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Old 9th September 2014, 06:13 PM
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Default The Burning: Friday the 13th Ripoff or 80ís Slasher Classic?

The Burning: Friday the 13th Ripoff or 80ís Slasher Classic?


Letís face it. As much as Halloween really began the slasher craze, the EIGHTIES slasher craze was actually pushed into full force by a little movie called Friday the 13th in 1980. This is where the blood, the gore, and the sex became a popular staple of what 80ís slashers would be defined by. Donít forget that Friday the 13th was also the inception of many other summer camp movies to come down the pike as well.

So we get to The Burning which was released in 1981. This was one year after the release of Friday the 13th. Jason Voorhees was not yet the slasher icon that he would later become. In fact, this was the first year that he himself would draw first blood as his mother, Mrs. Voorhees, was the original killer at Crystal Lake. Friday the 13th Part 2 of course spawned Jasonís massive killing spree.

Many people may pop in The Burning and feel that theyíre watching one in another long line of Friday the 13th ripoffs. Is that a fair assessment of this movie? Well, Harvey Weinstein (who would later become an acclaimed producer) claims that he actually wrote this film before the release of Friday the 13th in 1980. In fact, the concept of the film is based on a campfire story told at summer camps in and around New Jersey and upstate New York. Supposedly that story is still in circulation to this very day.

Despite the evidence to the contrary, critics of the movie still claim this movie to be nothing but another Friday the 13th copycat. Is it? Itís really hard to say, objectively. One might compare the setting, kill style, and effects (Tom Savini did the effects on Friday the 13th AND The Burning, afterall) from The Burning to Friday the 13th, itís hard to say that Cropsy himself could be based on Jason Voorhees when Voorhees had not yet gained notoriety when this movie was released. In many ways, Cropsy was more similar to Freddy Krueger than he was Jason Voorhees (burnt serial killer who had a grudge against children). Also, itís interesting to note that Tom Savini passed up a chance to do the effects on Friday the 13th Part 2 for the opportunity to work on Cropsy in The Burning. This led to the creation of one of the most horrific murder scenes in the history of film (ďThe Raft SceneĒ) where an entire group of campers were butchered by the garden sheer-wielding Cropsy.

If the sole basis of the criticism of this movie is that it takes the camp atmosphere from Friday the 13th and uses it as its own, then Sleepaway Camp and many others would have to be given the same exact critical eye. The Burning may never shake the comparisons to Friday the 13th because of the iconic position that Friday the 13th has among fans and the general public alike. To answer the question posed by this articleÖis The Burning an 80ís slasher classic or is it a Friday the 13th ripoff? Itís likely somewhere in the middle as most things are when put to the test of being one thing or another. Time will tell if this movie will continue on as a quality product of its time or a forgotten gem in the archives of 80ís slashers.

I give the movie 3 Machetes out of 4.
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Old 9th September 2014, 08:33 PM
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80's classic slasher.
Prefer this to the original Friday everytime.
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Old 9th September 2014, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by The Reaper Man@Cult Labs View Post
80's classic slasher.
Prefer this to the original Friday everytime.
It's funny because I think the one thing that keeps me from liking this more than the original Friday is its lack of atmosphere and suspense. While Friday the 13th never scared me (and the series is my favorite slasher series of all time) it still had a creepy vibe to it. As much as I enjoy The Burning, it has no atmosphere. It was just your run of the mill 80's slasher that was enhanced by the fact that Tom Savini did the effects. If Savini wasn't involved, I don't think it would even be a cult classic. Just my two cents.
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Old 9th September 2014, 08:53 PM
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I agree, Savini is the main selling point in the Burning, but I also agree with Reaps and prefer it to the original F13

I certainly watch it more often anyway
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Old 9th September 2014, 08:55 PM
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I'm not a massive fan of either, but prefer The Burning over F13th.
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Old 9th September 2014, 08:55 PM
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I agree, Savini is the main selling point in the Burning, but I also agree with Reaps and prefer it to the original F13

I certainly watch it more often anyway
So give me some feedback. What is it about The Burning that makes you watch it more? The chick's big nipples shower scene (Sally)? Better killer; Cropsy over Mrs. Voorhees? Raft massacre?

Just curious...
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Old 9th September 2014, 09:29 PM
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Slasher classic or Friday 13th rip-off? It can be both, surely. Most slasher films, classic or not, were rip-offs of other slashers. It was, and is, the most generic of sub-genres. I don't see that as a problem, particularly.

I prefer 'Friday 13th', on account of that creepy atmosphere you mentioned. It has a doom-laden feel to it, and is somehow a bit more sordid. 'The Burning' just drags too much mid-section.
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Old 9th September 2014, 09:57 PM
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I agree with Frankie here. The Burning does drag in places. However i've seen it way more times than Friday the 13th.

Oddly i don't really see Friday the 13th as a Friday film. It's just a generic slasher. I've seen the rest of the series dozens more times than the original movie and shall be going back to them again soon for some October / Halloween thrills.
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Old 9th September 2014, 10:36 PM
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Ironically, when I first saw Friday (in the cinema) I thought it was a great post Halloween slasher, but on further viewings I find it's lost out a bit in the fullness of time, the " I'm off to walk alone into the dark" cliche is now quite annoying, as for The Burning, no doubt a Friday clone but... what a scene on the raft, a simply outstanding bit of mayhem, tho unlike others I've probably seen Friday more times ( the VHS was very popular back in the day, and was the one mates would take off the shelf to put on in the wind down after a get together) I would now prefer to sit down and watch The Burning, so I would say both have a place in anyones 80s horror collection of slasher classics
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Old 10th September 2014, 11:40 AM
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It's the only time I've liked anything by Rick Wakeman.

Didn't Halloween 2 "kick start" the slasher cycle??

Sleepaway Camp better than both anyhow...
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