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John’s Old School Horror Corner: The Burning (1981)

April 14, 2013

MY CALL:  This was a great, campy, classic slasher movie which served as a teen, sex-driven comedy when blood wasn’t being spilled.  I highly recommend it.  IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCH:  If you like laughs with your horror then watch The Cabin in the Woods (2012), Final Destination 5 (2011), Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010), Drag Me to Hell (2009), and of course Evil Dead 2 (1987) and The Evil Dead (1981).

An 80s slasher-horror that takes place at a summer camp.  Yeah, I think I’ve seen it before–Sleepaway Camp (1983, and three sequels), Friday the 13th (1980, plus nine sequels, a Freddy crossover and a remake).  But don’t skip this with that notion in mind.

In many of these movies the killer is “made” by the mistreatment of campers; Angela was teased before killing the campers and staff at Sleepaway Camp, Jason Voorhees drowned while over-sexed lifeguards were smoking pot and making out at Crystal Lake.  Our killer is made when a prank goes terribly wrong.  Some teens thought it would be funny to scare the camp caretaker by placing a burning skull next to his bed for him to wake up to.  When he awakens, shocked, he knocks over the skull which catches his bed (and him) on fire and he’s horribly burned–hence the title.

This is our killer, Cropsy.  Don’t cry for him.  His “before” picture was nothing special either.

After five years of treatment and skin grafts he is released from the hospital.  This is a rather elaborate treatment considering that when we see his face in the end, it looks like someone just dumped water on him and left him for dead with a face looking like a melted candle.  The first thing he does is kill just about the ugliest hooker in New York.  This could probably be considered a public service.

Meanwhile, back at camp, we meet some horny teenagers including a young, scene-stealing Jason Alexander.  These campers were in no way connected to the misdeeds of our killer’s mutilation, but that doesn’t stop him from killing a bunch of them simply because their counselor was one of the prankster’s who wronged him.  This counselor seems like a great guy now, though. That is, until, he demonizes him in a true campfire tale of his mutilation.

To answer your question: “no.”  Jason Alexander wasn’t even thin as a teenager.

It takes about an hour for the horror to start.  Until then it feels like an entertaining, raunchy teen camp R-comedy movie.  But when it does start it’s fun.  I mean, the guy is slaughtering teenagers with hedge sheers–I have no clue where he got them.  So be ready for some slashing, throat-stabbing and finger-clipping goodness.  The corpse and prosthetics effects were done well for the time.

And now for a gore montage…

We get all of the typical campiness in this camp-horror classic.  Consistent with the time, we get bouncy bra-less breasts, extremely short shorts, sex scenes, skinny-dipping and shower scenes–there’s a lot of nudity. The teen campers talk about sex (constantly) and smoke cigarettes in between lines of raunchy dialogue.  When they’re not smoking in between talking about climbing on top of each other naked, they’re climbing on top of each other naked.

To this end, I would warn folks away from watching this with preteen fledgling horror fans who can handle most R-rated horror.  The sexuality is inescapable and there are many scenes in which the guys get way to pushy with unwilling girls.  No rape or anything, but it’d be enough to make you uncomfortable around younger viewers.  That, and again, a LOT of nudity.

It looks like that shirt was painted on.  She actually looks less naked in the shower than she does in that shirt.

This was a great, campy, classic slasher movie which served as a teen, sex-driven comedy when blood wasn’t being spilled.  I highly recommend it.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2014 12:14 pm

    ヘッドフォン モンスターケーブル John’s Old School Horror Corner: The Burning (1981) | Movies, Films & Flix


  1. John’s Horror Corner [INDEX] | Movies, Films & Flix
  2. John’s Old School Horror Corner: Just Before Dawn (1981), killing hillbillies one fatal mouth-fisting at a time | Movies, Films & Flix
  3. John’s Horror Corner: The Prowler (1981), a lesser-known slasher film that was the ultra-violent movie of its time. | Movies, Films & Flix
  4. John’s Horror Corner: The Final Girls (2015), an excellent horror satire and a clever slasher metamovie. | Movies, Films & Flix
  5. Bad Movie Tuesday:  Bloodsport (1988), Van Damme at his spin-kicking best versus the Kumite and Bolo Yeung’s pecs. | Movies, Films & Flix
  6. Bad Movie Tuesday: The Quest (1996), Van Damme’s unofficial reimagining of Bloodsport as a period piece with strong Kickboxer influences and a sprig of Lionheart. | Movies, Films & Flix
  7. John’s Horror Corner: Friday the 13th (1980), before the days of Jason Voorhees. | Movies, Films & Flix
  8. John’s Horror Corner: Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Jason Voorhees avenges his mother’s death and brokers a slasher franchise. | Movies, Films & Flix
  9. John’s Horror Corner: Friday the 13th Part III (1982), making Jason more boring, 3D and campy than ever. | Movies, Films & Flix
  10. John’s Horror Corner: Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984), the best in the franchise so far, and introducing zombie Jason. | Movies, Films & Flix
  11. John’s Horror Corner: Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985), more boobs, body count and masked killer shenanigans advance the Tommy Jarvis story arc. | Movies, Films & Flix
  12. John’s Horror Corner: Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986), introducing zombie Jason to more camp counselors and some of the most fun death scenes of the franchise so far. | Movies, Films & Flix
  13. John’s Horror Corner: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), where psychotherapy meets telekinesis and Kane Hodder’s zombie Jason. | Movies, Films & Flix
  14. John’s Horror Corner: The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976), basically the Texas Chainsaw LITE beer of classic slasher cinema. | Movies, Films & Flix
  15. John’s Horror Corner: Maniac (1980), a sick, brutal, ultra-violent (for its time) slasher movie with an in-depth look into its killer. | Movies, Films & Flix

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