Friday, November 7, 2008
The itching and THE BURNING
THE BURNING is a legendary slasher flick for a few reasons. It came out in '81, a year after FRIDAY THE 13TH. Naturally, it was called an imitator. It was the first real film for Jason Alexander, Holly Hunter, and Fisher Stevens. Also, it was the first big film that Harvey and Bob Weinstein made - this fact alone assures its place in history. More than any of that, though, is the fact that THE BURNING carries with it a cult following that's as rabid and intense as the Ft13th crowd. The good news is, there's a reason. THE BURNING is, quite simply, the best slasher film ever made (with the exception, of course, of HALLOWEEN, which really transcends the genre, so it doesn't quite count).
The simple story: You've got campers at a circa 1980s summer camp. The caretaker, Cropsy, is mean to all the kids, so they plan to exact their revenge. The plan goes awry and Cropsy ends up in the burn ward of a local hospital for the next few years. Upon exiting the hospital, Cropsy returns to the camp to get even. With garden shears as the weapon of choice, he raises the body count well past Jasonian levels. There's a final showdown in a copper mine - with Cropsy pitted against one of the boys who originally caused the burning.
THE BURNING includes a massacre on a raft, a skull with maggots, Jason Alexander in his finest role, blood by the bucket full, a violation of a MAJOR horror movie cliche, and 25 year old campers. What more does a horror fan need?
I'll say it again - best slasher film ever. I really don't want to say too much - I want you all to rent this one. It's lovely, in a horrible, horrible way. Watch it right now.
THE BURNING gets 5 fingers sliced off at the knuckles out of 5. Brilliant!