March 9, 2009

DVD Review: The Burning (1981)

A  classic 80's slasher, which turns out to be a mixed bag...

In Attendance- Me, Eryn, TVG, and Cherrie.
Cast Members of Note- The first ever film roles of Jason Alexander, Fischer Stevens, and Holly Hunter. Also, interestingly enough, this is a Weinstein-produced Miramax picture.

When four counselors at a summer camp get together one night to play a trick on the alcoholic janitor named Crappy, it doesn't go quite as planned. While Crappy is sleeping, they sneak a candle-lit skull into his cabin, and scream and bang on the window to wake him up; he wakes up all right, and freaks out so bad that he pulls the burning skull onto his bed and tries to commit suicide. He somehow manages to survive, and ends up looking like a pissed-off raisin.

What a funny gag to pull on someone!
Years pass, and Crappy is on the loose! After killing a nasty old hag of a hooker (thank you Crappy), he returns to the camp to get revenge on those who made him into the mongoloid mess that he's become. Will he kill Tiger; the mushroom-hairdo wearing nice girl? Or will he kill George Kostanza, Jerry's neurotic best friend? How about Glazer, the dead-end Dago wannabe who despite his lack of charm, still gets laid by one of the hottest chicks at camp... Screw it, they all need to go anyways.  

...and go, they do!
Can Kostanza and the guy who married Michelle Pheiffer stop Crappy in time?  Will the creepy, stalker-ish geek use his powers of invisibility to avoid being seen by Glazer? (Wait till you see that part, LOL.) I won't spoil what happens next for you here, but suffice it to say that everyone on the raft is fucked.   

The man known as Crappy.
This movie has its faults, and certainly isn't the best starting point for people wanting to discover 80's Slasher flicks for the first time, but it's a worthy addition to any Slasher collection, all the same. If for no other reason, you must see this movie for the infamous raft scene: originally cut by the MPAA, the scene is a blood-filled, graphic, nasty little Tom Savini masterpiece.

This movie stars famous people.
What kind of dumbass pulls a burning skull into bed with him? "Come here burning head, I'm lonely!... Oh shit, now I'm on fire!" Dumbass. 

That's what you get!
This movie contains one of the worst "Sneak around and follow" jobs ever. So the kid is walking two feet behind the guy he's following, totally out in the open, and the guy turns and looks behind him... right at the kid.... and doesn't see him! LOL.

Then again, he was REALLY stupid.
This one has plenty of Tom Savini-created gore and FX to go around, most importantly, the infamous raft scene. The MPAA heavily edited this movie back in the day, and until recently, the uncut gore was a thing of bootlegs only. Good stuff. 

Scenes like this one are exactly why we love Horror.
We get some full-frontal nudity in this one, complete with 80's throwback bush, and small banana-like boobs. Also, way too much man ass.

She's gonna die naked.
Anything Glazer said. His "You's guys ain't mess wit me cause I have muscles n' stuff" shtick was priceless.

Academy Award/Emmy winning actors sometimes get their start in Slasher movies! Also, canoes make really good hiding places.

Not rafts, though. Can't really hide on those.
This is one of those classics that you end up liking despite itself; I can think of way better 80's Slashers to recommend, but this one need to be seen if only for the raft scene alone. The uncut version is finally out on DVD/Blu-ray, so check it out.


The Burning is available now on Blu-ray, and DVD.

The Burning 2 never happened, but this Nathan Thomas Milliner poster really makes me wish that it had. Nice work, dude. Click his name to check out some more cool horror posters.


  1. I was a little disappointed by The Burning after all the talk I've heard about it. Agree that it's worth a view, for the raft scene alone, but it's not good enough or campy enough to be anything that special.

  2. ...please where can I buy a unicorn?

  3. Unicorn huh?

    This comment smells of sabotage!

  4. I agree with you, thanks for an explanation. As always all ingenious is simple.

  5. Do you call him Crappy 'cause of his makeup? the name is Cropsey
    Also Cropsey didn't try to commit suicide, when he got scared he threw the candle skull on some gasoline near him, that's why he got burnt

  6. We know his name is Cropsey, we jsut like to be snarky sometimes.

    Sarcasm. It's a review of a 30+ year old Horro rmovie, we like to add levity to things.

  7. LOL You called Cropsey "Crappy" I love your site you rock Horror Club.

  8. It's makes it all worth it when somebody gets the joke :)