I missed this one over the years. HOW.
Things you NEED to know about this movie:
This is the first movie under MIRAMAX , the production company launched by the disgraced Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob. Weinstein was desperate to get into the horror movie genre after seeing the success of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ($$$$) on a relatively small budget. Weinstein started tossing ideas around and wrote a treatment. Peter Lawrence and Harvey’s brother, Bob wrote a script in six weeks. The project was a rushed disaster from start to finish. Thanks to Mr. Max and Mrs. Miriam Weinstein (Miramax) for funding this film even though it went WAY over budget (up to 1.5M depending on the source) because your sons had NO CLUE what they were getting themselves into. The end result is one of the very first 80s Summer Camp slasher flicks. It’s important to note that this film was conceived BEFORE the Friday the 13th movies.
The story is loosely based on the Cropsey legend in Upstate New York where Weinstein camped as a kid. Our antagonist is a drunken jerk named Cropsey, the caretaker of Camp Blackfoot. In a series of unfortunate events initially meant as a prank, poor ol’ Cropsey get lit ablaze like a Roman Candle on the 4th of July.
In true 80s horror fashion, it’s an over the top death that made me giggle.
The credits start rolling and it’s like a who’s who of horror and 80s heavyweights. The makeup and special effects are done by THE MAN Tom Savini <3, the music is composed by Rick Wakefield of the band – Yes. What in the actual fuck? How have I missed this?
Cut to a hilariously insensitive scene involving what I can only assume is an orderly showing a new and noticeably uncomfortable doctor around the hospital. He can hardly contain his excitement when it comes to introducing the doc to the burnt “freak” that is poor ol’ Cropsey. “You ain’t never seen a freak like this man.” Such good bedside manners. This is our first glance at the truly horrific damage that’s been bestowed on Cropsey.
The next thing I see is fucking Jason Alexander. Full head of hair and all. He’s the wise cracker of the group. How off brand! Then I noticed Brian Backer (Fast Times at Ridgemont High). A baby faced Fisher Stephens. Holly Hunter! There’s even a scene involving a hyped up canoe trip where Woodstock (played by Stephens) is rowing furiously as the kids cheer him on, “Go Fish! Go Fish!” I guess they figured no one would notice that.
The kill ratio in this one averages about one ever 10 mins or so and involves some very creative uses for hedging shears.
I actually really liked this movie, it was exactly what I was looking for the day I watched it. A campy, 80s slasher flick that gave me a few laughs, a few surprises and exactly 91 minutes of pure entertainment. I’d watch this again. 5 knives out 5.
The Burning Poster (Left) : https://www.moviepostershop.com/the-burning-movie-poster-1981
The Burning Poster (Right): https://www.redbubble.com/i/poster/The-Burning-Horror-Movie-by-alessiofano/49191579.LVTDI