Scream Factory has done it again with their recent BLURAY/DVD release of THE BURNING. Never disappointing, the team has taken the time to load the Bluray/DVD with enough special features, new and old, to please the most diehard fan of the ’80s slasher classic. Read on!
For a more in depth review of the film itself, check out our previous article on it in Exploitation Alley (read that baby right here). For those who have not seen the film, here goes:
THE BURNING begins with a prank gone wrong, in which a group of mischievous kids payback their summer camp’s caretaker, Cropsey, for his cruelty towards them. One thing leads to another, and the guy accidentally gets caught on fire, horribly disfiguring him. Fast forward to a few years later, Cropsey returns to camp, armed with some serious hedge-clippers, and decides to try to slaughter pretty much everyone possible.
Though the plot itself isn’t anything remotely original, it’s a fun as hell slasher film, full of some really impressive (as always) makeup/gore effects by Tom Savini, and boasting early performances by actors who would go on to wider acclaim (SEINFELD‘s Jason Alexander and RAISING ARIZONA‘s Holly Hunter both play young campers in it), THE BURNING is a gory, very entertaining movie, which to be perfectly honest, can go to toe to toe with the original FRIDAY THE 13TH anyday.
It’s not without its problems though, said issues include Cropsey picking a hooker after being let out of a hospital that he’s been in for years following the accident, and murdering the prostitute. It’s the only scene in the movie that really doesn’t do a single thing for the story whatsoever, and if the film is about Cropsey getting revenge on campers, what’s the point of a random kill that serves no purpose at all?
With that problem being said, along with a lack of really fleshing out the Cropsey character (our introduction to him pre-accident is reduced to just him sleeping before the boys play their prank on him), the film works on many levels. Unlike many slasher films, with the exception of HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13TH PART IV: THE FINAL CHAPTER (which are, in case you didn’t know, both perfect), THE BURNING has a whole group of kids that you root for the whole movie, as opposed to just waiting to see them get killed. It’s that kind of character development, and performances by the cast, that makes the horrific kills orchestrated by Savini hit even harder, especially when a raft rescue goes wrong and ends up with quite a few lost limbs and digits. The combination of the effects, the acting and Rick Wakeman’s awesome score catapult THE BURNING beyond typical slasher fare.
All in all, Scream Factory’s release of THE BURNING is well worth picking up. Aside from one of the commentaries and Savini’s interview, the majority of the features are brand new, and the film itself has never looked better. Check it out!