The Burning (1981)

The Burning is one of those slasher films that once you watch it, you will not forget about it. When I think of slasher movie stand outs, this one is definitely in my top five. For those of you who are not familiar with this title let me run it down for you. A camp caretaker who is notorious for being a cruel and unsavory man winds up on the wrong side of a prank gone bad. The prank leaves him horribly disfigured with terrible burns. Upon his release from the hospital, the caretaker returns to the old camp and has some fun with garden shears.


The Burning is a tale of blood and tears that most slasher fans will fall in love with instantly. The film features the motion picture debut of Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens and Oscar winner Holly Hunter. While little Holly plays the role of Sophie she is actually hard to recognize but, Fisher and Jason have rather significant roles that showcase their talent even as young actors.

The Burning was also one of the first films released by Miramax Films with Bob Weinstein taking on co-writing duties, as well as Harvey Weinstein as a producer. Until its long awaited DVD release in September 2007 this film was a rather rare piece of cinematic gold. The film was under quite a bit of controversy in the UK when it was first released, resulting in it being place on the notorious Video Nasties list. The notorious RAFT MASSACRE was one of the driving forces for the ban.

Make-Up effects artist Tom Savini is probably the driving force behind this cult classics post theatrical success. The Burning’s death scenes are some of the best in the slasher genre. The stomach scissors, and raft scene will undoubtedly haunt you for years to come. The acting however is at times hit or miss, but with the abundant kills and creepy atmosphere it really doesn’t matter that much.

I would HIGHLY suggest this film to any slasher fan, or general horror fan for that matter. The story is solid, and the kills are even better. Right now you can currently buy the film on DVD at Amazon. View the trailer below.

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