The Burning (1981)

A legend of terror isn't a campfire story anymore!

A caretaker at a summer camp is burned when a prank goes tragically wrong. After several years of intensive treatment at hospital, he is released back into society, albeit missing some social skills. What follows is a bloody killing spree with the caretaker making his way back to his old stomping ground to confront one of the youths that accidently burned him.

Decent “Friday the 13th” knockoff
This came out a week after “Friday the 13th Part 2” in 1981 and contains all the staples of that blossoming franchise: disfigured killer, iconic weapon (in this case, garden shears), summer camp, camp counselors, a prank gone wrong, swimming antics, deep woods sexual frolics, death during (or after) sex, a secret hideout for the killer, semi-nekkid or fully nekkid teen girls, etc.
“The Burning” is held in high esteem mostly for its infamous raft sequence, but that only involves about 30 seconds and it’s not THAT phenomenal. At best, the movie might be as good as some of the “Friday” sequels, although the girls are subpar by comparison, albeit okay. Nonetheless, “Burning” has its points of interest, like Brian Backer from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and, especially, a young Jason Alexander from Seinfeld with a full-head of hair. Production-wise, it’s low-budget but superior to, say, “Sleepaway Camp.”
The film was shot in and around existing summer camps outside Buffalo in Western New York, as well as North Tonawanda.
GRADE: B-/C+

Miramax, The Cropsy Venture by Tony Maylam, Harvey Weinstein, Brad Grey, Peter Lawrence, Bob Weinstein.
Stars: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Larry Joshua.

Genres: Horror

Keywords: summer camp woods revenge burned alive murder independent film camp slasher teenager maniac violence death campfire psycho killer campfire story voyeurism video nasty prank gone wrong

05/08/1981

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