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The Burning (1981)

R | | Horror | 8 May 1981 (USA)
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1:26 | Trailer

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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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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:

Today is not Friday the 13th. But if you see this movie alone... you'll never be the same again! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada | UK

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

Production Co:

Miramax,The Cropsy Venture See more »
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

This film was one of the first movies to land on the UK's Video Nasties list, specifically because of the infamous raft massacre. See more »

Goofs

When Alfred is pinned to the wall, Cropsy has his hand around Alfred's throat. Later, when Cropsy is waving the flame at Todd, there is a shot with Cropsy's hand still around Alfred's throat. 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 US theatrical release was sloppily cut by approximately 45 seconds to achieve an "R" rating. Gore shots that were shortened or deleted altogether include: scissors being pushed all the way into the prostitute's stomach after which blood begins to spurt, the prostitute bleeding from her mouth, Cropsy removing the pair of scissors from the prostitute's stomach and pushing her out her bedroom window, blood splatting across the prostitute's dresser mirror, Karen having her throat slit clean across with shears followed by closeups and medium shots of her throat gushing blood, the overweight kid on the raft looking down at his chest wound and crying, Woodstock getting hit in the face with blood from his dearly departed fingers, Woodstock holding his stump of a hand and crying as it spurts, blood squirting out of Eddy's mouth after shears are pushed all the way down his throat, Eddy expressing pain as the shears are pulled out, the overweight girl on the raft gushing blood from the slit in her head, front shots of Glazer bleeding from his mouth as he is hoisted in the air via shears and dragged towards a tree, side shot of Glazer writhing in pain as he is pinned to the tree, and very brief clips of blood gushing during the two shots where Cropsy is hit in the face with an axe and pierced through the back with shears. This explicitly gory version was not legally available in the US until Amazon's 2001 exclusive VHS release, as home video releases on Thorn EMI and HBO Video were the same as the theatrical version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Empire of the Censors (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

DEVIL'S CREEK BREAKDOWN
Written and Performed by Alan Brewer
Produced by Alan Brewer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Fine showcase for Tom Savini's makeup effects
4 April 2005 | by LibretioSee all my reviews

THE BURNING

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Sound format: Mono

An abusive caretaker at a lonely summer camp is disfigured by fire during a prank which goes horribly wrong. Five years later, he returns to the area to take revenge against one of his former persecutors (now a camp counsellor) and the kids in his charge.

Makeup artist Tom Savini rejected an opportunity to work on "Friday the 13th Part 2" (1981) in order to create effects for Tony Maylam's THE BURNING, yet another in the assembly line of low-budget horror movies which emerged in the wake of HALLOWEEN (1978). Savini warned the film's producers - including a fledgling Harvey Weinstein! - that the script for THE BURNING shared uncomfortable similarities with the "Friday" sequel, though fans may have been too dazzled by the gruesome set-pieces to either notice or care. In truth, THE BURNING shares only a handful of superficial details with "Friday 2", including a late night campfire episode in which the villain is dismissed as an urban legend, culminating in a false 'scare' which today's audiences will probably see coming a mile off. Despite a couple of groan-inducing incidentals ("Oh, I forgot my vitamins - I'll have to go back to my cabin through the dark, creepy woods!"), the narrative develops organically from one scene to the next, and characters react believably to the escalating situation. Unfortunately, the climax - set mostly within an abandoned mineshaft - is staged and executed with little flair or suspense, and amounts to something of a major disappointment.

Of course, the main point of interest - besides seeing some familiar faces in early roles, including Jason Alexander (TV's "Seinfeld"), Fisher Stevens (SHORT CIRCUIT) and an unrecognisable Holly Hunter - is Savini's horrific makeup effects: Victims are slashed, stabbed, punctured and poked in graphic detail, and blood flows copiously from some horribly convincing wounds. Indeed, the film reaches a crescendo of horror during a notorious sequence involving an 'abandoned' canoe (I'll say no more), one of the most vicious set-pieces of the 1980's 'slasher' cycle. Briskly paced, and scored with a series of electronic doodles by no less than Rick Wakeman (!), THE BURNING may seem awfully simplistic to modern viewers, but it delivers the gory goods in no uncertain terms. The movie was censored for an R-rating, but the uncut version has since been released on home video.


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