The Burning (Special Edition DVD) Review
Country : USA
Format: DVD (2007 Re-Issue)
Running Time: 91 minutes
The classic tale of legendary maniac Cropsy is back in a gloriously sizzling new digital presentation....
Directed by Tony Maylam. Written by Tony Maylam, Harvey Weinstein, Brad Grey and Peter Lawrence. Starring Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Lou David, Ned Eisenberg, Fisher Stevens, Holly Hunter and Jason Alexander.
I saw The Burning at the Joy Twin Cinema drive-in in
my hometown of Texarkana, TX. The Joy Twin was a
former porno drive-in and the late show was
half-filled with high school and college students. So
as the sun went down, I munched on my popcorn and
candy, and thought my grandmother (who regularly took
me and my brother to horror films) was just the
Of course, you all know the story of The Burning,
right? Well, if not....lets have a refresher for you
young'uns -- A caretaker at a summer camp is burned
when a prank goes tragically wrong. After several
years of intensive treatment at hospital, he is
released back into society, albeit missing some social
skills. What follows is a bloody killing spree with
the caretaker making his way back to his old stomping
ground to confront one of the youths that accidentally
The opening sequence showed the ultimate downfall of
the meanie Cropsy and the audience screamed loudly
and happily: It's fun to be scared. I will never
forget the Cropsy's breathing, and stalking. One by
one, he picks off the kids. And screw Jaws, the raft
scene made me never want to go near the lake again.
All this did was add to my existing fears of young
Jason prowling the waters, waiting to pull me into the
So, after almost everyone has been killed in a
gleefully disgusting and violent way, we get a great
finale and the ending that literally burned itself
into my memories forever. Cropsy swinging from that
hook and the flames licking his heels. I wondered,
how the hell could they bring him back? And surely
they would right? Nope....Tony Maylam's stalk and
kill masterpiece never got the sequel it deserved.
And at 31 years old, I am still waiting on the damn
thing. But, we will probably get a remake before too
The Burning was at the forefront of the "Mad Slasher
and Dead Teenager" genres; and in the 80s, about two
dozen movies a year featured a mad killer going
berserk, yet none of them were as good as this one.
Covering my eyes and sinking into my grandmother's
Cadillac at the Joy Twin, it's these memories that
ultimately gave me my love of the genre and made me
want to write and direct horror films. They involved
teenagers that smoked pot, had sex, listened to rock
and roll, and were dispatched with every possible
tool, machete, chainsaw, power drill and axe. Their
primary reason for existing in the film was to be
hacked to death!
And while they really don't make em' like this
anymore, it sure as shit gives me the chills when the
DVDs finally come out, have a good transfer, and we
are graced with some extras! So, enough with my Red
Bull-fueled sermon, let's talk about the DVD that just
While it's not as loaded as I'd like it to be, it's
still nice to hear the audio commentary by director
Tony Maylam and international film journalist Alan
Jones. And of course the "Blood 'N' Fire Memories
featurette" is pretty cool and lets you see ole' Mr.
Personality himself (Tom Savini) in a good mood for a
change. It's also great to finally dump my old
bootleg and have a nice anamorphic transfer. Ahhhh...
and of the feature that completes every special
edition: a theatrical trailer.
So, for those who have seen it, it's worth picking up,
and for those who haven't seen it it's definitely
worth picking up... can't beat the $12.99 sticker
price for sure.
DVD Special Features:
* Audio commentary by director Tony Maylam and
international film journalist Alan Jones
* Blood 'N' Fire Memories featurette
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Review by John Gray, for Pitofhorror.com