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Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Burning (1981)

The Burning is the poor man's version of Friday the 13th.  The story begins with a camp prank gone awry.  The camp's caretaker is horribly burned and comes back five years later to take revenge revenge on unsuspecting campers.  Ho-Hum.

The cast has a few surprises with a young Jason Alexander [Frazier], Holly Hunter [The Incredibles] Brian Backer [Fast Times at Ridgemont High] and Fisher Stevens [Short Circuit].  This raises the quality of acting a step above most 1980's dead teenager movies.  However, the audience is a bit bored since the killer lurks a lot in the shadows but doesn't claim many victims until about an hour into the film.  Much of the time the audience is waiting for something to happen that never really happens.

Tom Savini did the special effects in this film which made me really excited at first.  However, the director gives him very little to do and wastes his talents as one of the kings of gore effects.  He could have really rocked this one if he was given the chance.

Rick Wakeman of the rock band Yes did the soundtrack and its synth driven loops are very effective in setting the mood of the film.  It is one of the highlights of The Burning.

I'm not sure how many horror camp stories we need.  Friday the 13th still did it the best.  This one is a very distant third or fourth place.

RATING: Good.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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