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!

2 comments:

gep said...

Ok, this isn't a comment about The Burning (because I've never seen it and I never will--I just can't handle horror)or about the post, but it is about Top Five movies. Does that count?

You didn't ask, but I'm offering a list of my fave movies anyway! The possibilities are just too endless for only five, so I've broken it down into categories.

Gretchen's Top 5 Comedy Picks:
Ghostbusters
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
Raising Arizona
Shaun of the Dead
Death to Smoochy

Gretchen's Top 5 Drama Picks:
Steel Magnolias
The Color Purple
Life is Beautiful
Empire of the Sun
Requiem for a Dream

Gretchen's Top 5 Sports Picks:
The Natural
A League of Their Own
Field of Dreams
Hoosiers
Rocky

Gretchen's Top 5 Crime Picks:
The Usual Suspects
The Godfather
A Bronx Tale
Miller's Crossing
Pulp Fiction

Gretchen's Top 5 Holiday Picks:
Love Actally
Home Alone
Elf
Nightmare Before Christmas
Trading Places

Yikes. This could go on and on. . .so I'll close with this one:

Gretchen's Favorite Movie of All Time:
E.T.

the hamster said...

5 stubby knuckles out of 5?

dead gum, broseph!

because of details in your review, i would like for you to do some big and detailed write up of HALLOWEEN, specifically how you see it henry david thoreau-ing the genre. that's interesting. i did not particularly think that HALLOWEEN was all that great of a film, even though it feels classic. your thoughts would do me some good.

i have several reviews coming up. in those, i will also attempt to thoreau the typical slasheries we've molded ourselves to at Hockey Mask, Inc.

keep the good stuff coming, sir.