Friday, October 28, 2011

Phil's Horror Watch, Day 25: Phil watches THE BURNING (1981)-October 25, 2011

My horror film marathon continues with Day 25!! Hard to believe that October is almost over! Tonight's film is another long, lost slasher film that isn't too well known, but is an unsung classic. THE BURNING is one of the best overlooked horror films from the early 1980's.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1981)
The film tells the story of an alcoholic, sadistic summer camp caretaker named Crospy, who after a prank gone horribly wrong, is horrendously burned and disfigured. Five years later, he is released from the hospital and returns to Camp Barefoot to begin his murder spree on a fresh, new batch of campers.

The film came out on the heels of the highly successful (and influential) FRIDAY THE 13TH. While the plot is now conventional, the film boasts some truly great scares and gruesome deaths. Created by F/X icon Tom Savini, the film contains some of the goriest death scenes ever up to that point. Crowly (nicknamed cause of the huge garden sheers he carries) cuts, slices, and gouges the summer camp kids in the most brutal fashion possible. Now I don't want to go into to much detail about the killings, but be rest assured, they are that damn cool!

The film was produced by the then fledgling new film company Mirimax Films, run by Harvey and Bob Weinstein. Harvey wrote and produced while Bob co-wrote the screenplay. Also worth noting are some of the actors in the film, who went on to have successful careers. Brian Backer (who played Alfred in the film) went on to appear in other films such as FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH and THE MONEY PIT with Tom Hanks and Shelly Long. Jason Alexander (Dave) would become a household name with his portrayal of George Costanza on the hit television show SEINFELD. Also making a cameo in the film is Holly Hunter, who starred in such films as RAISING ARIZONA, BROADCAST NEWS, THE PIANO, and had her very own television show SAVING GRACE. The film was originally released to theaters on May 8, 1981.

THE BURNING is a great, blood-soaked slasher film that is perfect viewing during this wonderful time of the year! So grab a bag of popcorn, get all your friends together, and be prepared to hid underneath your blankets. This Halloween, lookout for the return of the man known as Crospy!

THE BURNING is currently available on DVD by MGM. To purchase a copy, visit your local retailer, or visit the Amazon website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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