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“Every year he kills. Right now he’s out there. Watching. Waiting. So don’t look; he’ll see you. Don’t breathe; he’ll hear you. Don’t move; you’re dead!” Well, heck. Seems like you’re pretty much screwed no matter what you do. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Bill Mulligan, Chad Hunt, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr – as they have an encounter with the legendary Cropsey and even more legendary Tom Savini in The Burning (1981).
Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 166 – The Burning (1981)
A former summer camp caretaker, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, lurks around an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teenagers responsible for his disfigurement.IMDb
- Director: Tony Maylam
- Story by: Harvey Weinstein, Tony Maylam, Brad Grey
- Screenplay: Bob Weinstein, Peter Lawrence
- Film Editing: Jack Sholder
- Special makeup and effects: Tom Savini
- Brian Matthews as Todd
- Keith Mandell as Young Todd
- Leah Ayres as Michelle
- Brian Backer as Alfred
- Lou David as Cropsy
- Larry Joshua as Glazer
- Jason Alexander as Dave
- Ned Eisenberg as Eddy
- Carrick Glenn as Sally
- Carolyn Houlihan as Karen
- Fisher Stevens as Woodstock
- Shelley Bruce as Tiger
- Sarah Chodoff as Barbara
- Bonnie Deroski as Marnie
- Holly Hunter as Sophie
The Burning is often thought of as a response to the success of Friday the 13th (1980), but there’s some argument that it was written before the first chapter in Jason’s saga. Either way, your 1980s Grue-Crew sees it as a somewhat paler imitation with some exceptions. Crystal likes the time spent on character development but wishes it was spread out a little rather than consuming the first half of The Burning. All the running through the woods was very unrealistic for Chad and led to the frequent use of the 10-second advance function. Bill was upset with the “rowing-the-raft-upstream-without-any-real-paddles” plot device, wondering what they were thinking. Jeff notices the editor is Jack Sholder, who later directed Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985).
According to the Grue-Crew, the best reasons for watching The Burning are Tom Savini’s usual stellar work and the first movie roles for Holly Hunter, Fisher Stevens, and Jason Alexander. At this writing, The Burning is available on a Scream Factory Blu-Ray Disc.
Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode will be dedicated to Ms .45 (1981), directed by Abel Ferrara and starring Zoë Lund (as Zoë Tamerlis).
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