effective score that accompanies the mayhem.
Yes, The Burning is an eighties horror flick. If you've come here to watch a cool, hip, glossy, self satirising moneyspinner full of unblemished young stars and 'it' people - then you're in the wrong place. This is a classic movie from the heyday of horror when a 'horror' film tag meant 'you will be horrified'. If you accept the limitations of the slasher flick, then it really is hard to fault this film - it's not exploitative, nor is it over the top, it's a film that genuinely boasts some great direction, superb effects, and truly unsettling and memorable scenes. Originally released in 1981 and later on video prior to the video recordings act in the UK, The Burning was withdrawn over here after it made it on the 'video nasties' list issued by the BBFC in 1984. It then attained a certain notoriety after it was the subject of some distributor prosecutions and officially banned. If you're in any way interested in horror films, then this is one that will take pride of place in your collection, so buy it while you can!!
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on February 16, 2009
Yet another 80's slasher flick featuring special fxs by the now nearly obsolete Tom Savini. A thinner, hairier Jason Alexander also has a substantial role in this one.

Basic plot: Campers play a practical joke on a creepy caretaker leading to his horrific disfigurement when the joke goes awry. Said caretaker, badly burned, escapes from the hospital and returns to the camp to kill teenagers that had nothing to do with what had happened to him.

Some fun kills, namely the rafting scene many talk about. A little suspense. Some gratuitous nudity. Corny dialog sprinkled throughout. Overall, pretty typical 80's slasher fare.

This was a decent start to a movie that could have easily turned in to a successful franchise. Unfortunately, with the very similar Friday the 13th being released around the same time, this movie dropped off the radar with little notice.

DVD Specifics:

The transfer is excellent.

Special features are pretty weak, though this dvd contains the somewhat notorious clip in which Savini calls anyone that watches the Friday the 13th movies after part one an idiot.
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VINE VOICEon September 11, 2007
And who really buys a slasher film for anything new anyways? This is your usual prank-gone-horribly-wrong-that-turns-a-mortal-into-a-bloodthirsty-and-unstoppable-killing-machine story, but like I said before... how wonderfully done it is! The Burning gives us what would have been a great franchise killer who does the unthinkable(even for 80's slasher standards) and butchers youger kids as well as the usual(and always deserving LOL!) deserving teenagers with his weapon of choice... big @ss hedge sheers! Some fantastic set pieces(including the often talked about raft scene) and genuine tension and scares help make this one of the best slashers I've seen(and I've seen lots). Tom Savini is in charge of the gruesome effects so you know that you are in for something special, especially in all their uncut glory here. This is a MUST BUY for fans of 80's sleaze or slasher films but I'd even recommend it to casual fans of horror interested in some good exploitative scares. MGM has given horror fans alot to cheer about with this release as well as dropping From Beyond and Scarecrows on the same day... run like your being chased by a burned up freak with a pair of bloody hedge trimmers and pick up all 3 movies today(or just buy them here)!
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on July 27, 2017
This is definitely a great purchase if you loved the 80's horror like Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, etc... Those are my favorites so I had to buy this little gem!!
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on January 30, 2016
The Burning is another infamous slasher of the early 80s mostly because of Tom Savini’s graphic gore effects and the problems his work caused the film when it was released. It’s release was also limited, even in the US and thus the film, especially uncut, became sought after by the horror/gore crowd. The film is also renown for being the first appearances of Holly Hunter, Jason Alexander and Fisher Stevens before they all went on to find fame in there perspective careers and, it was one of the Weinstein’s first productions as Mirimax Pictures as well, before going on to become two of the biggest producers and one of the biggest companies in the business. But does it stand up to it’s reputation? Yes and no.

The Burning starts out in 1976 at Camp Blackfoot where, in slasher era tradition, a group of campers are plotting to pull a prank on the mean and creepy caretaker named Cropsey. The prank goes terribly wrong and Cropsey is burned horribly and hospitalized. We then jump forward to 1981 where the deformed Cropsey is released from the hospital and now dressed completely in black, goes and finds a prostitute whom he promptly butchers when she becomes frightened upon seeing his face. We then arrive at Camp Stonewater which is across the lake from Camp Blackfoot which was closed after the accident. We see that a figure dressed in black is stalking the campground carrying a pair of garden shears… wonder who that could be? Before you can say ‘Jason Voorhees’ the black clad figure is slaughtering the nubile young campers in quite gruesome fashion with his sharp garden tool. Has Cropsey returned to exact revenge for the prank gone awry and will any of the unsuspecting campers survive?

As directed by Tony Maylam, this notorious slasher flick is actually very by the numbers and very slow paced. After Cropsey kills the hooker, it’s almost 40 minutes before he strikes again and the film is only 90 minutes long. There is a lot of time spent with our various campers and councilors, which would be fine on a character development level if any of them were all that interesting. The characters are all fairly generic, the bully Glazer (Larry Joshua… most recognized as the sleazy wrestling event promoter in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man), the harried nerd Alfred (Brian Backer), the wise-ass David (Jason Alexander) and the good looking counselors (Brian Matthews and Leah Aryes) who are in a relationship and too busy to notice campers are disappearing in droves till it is too late. The time spent with them before the killing starts is for the routine camp movie hi-jinx and doesn’t really help to endear us to any of them. Once Cropsey goes into kill mode with his trusty shears, it’s still fairly by the numbers and it’s up to make-up FX master Savini to do in young campers in gruesomely effective fashion. Most notable is a sequence on a raft where Crospey takes out half the campers in a few deft swings and chops of his favorite weapon. It’s a good scene and one that this film is famous for. And Savini earned his paycheck and reputation as the gore FX are top notch. There is some atmosphere though, some of that is due to Rick Wakeman’s spooky score. The film deviates from the slasher formula a little and seems to focus on Alfred giving us a ‘final boy’ this time instead of the usual female who fights back, though he is not the only survivor so, even this classification is thin.

The cast are pretty wooden for the most part, though Alexander does give us a glimpse of what made him famous almost a decade later on Seinfeld. Backer is fine as Alfred but, he is a textbook 80s movie nerd, a role he would play to perfection in the classic Fast Times At Ridgemont High a year later. As for Ayres and Matthews, they make an attractive couple and are fine as the leads but, they never really rise above their stereotype parts. The rest are just killer fodder and/or there to show their boobs.

So, in conclusion, Tom Savini’s excellent work and the novelty of first time appearances by actors who would become famous aside, The Burning is a slow moving and paced slasher that follows the formula only to deviate slightly with the sex of it’s focal character… though, to be honest, the film never really focuses on a lead character till the last act. That and it robs us of an element of mystery and a big reveal by having our killer’s identity known from the very start. As films of this era go, it’s worth checking out and does have some 80s nostalgia added to it now, but doesn’t quite live up to it’s reputation, as much as, solidifies Savini’s. Worth a look for Savini’s contributions and to amuse one’s self at some of the acting debuts but, it’s not one of the strongest representations of it’s era. Include it as part of a double feature of other like horrors and you can have some nostalgic fun with it along with your other flicks of choice.
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