Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Burning... Major Disappointment

So my Seven Nights of Slashers took a dip last night with the overrated Harvey Weinstein slasher The Burning.  It was basically Meatballs meets Friday the 13th.  It actually got the Meatballs part correct-- The character development at the camp was exceptional compared to most slashers (aided greatly by a fantastic performance by a young Jason Alexander).  The slasher part, however, was rather boring and this film made a gross error in its overall construction by having the "Final Girl" be two guys!  Clearly, the Weinstein's were intent on "deconstructing" the slasher genre before it could reach its peak.  Given that, I must contradict previous contentions that the genre began to die with Silent Night, Deadly Night and April Fool's Day.  I think the moment someone tries to get clever and "deconstruct" a genre, the genre is on its way out.  That's scary.  It basically means that the true, pure slasher film only gets two years, 1980 and 1981, to flap its bloody, subversive wings (and yes, by deconstructing a subversive genre, what the Weinstein Bros. did was RESTORE the dominant culture, essentially ripping the transgressive guts right out of the genre!)

Hopefully my choice for tonight will be more bloody and less apologetic to the status quo.  It's the original My Bloody Valentine and in the reading I am doing, it brings class politics into the equation with respect to its blue-collar killer.


  1. This movie only gets "props" because it was forgotten for so long till the DVD age. I certainly had never heard of it back in the day, and I followed that stuff fairly well starting in the late 1980s. However, the one scene that is actually effective--the raft massacre--was cut from the original R-rated release and not seen till DVD release. Ironic, b/c that bit is a pretty cool bit of slasher mayhem.

  2. Hello Will, I just found your response; I've watched The Burning again since I wrote this original post in 2010. I pretty much saw the same problems with it. It's interesting that a lot of people say it was 'lost' until the dvd release. I remember this being on Showtime and Cinemax way, way back in the glory days of cable television. I think my biggest complaint is that it just isn't very scary (most slashers aren't, though, so The Burning is not alone in this). The special effects are definitely the high point of this film.