During the very early 80s, the horror genre was inebriated with copious amounts of blood, boobs, and mass serial killers offing drunk, fornicating teenagers. We can thank Sean S. Cunningham and his profound Friday the 13th film for that. What follows in his film’s legendary footstep into the horror world are massive attempts at making a similar premise work. The Burning is one of those entries. I was not a huge fan of the slasher genre that was brought on by F13th. The slasher flicks are very shallow and are only an excuse to spray blood and gore on helpless young nubile females.
Most people watch these films for that specific interest. I am one who relies more on plot, character, development, and (of course) fantastic special effects. The Burning incorporates all the cliché formula components while encompassing a decent story about a camp handyman/bully of campers named Cropsey who is completely burned by a group of campers and their prank that has gone awry. What follows is Cropsey’s return to the camp years later, and his vengeance is bestowed upon the current campers and counselors (one of which is a kid from the aforementioned prank).
The effects are amazingly done by a young Tom Savini (who helmed special effects for the original F13th as well as another great slasher film from this era, The Prowler). This has to be some of Savini’s more extreme work along with William Lustig’s Maniac and George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead (which we will get to later). The burning is a fun watch that delivers all the popular Halloween-gag scares but gives you enough of a story to keep things interesting. Watch with a strong stomach.