The Burning (1981)
February 19, 2024 12:34 PM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] New York state's "Cropsey" urban legend becomes a slasher written by Bob Weinstein, produced by Harvey Weinstein, with special effects by Tom Savini, a score by Rick Wakeman of Yes, and a young cast including Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens, and Holly Hunter.

Starring Brian Matthews, Keith Mandell, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Lou David, Larry Joshua, Jason Alexander, Ned Eisenberg, Carrick Glenn, Carolyn Houlihan, Fisher Stevens, Shelley Bruce, Sarah Chodoff, Bonnie Deroski, Holly Hunter.

Directed by Tony Maylam. Screenplay by Bob Weinstein, Peter Lawrence. Story by Brad Grey, Tony Maylam, Harvey Weinstein. Produced by Harvey Weinstein. Special effects by Tom Savini. Music by Rick Wakeman. Edited by Jack Sholder.

77% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Amazon Prime. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
First off, as a cultural artifact, the attachment of the Weinstein brothers to an early 1980's slasher with a bunch of nudity and sex and sexist characters is a fair reason to nope on out if you want. Bonus didn't-age-well factor is that Cropsey is portrayed as definitely a psycho because he's a gross burn victim. Uh, okay.

That said, this movie is also a production of many people's work, featuring many faces who were later stars, directed pretty well, with terrific practical gore effects by Savini, a cool score by Wakeman, and is positively unhinged for the last 35 minutes.

Decide where you're willing to set your cultural relativism scale and proceed accordingly.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:37 PM on February 19

Oh sorry, never actually recalled the premise:
At summer camp, some teenagers pull a prank on the camp's caretaker, Cropsy (Lou David). But the joke goes terribly wrong, and the teens leave Cropsy for dead after setting him on fire. But no one keeps Cropsy down. A few years later, the burned and disfigured caretaker returns to camp equipped with his trusty shears, ready to unleash his particular brand of vengeance on a whole new group of teens. The murderous Cropsy stalks the campers in the woods, one by one.
It basically plays out as Meatballs interrupted by particularly gruesome Friday the 13th-style killings.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:44 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]

This was playing in the background of a halloween party I went to years ago, and it captured my attention enough that I tracked down the movie to watch it. I was definitely entertained, but then as a child of the 80s I have a soft spot in my heart for this kind of movie.

It's currently available on tubi.
posted by miss-lapin at 1:33 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]

Just fyi for some reason the justwatch link doesn't list its availability on tubi. I've found they aren't as reliable as just googling the movie title, sadly.
posted by miss-lapin at 1:34 PM on February 19

I saw this a few years ago, and was mostly struck by the spectacle of a Jason Alexander with (real) hair (he nevertheless looks old enough to play his character's father). There's an interlude where Cropsey goes to the Big City for some reason that I remember as the best part of the movie, maybe just because the change of scenery was so unexpected for a woodsy slasher; it plays a lot cooler and grittier than the rest of the movie, as I recall.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:54 PM on February 19

« Older Movie: Out of Darkness...   |  Book: A Hat Full of Sky... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments