Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Burning (1981)

Classic video nasty time.  In the 1980s THE BURNING was on the UK's list of reprehensible films that were likely to corrupt the nation's youth.  Such an idea seems laughable now, particularly in reference to this film.  The moral message, if once can call it that, is actually a pretty wholesome one: have fun but be careful.  Quite how the sight of someone having their fingers chopped off with garden shears is supposed to turn someone off the path of righteousness is beyond me.  To my mind, a cinema full of people lapping up the appalling sensibility of, say, SEX AND THE CITY 2 is of much greater concern.  I'm not suggesting you stick on THE BURNING and invite the neighbours' toddlers round but I don't think there's anything in it that is likely to corrupt anyone with a normal amount of common sense.  As a film, it's basically a teen summer camp movie with a twisted madman chucked in: there are pranks, some heavy petting, splashing, illicit cigarettes with only the occasional bloody massacre.  The cast is above average for the genre, including as it does some who would go on to bigger and better things: Jason Alexander, Holly Hunter and Fisher Stevens.  I have to mention the director Tony Maylam, who also made one of my favourites - THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS (1979).

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