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The Burning

Catalog Number
1058
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VHS | N/A | Slipcase
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The Burning (1981)

Additional Information

Additional Information
Gather Around the Campfire to Die!

It will take you further than fear.

A legend of terror isn't a campfire story anymore!

Don't look, he'll see you. Don't breathe, he'll hear you. Don't move... you're dead!

A brutal horrific act made him kill and kill and kill

Today is not Friday the 13th. But if you see this movie alone... you'll never be the same again!
Come Face To Face With The Creation of Evil!

The most frightening of all maniac films.

If you go down to the woods today... Watch out for Cropsy!


Apart from early appearances by Jason Alexander and Holly Hunter, an interesting score by Rick Wakeman, and some typically effective work by effects icon Tom Savini, this slasher film is also among the more frightening of its kind. The plot concerns a summer-camp caretaker named Cropsy (Lou David) who is horribly burned by mischievous teen campers during a botched practical joke. Years later, he leaves the hospital as a disfigured gloppy mess with an axe (actually, hedgeclippers) to grind. After dispatching a local prostitute, Cropsy heads out to the wilderness to terrorize a group of campers. They're the usual bunch of horny, obnoxious teenagers, but there are some interesting performances by Larry Joshua as a mean-spirited bully and Brian Backer (of Fast Times at Ridgemont High) as a put-upon nerd. The campers visit an island and, in a scene heavily cut by the ratings board prior to release, several of them die in a horrifying mass slaughter aboard a boat. The remaining teens are brutally picked off one by one until Cropsy is finally defeated.

The Burning is a 1981 American-Canadian slasher film directed by Tony Maylam, with music by Rick Wakeman. It tells the story of a cruel, alcoholic, sadistic caretaker at a summer camp (nicknamed "Cropsy" and based on the urban legend of Cropsey) who falls victim to a prank that went out of control which leaves him horribly burned and disfigured. Following his release from hospital, he returns to his old stomping ground and begins a murder spree.
The film was one of the first from Miramax Films: Harvey Weinstein produced the film and Bob Weinstein was a co-writer.[2] Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens and Oscar winner Holly Hunter all made their motion picture debuts in this film.
Originally released theatrically in the United States by Filmways Pictures, the rights to The Burning currently belong to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.


The film was produced by the then-new company Miramax Films run by Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob. Harvey wrote and produced while Bob co-wrote the screenplay. Brad Grey, who later became chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, was another of the film's writers.
With a budget of $1.5 million, they set out to capitalize on the booming slasher film craze that was soon to fizzle out. They also hired makeup effects maestro Tom Savini, who turned down a job for Friday the 13th Part 2 to do The Burning. Savini has stated that he was only given three days to design Cropsy's makeup, which is why the murderer doesn't look like a burn victim, but rather it appears that his features have "melted". The movie did not fare well with the MPAA, which demanded several scenes be cut to receive an R rating; one of these scenes being the infamous raft massacre scene in which Cropsy leaps out of an abandoned canoe and dismembers five campers in rapid succession.
Principal photography occurred in Western New York[3] during the summer of 1980. However, extras casting agent and location scout Mary Casilio Powell reports[citation needed] that the camp and river scenes in the movie were shot at various camps in Olean and Franklinville, New York, while the concrete ruins scene was shot in Model City, a small town near Lewiston, New York and the scene with the prostitute was shot in downtown Buffalo. The film's climax was originally set in a cave system, but this idea was ultimately scrapped.[citation needed] Maylam and Savini give differing reasons for this; Savini stated that there was a cave-in shortly before filming was to commence, while Maylam states that the cave was found to be heavily infested with bats. Whatever the reason, the filmmakers instead shot the climax in an abandoned copper mine.

The Burning was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by Filmways Pictures beginning in May 1981.[9] Various re-releases over the next year and a half under different titles including Cropsey led to little success as the film grossed $707,770 total at the box office.[10]
United Kingdom
The Burning found itself at the center of some controversy in the early 1980s when the uncut version of the film was released on videotape by the British video label Thorn-EMI; the company was supposed to release the slightly trimmed version passed by the British Board of Film Classification. The tapes were impounded under the Obscene Publications Act, and The Burning was added to the video nasties list.[11] The two major scenes of contention were Cropsy's frantic mass-murder spree in the raft massacre sequence and the sight of a pair of scissors piercing a woman's flesh in the post-title sequence.
Vipco released a truncated version in the early 1990s, missing about twenty seconds' worth of Savini's gore effects, but by 2001 the censor board was ready to pass the uncut version.
United States
The Burning was released on DVD in North America for the first time ever on 11 September 2007 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[12] The DVD contains several extras, including a commentary by director Tony Maylam, a featurette covering Savini's make-up effects, a stills gallery and the theatrical trailer. Despite the DVD cover displaying the 'R' rating, the print used is the full uncut version.[13] Shout! Factory announced they would be releasing The Burning on Blu-ray .

Release Date: May 8, 1981

Distrib: Filmways





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