Don't look, he'll see you.
Don't breathe, he'll hear you.
Don't move... you're dead!The Burning
is a Slasher Movie
from the year 1981. It was directed by Tony Maylam. It featured special effects by Tom Savini
and its music was composed by keyboardist Rick Wakeman (of David Bowie
Five years after a group of kids set Camp Blackfoot's cruel caretaker, Cropsy, on fire (in a prank involving a skull with candles for eyes), he gets released from the hospital. After killing a prostitute, Cropsy heads back to the camp with a pair of hedge clippers
and starts offing campers left and right.
A former Video Nasty
due to some rather bloody death scenes (most notably the infamous raft sequence, which ended up being heavily censored in order to get an R-Rating), the film is mainly known for its lack of availability for many years; the VHS release quickly fell out of print, causing the film to gain cult status amongst horror fans who were lucky enough to see the film. After years of being in limbo due to rights issues, it finally saw an uncut DVD release in 2007.
This film provides examples of the following tropes:
- '80s Hair
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Numerous references.
- The Alcoholic: Cropsy.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Karen and Eddy.
- All Men Are Perverts: The male characters are all quite the horndogs.
- An Arm and a Leg: When Michelle reaches the adrift raft, a severed arm falls off it.
- An Axe to Grind: Todd fights and kills Cropsy with one.
- And Starring: And Lou David as Cropsy.
- Asshole Victim: Eddy and Glazer.
- Between My Legs: When Cropsy confronts Sally.
- Black Bra and Panties: The prostitute.
- Blood from the Mouth
- Blood Is Squicker in Water: The raft massacre.
- The Bully: Glazer.
- Camera Abuse: In the canoe splash fight.
- Cassandra Truth: Alfred.
- Cat Scare: A bird flying out of an outhouse.
- Chase Scene
- Child Hater: Cropsy.
- Crusty Caretaker: Cropsy.
- Dawson Casting
- Daylight Horror: The raft massacre and everything following it.
- Deadly Prank
- Death by Mocking
- Death by Sex: Sally and Glazer.
- Decoy Protagonist: Karen, then Sally.
- Destination Defenestration: While struggling with the prostitute, Cropsy knocks her through a window.
- Developing Doomed Characters
- Disposable Sex Worker: Cropsy's first victim is a prostitute he meets after leaving the hospital.
- Don't Go in the Woods
- Doomed Expedition: The canoe trip.
- Dramatic Thunder: When Cropsy kills the prostitute.
- Evil Overlooker
- Face Framed in Shadow
- The Faceless: Cropy, until the finale.
- Facial Horror: Cropsy is finished off with an axe to the face.
- Fade to Black: Except when they decide to do red.
- Fate Worse than Death: "It's a miracle he's still alive. Was me, I'd prefer to be dead. No way I'd want to be like this freak. He's a monster, man."
- Feet-First Introduction: The prostitute.
- Fingore: Woodstock gets his fingers cut off by Cropsy.
- Fire Breathing Weapon: Cropsy randomly whips out a flamethrower.
- Flash Back
- Friendless Background: Alfred.
- Gainaxing: The girls playing baseball.
- Gainax Ending: A mild example compared to others. Did the events really happen or was it all just a campfire story? It's also possible that time has passed in the final scene, so it's also possible that it did happen and has become so legendary that the story is swapped around the fire by other camps.
- Ghost Story
- Girly Run: Alfred.
- Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: Karen.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Todd and Michelle, respectively.
- Hand of Death
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: Often accompanying the Murderer P.O.V..
- High School Hustler: Dave.
- Hollywood Darkness: Almost all the night scenes.
- Hope Spot: The raft crew spotting a canoe.
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Devil's Creek.
- Infant Immortality: Luckily for the younger campers, Cropsy only wants the older ones and the counselors.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Glazer, through the throat.
- Impending Doom P.O.V.
- Impromptu Tracheotomy: Eddy and Glazer's deaths.
- Improvised Weapon: Cropsy uses a pair of scissors to stab the prostitute.
- I've Never Seen Anything Like This Before: "I've been working here ten years, and I'm telling you, I ain't never seen anything like this."
- Jerk Ass: Cropsy, Eddy and Glazer.
- Kill It with Fire: Cropsy is killed with his shears, an axe, and his flamethrower.
- Leg Cling: After the raft is found and the remaining campers freak out, one of them is shown desperately clinging to another's leg.
- Male Gaze
- Man on Fire: Cropsy.
- Mooning: Dave, Fish, and Woodstock.
- Murderer P.O.V.
- Neck Lift: Glazer, via shears through the throat.
- Nerd: Alfred.
- Never Found the Body: Cropsy, in Todd and the ending counselor's campfire story.
- New Meat: The intern.
- Nice Hat: Cropsy.
- Night Swim Equals Death: Karen.
- Not Quite Dead: After Cropsy is stabbed in the back with his own shears.
- Off Screen Teleportation
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Cropsy, and a few of the campers (like "Fish").
- Orderlies Are Creeps: One treats Cropsy like a sideshow attraction, trying to scare an intern by showing him off. He instead gets the shit scared out of him when Cropsy grabs his arm.
- Peek-A-Boo Corpse: When what's left of the raft is discovered, and when Todd stumbles onto Karen's body in the ruins.
- The Peeping Tom: Alfred.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Dave.
- Really Gets Around: Eddy.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Todd.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Cropsy, due to the combination of his disfigured red skin, and black wardrobe.
- Red Light District: Where Cropsy finds the prostitute.
- Red Right Hand: Cropsy's burns.
- Red Shirt: The prostitute.
- The Reveal: Todd was one of the campers responsible for the prank that disfigured Cropsy.
- Revised Ending: A televised version of the film reveals it was all just a campfire story being told by Todd.
- River of Insanity
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge
- Ruins for Ruins' Sake: The finale.
- Rule of Pool
- Scare Chord
- Shirtless Scene
- Shot in the Ass: Glazer, courtesy of Woodstock.
- Shower Scene: Sally.
- Silent Antagonist
- Sinister Silhouettes
- Skinny Dipping: Eddy and Karen.
- Slashed Throat: Karen's death.
- Speed Sex: Glazer.
- Street Walker
- Summer Campy
- Super Drowning Skills: Alfred.
- Title In: Camp Blackfoot.
- St. Catherine's Hospital - one week later
- five years later
- Camp Stonewater
- The Titling
- Urban Legends
- Video Nasties
- The Voiceless: Cropsy.
- Wall Slump: Glazer (well, tree slump).
- Weapon of Choice: A pair of gardening shears.
- What Could Have Been: Tony Maylam has said that there was talk of a sequel at the time the film wrapped, but him being leery of being type-cast as a horror director as well as the dismal box office returns of the film put an end to that.
- The film's climax would have been set in a cave system. This was originally meant to be Cropsy's lair, and a scene was to take place in it where he looks over old newspaper clippings.
- There was also an early version of the script that was handed to the cast that had the climax take place in a boathouse at the camp, an unused character that was meant to be Tiger's love interest, and a different ending line that was closer to a Sequel Hook. Also, Alfred would have ended up getting killed in this version.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?
- Your Mom:
Fish: "Man, what the Hell are we supposed to be looking for anyway?"
Woodstock and Dave: "Your mother."