Sunday, August 28, 2016

80s Slasher: The Burning

Hey all. Welcome back for Day 4 of 80s Slasher Week. A couple of notes of the week. One, we finally got audio sound issues for Rotten Ramblin' On done and over with. Both Shawn and I sound ed clear and our continuation of Suicide Squad came out pretty damn well.

Two, child star, actress, animal activist, producer and singer Linda Blair re-posted my Hell Night review and I got over an thousand views. My thanks Ms. Blair, you truly rock.

With that bit of amazing news I bring you a cruel practical joke done on a simple janitor, that scarred him mentally and physically causing a possible rage of insanity the likes that... well has been seen far too often but that is the meat and potatoes of a slasher film. Writer/producer Harvey Weinstein (The Burning, Deep End, A Rage in Harlem, The Crow: City of Angels, Good Will Hunting, Velvet Goldmine) and writer/director Tony Maylam (Just to Prove It, White Rock, The Burning, Split Second, Jaguar: Victory by Design and Journal of a Contract Killer) collaborate together with a urban legend tale. This is The Burning.

Tis the season of ass.

A caretaker Cropsy (Lou David of Naked City, Foreplay, The Gumball Rally, The Exterminator, Over the Brooklyn Bridge and The Last Dragon) working upstate New York summer camp, Camp Blackfoot is mean and foul tempered and five kids have had enough, prepping the ultimate scare for him. Crospy was horribly burned from a stupid prank gone wrong, a gag skull filled with worms startled Cropsy causing him to spill gas on himself, engulfing him in flames and tossing himself to the river. From then on he became Swamp Thing. No wait, that's Doctor Alec Holland in Swamp Thing.   His accident was so intense he had to be institutionalized as his burns where so severe they caused deformities. I think even Porky's pranks were safer.  Five years later, he leave the hospital a wreck of a man causing him to seethe for vengeance.  Standard issue care package for severe third degree burns is every low level Marvel Comics super-villain disguise consisting of: a trench coat, sunglasses and a fedora. Yup that won't raise any eyebrows at all.

Health and safety issues may be a bit lax here.

Meanwhile at Camp Terrycloth er um I mean Stonewater, the kids are there playing ball, froth with copious energy and all the counselors expect to get laid at some point. Cropsy is roaming the woods and the askew POV via camera was made with a bit of Vaseline on the lens which is a great gag. One of the biggest shockers of this flick was seeing Fisher Stevens, Jason Alexander and Holly Hunter getting their first stint into acting is this very film.

Boy that backyard cook may have a fire hazard.

At the end of the day you have a cast that has been given back story, some goals and dreams making them human and does some similar elements to Friday the13th Part 2 but this is the superior story as it did not require a previous source material to be popular and yes you have a scarred maniac as well, but it manages to keep our killer in the shadows and give a good reveal. Our gore gags are top notch and the raft massacre was butchered by the MPAA giving this film the Video Nasty title and not re-adding the uncut version until 2007 via DVD.

FX guru and splatter king Tom Savini walked away for the offer to do FX for Friday the 13th Part 2 to run gags, bladders and blades for The Burning instead. Shot in Buffalo giving an excuse to use existing campgrounds is great way to keep the budget down. With a budget of 1.5 million, our dark campsite story brought in 770,000 via the states but was beloved by Japan at just a bit over a million so world-wide distribution has its place, folks.

Gurgle, gurgle??   Not sure I understand you.