Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rant: The Burning (1981)

"Starring": Bryan Matthews, Leah Ayres, Bryan Backer

Homicidal Maniac: Lou David (as Cropsy)

Run Time: 1:31:28
Quick Synopsis:  After a prank at Camp Blackfoot goes wrong, Camp Owner Cropsy is caught on fire by his campers.  Before disappearing into the water, Cropsy swears his revenge on the parties involved.  Several years later, it appears that Cropsy has finally returned.

Rant:  This is by far the most disappointing slashers that I have ever seen.  While watching this film, I saw a ton of potential, but absolutely nothing came out of it.  As I'm watching I just kept thinking wow after they get through the character building stages of the movie this is going to be a lot of fun.  Then I look down at the run time of the movie and see that I am fifty minutes in and all I have gotten is a couple classic 80's slasher style nude scenes and a dead hooker.  Where the hell is the beef?  You have Tom fucking Savini working for you and fifty minutes in there is only one kill to be found. Why? You have about 20 characters that fit the role of the typical 80's slasher victim and all I get is one dead hooker.

So the last forty minutes will make up for it, right?  Well, not really.  I mean the kills start to pick up and most of the kills look as good you would expect from Savini, but they just remind you how much potential that this movie had.  I think it is only fair to mention that the filmmakers were forced to cut some of the gore out of the film in order to receive an R rating, but that's not a good enough excuse.  Two scenes that really disappoint involve the death of Sally and the famous "Raft Massacre" scene.  Sally's death disappoints because you see Cropsy pop up behind her and then there is a cut to her boyfriend coming back with firewood.  Instead of the usual "boyfriend lifts covers, audience sees cut up girlfriend" they skip that reveal and go right to his kill scene (which is done well).  To call the raft attack a "massacre" is complete bullshit.  All the viewers get is one true kill, a slice on the forehead, a couple fingers getting cut off and a girl getting stabbed as she falls in the water.  That sounds great, but its presentation is atrocious and was cut very poorly. 

My final complaint involves the last 25 minutes of the movie.  And it is a pretty simple complaint: nobody dies.  There were about ten potential victims and NO ONE DIES!!! All but two of them just travel back to the campground in a makeshift raft they built after being "stranded."  Don't worry though, the final scene is gonna make up for all the shitty disappointments that preceded it, right?  Nope all you get is the most anti-climatic death of a homicidal maniac ever. 

One final little cherry on top for horror fans: the reason Tom Savini was not part of the sequel to Friday the 13th was he chose to do this terrible rip off  instead.  This final tidbit ensures that I will always consider it an awful horror movie.

Fun Fact:  Initially the final scene of the movie was supposed to be shot in a cave, but due to several factors that idea was scrapped and moved to an old copper mine.

Hidden Gem: Both Holly Hunter and Jason Alexander make their feature film debuts in the movie.

Total Kill Count: 8
Prostitute- K,C, Townsend (12:59) Stabbed with Scissors Gore Rating: 5
Karen- Carolyn Houlihan (47:08) Throat Slit by Hedge Clippers Gore Rating: 5
Eddy- Ned Eisenberg (59:30) Stabbed in the Throat Gore Rating: 4
Marnie- Bonnie Deroski(59:37) Hedge Clippers to Forehead Gore Rating: 5
Sally- Carrick Glenn (1:06:30) Off Screen Gore Rating: 0
Glazer- Larry Joshua (1:06:30) Stabbed by Hedge Clippers Gore Rating: 7
Woodstock- Fisher Stevens (1:11:38) Confirmed Dead after Raft Attack Gore Rating: 5
Cropsy- Lou David (1:27:06) Axe to Head/Caught on Fire Gore Rating: 5

              Horror Film: 4
              Entertainment: 5
              Gore: 5.1
              Overall: 4.5

Movie Link:
                     Free: Youtube
                     Netflix: The Burning