The Burning Blu-ray Review – 1981 Slasher Horror Better Than Friday The 13th?

It’s Saturday night and you probably are looking for a decent horror film right? Well maybe I have the perfect film offering as I take a look at another cult slasher film, this one’s from 1981. If you like the Friday the 13th films then this could well be the film for you. So without further ado here’s my The Burning Blu-ray review.

  • The Burning (1981)
  • Genre: Slasher Horror
  • Written by Brad Grey, Tony Maylam, Harvey Weinstein
  • UK Rating 18
  • Discs: 2 (Blu-ray & DVD)
  • Released By Arrow Video
  • Blu-ray Released: 19 December 2016


A prank carried out by teenagers on the caretaker, Cropsy at Camp Blackfoot goes horribly wrong resulting in Cropsy been left severely burned.

Skip forward five years and Camp Blackfoot is no more than ruins, however Camp Stonewater is nearby and only a river ride away. That is where a bunch of teenagers are at summer camp enjoying their surroundings that is until Cropsy decides to show up and rather spoil things.

Style / Direction

The film is directed by Tony Maylam with the cinematography handled by Harvey Harrison.

Set around a summer camp deep in woodland that is surrounded by water this is the perfect setting for a slasher film. The only negative is that Friday the 13th already did this a few years earlier.

That said I do think The Burning stands out on its own despite the obvious similarities.

For one it’s very well shot making the most of the scenery to provide plenty of hiding places adding to the overall creepiness. Another positive for the film is the way it ramps up the tension only to disappoint but that can only last for so long and then all of that tension simply explodes into a frenzy of killings.

Music / Audio Effects

I like the music it’s by Rick Wakeman and is a sort of creepy synthesizer that perfectly fits the tone of the films visuals

Acting / Characters

The film consists of a lot of teenagers enjoying summer camp but the main characters all have very distinct personalities yes they are stereotypical. The guys consist of the funny one, the hunk and the weird one. The girls are similarly divided into the nerdy ones, the hot ones the wise cracking ones and the rather normal ones.

The mix of teenagers is good and all put in good performances. The standout performer has to by Jason Alexander, he plays Dave the wise cracking guy everyone likes and he can always obtain certain items.

The films killer is the former Camp Blackfoot caretaker named Cropsy whom suffered severe burns when a prank by students went horribly wrong as I mentioned earlier. He has some pretty unique ways of killing as he seems to pop out of the most unusual places.


  • Brian Matthews
  • Lou David
  • Leah Ayres
  • Brian Backer
  • Larry Joshua
  • Jason Alexander
  • Fisher Stevens
  • Holly Hunter
  • Ned Eisenberg

Conclusion: The Burning (1981) Film Review

The Burning will always be compared to the Friday the 13th film and rightly so as they share so much in common. However I did find myself enjoying this film. These types of films are all about the body count, that said I enjoyed the way it held off the mass killing ramping up the tension for as long as possible.

All in all The Burning is a rather good slasher film I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of this genre. In fact I would go as far as saying I prefer this to Friday the 13th.

The Burning Blu-ray Review

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Conclusion: The Burning Blu-ray Review

It’s another MGM film and let’s be clear this blu-ray release has not been restored as far as I can see. There are white specks of dirt throughout the film however thankfully they are not present in a way that totally ruins viewing.

The picture quality on the whole is sharper with the colours nice and vibrant. This is without doubt the best version released to date so I would recommend picking it up on Blu-ray.

It really would have been nice if Arrow could have done their own restoration on this one but in its current state this is an acceptable release.


  • Blood ‘n’ Fire Memories (18 mins)
  • Slash & Cut (12 mins)
  • Cropsy Speaks (11 mins)
  • Summer Camp Nightmare (7 mins)
  • Synthly the Best (12 mins)
  • Behind the scenes footage (8 mins)
  • Trailer
  • Image Galleries
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Booklet
  • Reversible sleeve

A great set of extras with the look at the make-up and effects being of particular interest.

Popcorn Cinema Rating: The Burning (1981)





The Burning (1981) Blu-ray is available now from Amazon.

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The Burning Blu-ray (1981)

The Burning (1981) Film Trailer

For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…

Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version

That concludes The Burning blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film leave them in the comment section below:

What Do You Think?
Summary: The Burning (1981) Blu-ray Review
The Burning blu-ray review

Movie title: The Burning (1981)

Duration: 91 mins

Director(s): Tony Maylam

Actor(s): Brian Matthews, Lou David, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Larry Joshua, Jason Alexander

Genre: Slasher, Horror

  • Movie Rating
  • Blu-ray Rating
  • Extras


A slasher movie with a killer akin to that of Jason from Friday 13th.