October 27, 2014

31 Days of Creepy Scenes, #5: The Raft Massacre

They've given us nightmares, given us chills, made us cringe, made us laugh, made us gag, and made us stare at the screen in awe: these are the scenes that pop into our minds when we think of great Horror Films, and we love them all.

*We recommend that if you've never seen these scenes before, that you experience them for the first time unspoiled in the movies that they come from, if you can. With that in mind, we'll try to be as spoiler-free as possible while discussing them; try, being the key word here.

The Burning is another great (but lesser-known) slasher flick from the early 80's, which is more noteworthy than most others of its kind, for a few different reasons: it's the first movie ever produced/written by Harvey & Bob Weinstein, who went on to become mega-moguls in Hollywood; it's the first movie that Jason Alexander and Holly Hunter ever starred in; and it boasts one of the coolest massacre scenes of any Horror movie, ever.

The Burning is the story of a bunch of camp counselors being bumped off one by one, by a disfigured maniac whom they pissed off... yes, it sounds awfully similar to the plot of every Jason Voorhees movie of the 80's, but this one was technically released a few months before F13th Part 2 was, so lets not call it a "direct" ripoff... and for the record, people flocked to see F13th Part 2 instead of The Burning, because the first F13th was such a hit.

Anywho, of all the kill scenes in The Burning, there are none as satisfying, shocking, and infamous, as is the raft massacre scene.

Of course when The Burning was released way back in 1981, the MPAA censored the hell out of the movie, which made the impact of the raft scene almost zero. It felt neutered. The Burning is a really solid movie, and it's a shame that it fell victim to censorship in a time when the moral majority was so out of control; they show worse things every Sunday night on our TV's now, like The Walking Dead

At least now, Horror fans can see the entire movie (and the awesome raft scene) fully uncut and unedited, in full 1080p glory. It only took 30+ years to get there, but, hey, it's progress? *The Uncut DVD was released back in 2007, so for that non-1080p version of the movie, it only took 26 years. Even more progress!

*Fun Fact: The 2011 documentary Cropsey is about the actual New York State urban legend that The Burning based its killer off of.


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