Vipco's THE BURNING (1980)

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by Rock, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. Rock

    Rock Member

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    Late one summer night, tormented teens at Camp Blackstone play a fiery prank on the caretaker, a “mean bastard” named Cropsy, which goes horribly awry, leaving the man severely disfigured. Five years later, after skin grafts which “just didn’t take”, Cropsy is released from the hospital a human monster, his anger and resentment simmering silently beneath hat and trench coat. Meanwhile, back at Camp Blackstone (now called Camp Stonewater) a fresh batch of stupid promiscuous teens ripe with firm butts, smooth necks, and perky breasts just waiting to be rudely violated play pranks, pick on each other, and paddle their boats across the lake, unaware that something in the woods is waiting for them with a mean pair of sharpened hedge shears…

    Touted as the “Ultimate Full Uncut Version”, Vipco’s “Vaults of Horror” Region 2 DVD (dated 2001) is supposedly “digitally remastered”, but don’t be fooled; while it appears that all of Tom Savini’s excellent makeup FX (which were trimmed to give the movie an “R” rating upon theatrical release) are intact, the print is loaded with so much grain it’s like watching the movie through a thin veil of gauze. Comparing the DVD with Amazon.com’s MGM Home Entertainment VHS tape is like apples and oranges. The infamous “raft massacre” scene, which makes little sense (how could anyone stand up in a tipsy little canoe for more than a few seconds, let alone slaughter five kids on a raft alongside, without falling ass over teakettle?!) but is easily this slasher’s (and maybe even the entire sub-genre’s) piece de resistance, seems a bit abbreviated on disc; on the other hand, Cropsy’s death scene provides a clear shot of his horribly scarred face, deliberately kept in the shadows for much of the movie, something hard to see on MGM’s dark tape.

    Until a definitive version of THE BURNING comes along on disc (MGM really needs to make this one of their “Midnight Movies” NOW), you don’t need to kick yourself for having one and not the other…
     
  2. Hellbilly

    Hellbilly Active Member

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    Dragon's 2-disc set isn't bad. Transfer has VHS quality but it's watchable.
     
  3. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    I have the older Dragon 1-disc. I've heard the transfer is slightly better than the later 2-disc version, but that's not saying a lot. Still, with my experence with other Vipco DVD's...that one is probably the worst looking.
     
  4. Franco

    Franco Weekender

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    MGM should release it in a SPECIAL EDITION rather than inside a "Midnight Movies" disc. This slasher is probably as great (although different) as Sleepaway Camp.
     
  5. MrVess

    MrVess Guest

    Actually, it's definitely not as laughably bad as "Sleepaway Camp".
     
  6. eric_angelus

    eric_angelus Testacular

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    I own the single Dragon disc, I used to have the Vipco....Dragon beats it by leaps and bounds...and yeah I think the vipco was cut a little bit in the raft scene...much like their Mutlilator disc was missing the famous fish hook scene.
     
  7. Semerrill

    Semerrill Member

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    is the dragon dvd still availible
     
  8. ArrowBeach

    ArrowBeach Active Member

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    you know you are in trouble when a VHS from MGM is more cleaner and have a much better transfer than any of the DVD out there
     
  9. Shannafey

    Shannafey Don't Monkey With Me!

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    I have a uncut Hong Kong VCD with Chinese subs to hold me over. One of the better slashers of the 80s!!
     
  10. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    We had a thread on this topic on this site in the past. Someone posted some grabs from a few of the more damaged frames, when you do that, the Vipco disc is mighty scary :D

    Anyway, I have the Vipco and frankly wish I hadn't bothered. Some things are just worth waiting for, a "real" release of this is one of them, imo.
     
  11. Rock

    Rock Member

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    A couple of other things I forgot to mention in my mini-review: (1) YES keyboardist Rick Wakeman's intense throbbing score adds immeasurably to the movie's tension and (2) Holly Hunter is top-billed in the credits on the back of the disc...but you have to look hard and fast to spot her in the movie!
     
  12. Agent Z

    Agent Z "Get to the river...

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    Man, everytime a new thread comes up on The Burning, I plant my foot into my backside for selling off that VHS a few years back. That print used on the Amazon/MGM VHS was incredible. I have NO idea why MGM hasn't come out with the dvd yet...because it appears they already have the best quality print out there to use already.
     

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