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The Burning (1981)

R | | Horror | 8 May 1981 (USA)
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1:26 | Trailer
A former summer camp caretaker, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, lurks around an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teenagers responsible for his disfigurement.

Director:

Tony Maylam

Writers:

Harvey Weinstein (original story), Tony Maylam (original story) | 4 more credits »
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Popularity
3,952 ( 206)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Matthews ... Todd
Leah Ayres ... Michelle
Brian Backer ... Alfred
Larry Joshua ... Glazer
Jason Alexander ... Dave
Ned Eisenberg ... Eddy
Carrick Glenn ... Sally
Carolyn Houlihan ... Karen
Fisher Stevens ... Woodstock
Lou David ... Cropsy
Shelley Bruce ... Tiger
Sarah Chodoff Sarah Chodoff ... Barbara
Bonnie Deroski ... Marnie
Holly Hunter ... Sophie
Kevi Kendall ... Diane
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Storyline

A janitor at a summer camp is accidently burned severely from a prank. Years later, he is released from an institute, and returns to the camp with a pair of hedge clippers to take revenge on the campers. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't look he'll see you. Don't breathe he'll hear you. Don't move you're dead. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 May 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cropsy See more »

Filming Locations:

Western New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Tony Maylam said there was so much dust in the copper mine where the film's finale was shot that he was still coughing it up several weeks after completing the shoot. See more »

Goofs

When Cropsy stabs the hooker with the scissors, a close-up shot shows the scissors are cut off to fit her stomach. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Paul: Tonight's the night. Cropsy's going to get what he deserves. Remember what he did to you, Snoop?
Snoop: Yeah.
Paul: And when he beat up Jamie really bad for nothing? Billy says Cropsy's been getting away with this shit for years. If we pull this off, it'll be the biggest number Camp Blackfoot has ever seen.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Australian cinema version was slightly trimmed by the film's distributor prior to submission to the censorship board. However, the video version (incredibly) passed the Australian censors complete and uncut, and remains a highly sought after item. The gory video cover featured a warning that its contents could offend. The video was released under the Thorn EMI label in 1984. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Full House: It Was a Dark and Stormy Night (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

DEVIL'S CREEK BREAKDOWN
Written and Performed by Alan Brewer
Produced by Alan Brewer
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A slasher classic
2 November 2007 | by ODDBearSee all my reviews

The Burning has the great fortune of being a product of the early 80's slasher fest that greeted audiences in the hundreds. Some genre highlights were produced from ca. 1980-1984, a time when these films took themselves semi-seriously and were moderately successful at creating creepy atmosphere, displaying gratuitous nudity and inventing some spectacular death sequences. The late seventies laid the groundwork for what was to become a stable formula for these movies and for a minimum budget and isolated surroundings the films could provide some solid shocks and gore that pleased audiences.

The Burning is nearly identical in plot and storyline to Friday the 13th. Here the bad guy is a burn victim as a result of a prank gone awry and years later he takes vengeance on unsuspecting campers in gruesome fashion. While the movie is pretty slow and the gore fest doesn't really start until an hour in it's never boring. Here's where the film is different from Friday the 13th and many others: The teens aren't merely disposable pricks who you can't wait see get their grisly demise. They're actually a pretty likable bunch, well played by some future stars (Jason Alexander, particularly likable here, and Fisher Stevens among them) and when some get slashed you kinda feel bad for them.

Now for what really counts. Two things; gore and mood. The Tom Savini gore effects do not disappoint. Keep in mind that this is 1981 and digital effects have improved horror gore somewhat but this is pretty impressive stuff. The raft scene is a particular standout. As for mood, you can't beat these early 80's alone-in-the-woods scenarios and they're all well played out here. Although there are a lot of false scares here, they're buildups are great and the creepy surroundings go a long way. If films like Psycho made people afraid to take a shower and Jaws made people afraid of the water then films like The Burning and Friday the 13th must have made a few parents hesitant at sending their kids to summer camps.

Fans of slasher films will not want to miss The Burning. Although Friday the 13th is more suspenseful and The Burning feels a bit too stretched, it nevertheless has plenty of good moments and top notch kill scenes. What's not to like?


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