6.5/10
13,028
184 user 167 critic

The Burning (1981)

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

On Disc

at Amazon

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 »
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Prowler (1981)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An unknown killer, clad in World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35 year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.

Director: Joseph Zito
Stars: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A decades-old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine's Day turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer's order and people start turning up dead.

Director: George Mihalka
Stars: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Angela Baker, a traumatized and very shy young girl, is sent to summer camp with her cousin. Shortly after her arrival, anyone with sinister or less than honorable intentions gets their comeuppance.

Director: Robert Hiltzik
Stars: Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, Karen Fields
Intruder (1989)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The overnight stock crew of a local supermarket find themselves being stalked and slashed by a mysterious maniac.

Director: Scott Spiegel
Stars: Elizabeth Cox, Renée Estevez, Dan Hicks
Pieces (1982)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Young co-eds are being dismembered by a mysterious murderer on a college campus. The killer is attempting to put together a human jigsaw puzzle made from body parts.

Director: Juan Piquer Simón
Stars: Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Frank Braña
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

At the snobby Crawford Academy, Virginia's group of friends start to go missing years after horrible events that happened to her as a child around her birthday.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane
The Mutilator (1984)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A teenager who accidentally committed matricide finds himself being hunted together with his girlfriend and mates by his now crazed father.

Directors: Buddy Cooper, John Douglass
Stars: Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, Bill Hitchcock
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A high school student's slumber party turns terrifying as an escaped mental patient with a drill decides to crash the evening.

Director: Amy Holden Jones
Stars: Michelle Michaels, Robin Stille, Michael Villella
Terror Train (1980)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Three years after a prank that went terribly awry, the six college students responsible are targeted by a masked killer at a New Year's Eve party aboard a moving train.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Ben Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hart Bochner
Maniac (1980)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A psychotic man, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in New York City, kills young women and takes their scalps as his trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in a photographer, and end his killing spree?

Director: William Lustig
Stars: Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Abigail Clayton
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After a seemingly innocent prank goes horribly wrong, a group of sorority sisters are stalked and murdered one by one in their sorority house while throwing a party to celebrate their graduation.

Director: Mark Rosman
Stars: Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Janis Ward
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Gather Around the Campfire to Die! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Debut feature film produced by Harvey Weinstein. See more »

Goofs

During the end scene in the barn. The Cart comes down the rail track, nearly hitting Todd, and smashes into another cart at the bottom of the track. A few seconds later you can clearly see the cart is back at the top of the track again. 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 UK distributers, Vipco, released the full uncut version of the film in Denmark. However, they used exactly the same video sleeve as the UK version. The only way to tell the two video's apart is a sticker saying "Strong Uncut Version" on the front and side of the box. However, Vipco are at this time not currently releasing any more uncut European titles, so this version is no longer easy to obtain. The Uncut version is available on DVD from German distributers Dragon, however due to German censorship laws which restrict the availablity of uncut releases, it is a little difficult to track down on import and highly sought after. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Horror Business (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Overall Decent Slasher Fare
29 September 2001 | by WritnGuy-2See all my reviews

"The Burning" showed up on Showtime late one night, as I've noticed many rare films have (one time, I saw a really strange Italian action-adventure movie from the 80s, complete with bad dubbing and all) so I decided to tape it, hoping to finally see the infamous "raft scene," which was probably the only reason I wanted to see this.

Well, let's just say the movie didn't live up to ALL my expectations, but it wasn't terrible. The story is fairly generic, complete with rehashed backstory about Cropsy being burned to near-death by some mischevious campers. After five years in the hospital (!) he's finally released, so what's the first thing he does? Solicits a prostitute, of course, with terribly gory results. Eventually, he makes his way to a summer camp, armed with some gardening shears, to do some dirty work as only a slasher movie villain can.

The real deal doesn't start until some counselors and campers (well-established in the "Meatballs"-like interum of forty minutes) head off on a canoeing trip down the river. Cropsy comes along, and only then manages to do away with some (not enough) of our unlucky characters. So, who are these people? Well, there's Todd (Brian Matthews), the brawny head counselor who only wants everyone to get along; Michelle (Leah Ayres), his likable co-counselor and girlfriend, I suppose; Alfred (Brian Backer), the weird outcast who seems to eternally annoy Glazer (Larry Joshua,) our stock bully character. Rounding out the main characters are Karen (Caroline Houlihan) and her slimy boyfriend Eddy (Ned Eisenberg), kindly prankster Dave (Jason Alexander), Glazer's girlfriend Sally (Carrick Glenn), and Woodstock (Fisher Stevens), who...well, who's just plain weird, and he's got the stupidest laugh ever.

Anyway, most of these people are all killed before the credits roll, and only the ones you really end up liking survive. As far as who survives, well, it's usually a bit more predictable earlier on in the movie. Took me a while to figure out who was playing who. I thought Karen was the "final girl" at first, and Michelle was the slutty friend. In the end, though, there really is no "final girl," at least not in the conventional manner. Sure, there's a female character left standing (I wonder who, take a wild guess) but most of the climactic action is left to two male characters, which while unique to the genre, did not work for me. I mean, I realize that Alfred's character was supposed to be sympathetic and we were supposed to worry about him during that delirious, never-ending run through the woods, but that job is better performed by a token heroine. I guess I'm just old-fashioned. I don't mind a male hero (sort of expected, I guess) but when all the heroine is given is one scene of peril, and then some dull scenes on a boat, the tension all but dies away for me.

Anyway, speaking of all this carnage, the gore in this movie is unbelievable. I definitely winced a few times (particularly with the prostitute's murder) and would expect nothing less from Tom Savini. And that, my friends, leads me to the raft scene. It was, I'm sorry to say, a letdown. I mean, the suspense that builds as you realize what's going to happen in the scene, is really well-established, and I was on the edge of my seat. But then...it's over in a few seconds. The scene is extremely rushed and while somewhat gory, didn't really seem like a whole lot of carnage. Now, I'm not a fan of watching mass killings or anything, but I suppose I was just hoping the scene lived up to its reputation, and it really didn't.

As far as music, there's an excellent score that works well with the movie, and always adds a little edge to things. Acting-wise, everyone does pretty well. Leah Ayres was a little uneven. While at some points she was excellent, and her delivery was right-on, at others, like when she was angry, she got a little melodramatic. Jason Alexander shines, and it's no surprise he went on to be something big. Holly Hunter, the movie's other budding star, is barely in the movie. You see her a few times once they go on the rafting trip, but she has very little dialogue, and not much to do. Oh well. Everyone else is decent, to say the least. There's quite a bit of nudity in this one, more than I expected, and the shot of people mooning someone, a staple of camp slasher films, is here, and is quite hideous, thanks to Fisher Stevens. Probably one of the most hideous butt shots in film history.

Anyway, "The Burning" isn't a bad movie, but it isn't great. There aren't many genuine scares, and towards the end, things seem to inexplicably lose a lot of suspense. I suggest you see it, though. It's probably required viewing for slasher fans.


13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 184 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed