The Burning (1981)

R | 90 mins | Horror | 8 May 1981

Director:

Tony Maylam

Cinematographer:

Harvey Harrison

Editor:

Jack Sholder

Production Designer:

Peter Politanoff

Production Company:

Miramax
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HISTORY

According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the film was referred to by the “alternate titles,” Campfire Story, Cropsy, and The Cropsy Maniac.
       End credits include a special thanks to the following: David Appleton; The Packett Inn; Ralph Turgeon Inc.; Ed Thomas; Tom Pellerite; Harley Hardell; Jonathan Dandes; Tel-Page Corporation; The Echo Stores; Michael Grey; Fred Casserta; Statler Hotel in Buffalo, N.Y.; Mickey Rats; Modern Disposal Co. in Model City, N.Y.; Huessler Aire Corporation; Dial Cleaners in Buffalo, N.Y.; Max; H. & Eric; Sam and Dorothy Levin; and Sara Weinstein. Credits conclude with the statement: “Filmed in Western New York.”
       A 26 Mar 1981 Filmways Pictures, Inc. press release stated that The Burning was filmed entirely on location in upper NY State.
       The same press release announced that Filmways would handle the film’s domestic distribution, planning to open the film on 110 screens throughout FL on 8 May 1981 before expanding with “regional wide breaks” beginning 22 May 1981. On 31 Mar 1981, HR stated that the picture would be the first project released under Filmways’ new managers, George Litto and Robert Meyers. An advertisement in the 12 Jun 1982 issue of Billbord declared that immediately following the theatrical opening, Thorn EMI Video would release The Burning on VHS and Beta videocassettes. However, the film did not arrive in New York City theaters until 5 Nov 1982. A poster printed in Var on 17 Nov 1982 reported a seven-day city-wide gross of $401,258 and thanked distributor Orion Films, which had recently acquired Filmways. An article for the 17 Nov 1982 ... More Less

According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the film was referred to by the “alternate titles,” Campfire Story, Cropsy, and The Cropsy Maniac.
       End credits include a special thanks to the following: David Appleton; The Packett Inn; Ralph Turgeon Inc.; Ed Thomas; Tom Pellerite; Harley Hardell; Jonathan Dandes; Tel-Page Corporation; The Echo Stores; Michael Grey; Fred Casserta; Statler Hotel in Buffalo, N.Y.; Mickey Rats; Modern Disposal Co. in Model City, N.Y.; Huessler Aire Corporation; Dial Cleaners in Buffalo, N.Y.; Max; H. & Eric; Sam and Dorothy Levin; and Sara Weinstein. Credits conclude with the statement: “Filmed in Western New York.”
       A 26 Mar 1981 Filmways Pictures, Inc. press release stated that The Burning was filmed entirely on location in upper NY State.
       The same press release announced that Filmways would handle the film’s domestic distribution, planning to open the film on 110 screens throughout FL on 8 May 1981 before expanding with “regional wide breaks” beginning 22 May 1981. On 31 Mar 1981, HR stated that the picture would be the first project released under Filmways’ new managers, George Litto and Robert Meyers. An advertisement in the 12 Jun 1982 issue of Billbord declared that immediately following the theatrical opening, Thorn EMI Video would release The Burning on VHS and Beta videocassettes. However, the film did not arrive in New York City theaters until 5 Nov 1982. A poster printed in Var on 17 Nov 1982 reported a seven-day city-wide gross of $401,258 and thanked distributor Orion Films, which had recently acquired Filmways. An article for the 17 Nov 1982 Var announced that the movie had been entered in the Barcelona Film Festival and producers hoped to include the project in other festival lineups, as well.
       Although commended for its technical achievements, the film was criticized for its unoriginal story and overt similarities to Friday the 13th (1980, see entry) and Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981, see entry).
       The Burning marked the motion picture debuts of Jason Alexander, Holly Hunter, and Fisher Stevens. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Billboard
12 Jun 1982.
---
Filmways Pictures, Inc.
26 Mar 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 1981.
---
New York Times
5 Nov 1982
p. 7.
Variety
6 May 1981
p. 24.
Variety
17 Nov 1982
p. 25.
Variety
17 Nov 1982
pp. 4, 34.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Jean Ubaud Michael Cohl Corky Burger present
A Miramax Production of
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Unit mgr
Asst unit mgr
PRODUCERS
Created and prod by
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Best boy
Elec. asst
Dolly grip
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Stills
Generator op
Lighting and loc equip by
Lighting and loc equip by
Equip supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Art asst
FILM EDITORS
Ed consultant
Assoc ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst props
Set const
Set const
Set const
Set const
Set const
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Ward asst
Ward supplied by
MUSIC
Mus comp and performed by
Mus dir
Bluegrass mus wrt and performed by
Mus in girls' bunk wrt
Mus soundtrack prod
Mus soundtrack prod
Mus rec eng
Re-rec mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Horror seq des
Titles
MAKEUP
Spec makeup and eff
Makeup/hair
Asst spec makeup eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod assoc
Producing consultant
Prod supv
Exec in charge of prod
Creative consultant
Spec business advisor
Spec business advisor
Spec business advisor
Spec business advisor
Spec business advisor
Spec business advisor
Spec business advisor
Spec business advisor
Spec business advisor
Casting
Asst to the prod
Scr supv
Transportation
Transportation
Extra casting
Loc auditor
Post prod facilities
Loc security
Loc security
Loc security
Loc security
Loc security
Preprod asst
Preprod asst
Preprod asst
Preprod asst
Preprod asst
Preprod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Post prod asst
Post prod asst
Scr consultant
Weather control
Spec res
Creative inspiration
Medical
Counsel
Counsel
Counsel
STAND INS
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Campfire Story
Cropsy
The Cropsy Maniac
Release Date:
8 May 1981
Premiere Information:
Florida opening: 8 May 1981
Los Angeles opening: 19 February 1982
New York opening: 5 November 1982
Copyright Claimant:
Cropsy Venture
Copyright Date:
11 June 1981
Copyright Number:
PA107072
Physical Properties:
Sound
Sound by Magno Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

After being bullied by Cropsy, a caretaker, a group of five boys at Camp Blackfoot seek revenge by leaving a rotting skull filled with candles in Cropsy’s cabin while he sleeps. When Cropsy is awakened by the boys tapping on his window, the caretaker knocks the candles over and his entire body catches fire. Cropsy runs outside and rolls down the hill into the lake. One week later, at St. Catherine’s Hospital, an orderly shows a new doctor the severity of Crospy’s burns. As the orderly jeers at the patient’s deformities, Cropsy’s scabbed arm reaches out and grabs the orderly. Five years later, Cropsy is discharged from the hospital following multiple, unsuccessful attempts at skin grafting surgery. Obscuring his face in the shadows, Cropsy follows a prostitute to her apartment and stabs her with a pair of scissors. At the nearby Camp Stonewater, a group of teenage campers play stickball while two boys, Eddy and Dave, leer at Karen, a scantily-clad girl playing pitcher. When one of the campers runs into the woods to retrieve a lost ball, Cropsy sneaks toward her with a pair of gardening shears, but she returns to the game before realizing he is there. At dinner that night, Karen confesses to the head female counselor, Michelle, that she likes Eddy, but he sometimes scares her. The next morning, camper Sally wakes early and is frightened by another camper, Alfred, who surprises her in the shower. Todd, the head male counselor, reprimands Alfred for his behavior and Alfred admits that he is insecure because he is being bullied by his peers. That afternoon, the girls discuss the upcoming three-day canoe trip to Devil’s Creek, and ... +


After being bullied by Cropsy, a caretaker, a group of five boys at Camp Blackfoot seek revenge by leaving a rotting skull filled with candles in Cropsy’s cabin while he sleeps. When Cropsy is awakened by the boys tapping on his window, the caretaker knocks the candles over and his entire body catches fire. Cropsy runs outside and rolls down the hill into the lake. One week later, at St. Catherine’s Hospital, an orderly shows a new doctor the severity of Crospy’s burns. As the orderly jeers at the patient’s deformities, Cropsy’s scabbed arm reaches out and grabs the orderly. Five years later, Cropsy is discharged from the hospital following multiple, unsuccessful attempts at skin grafting surgery. Obscuring his face in the shadows, Cropsy follows a prostitute to her apartment and stabs her with a pair of scissors. At the nearby Camp Stonewater, a group of teenage campers play stickball while two boys, Eddy and Dave, leer at Karen, a scantily-clad girl playing pitcher. When one of the campers runs into the woods to retrieve a lost ball, Cropsy sneaks toward her with a pair of gardening shears, but she returns to the game before realizing he is there. At dinner that night, Karen confesses to the head female counselor, Michelle, that she likes Eddy, but he sometimes scares her. The next morning, camper Sally wakes early and is frightened by another camper, Alfred, who surprises her in the shower. Todd, the head male counselor, reprimands Alfred for his behavior and Alfred admits that he is insecure because he is being bullied by his peers. That afternoon, the girls discuss the upcoming three-day canoe trip to Devil’s Creek, and Sally’s troublemaking boyfriend, Glazer, threatens to seek revenge on Alfred. Later, at the docks, Glazer pushes Alfred into the lake, knowing that he is unable to swim. Dave and his friend Woodstock save their fellow camper from drowning, then shoot Glazer with a BB gun. That night in the cabin, Alfred sees Cropsy’s face in the window, but when the other boys rush to look, the visage is gone. During dinner, Woodstock walks back to the cabin to retrieve his bottle of vitamins as Cropsy lurks behind the trees. On their canoe trip, Todd tells the group a scary campfire story about Cropsy, the sadistic former caretaker of Camp Blackfoot who was burned alive and now spends his days prowling the forest for victims. As suspense builds, Eddy jumps from the shadows with a knife and bloody mask, causing everyone to scream. Following the prank, Eddy and Karen go skinny-dipping. Refusing to make love, Karen leaves the lake and Cropsy stabs her in the throat. The next morning, Michelle, Todd, and Eddy look for Karen and realize that all the canoes are missing. While the campers collect items to build a raft, Alfred watches Glazer and Sally kiss behind the trees. Woodstock, Eddy, and three other campers row the raft toward camp for help. Along the way, they find one of their lost canoes, but as they approach, Cropsy pops up and murders them. Meanwhile, Sally and Glazer make love on the forest floor, and Glazer leaves his girlfriend alone so he can look for matches to build a fire. With Alfred secretly following a few paces behind, Glazer returns to find that Sally has been killed. Cropsy murders Glazer and Alfred runs to tell Todd. Although doubtful of Alfred’s story, Todd follows him into the woods, where he is knocked unconscious by a gash from the killer’s blade. The raft, floating back to the canoeing camp, contains the bodies of the murdered teens and is found by Michelle. Todd regains consciousness and instructs Michelle to take everyone back to the main camp on the raft while he searches for Alfred, who has run deep into the woods. When the group returns to Camp Stonewater, Michelle and the camp supervisor call the police, then take a speedboat to retrieve Todd and Alfred. Meanwhile, Cropsy pulls Alfred inside an abandoned mine and plunges the garden shears into the boy’s bicep, pinning him to the wall. Hearing Alfred’s scream, Todd searches the building, armed with an axe, and finds Karen’s body. As Todd remembers his time at Camp Blackfoot, where he was a member of the group that set Cropsy on fire, Cropsy suddenly appears, wielding a blowtorch. Just before the killer reaches Todd, Alfred pulls the shears from his arm and uses them to stab Cropsy in the back. As the two campers walk away, Cropsy lurches at them, prompting Todd to plunge the axe through the killer’s skull and Alfred to set Cropsy’s body on fire. Years later, a new generation of teenage campers listen to stories about Cropsy, who, according to legend, continues his killing sprees every summer. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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