Blu-ray Review “The Burning”

burning-bluActors: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Jason Alexander, Lou David, Shelley Bruce
Directors: Tony Maylam
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Run Time: 91 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“The Burning” is probably either one of your favorite horror films or it is one of those that you have heard about but never seen.  The later was the case for me, I have known about this film forever and never saw it until it aired on a (long gone) TV station called “Monsters HD” years ago. The film is gory, cheesy and a must watch for any fan of horror. Be sure to keep an eye out for early roles from Fisher Stevens (“Hackers”), Jason Alexander (“Seinfeld”) and Holly Hunter (“The Piano”). The film wasn’t even given a proper DVD release until 2011. Thanks to Shout! Factory sister label, Scream Factory, we get this beautiful Blu-ray release that is going to leave hardcore horror fans very satisfied.

Official Premise: After a cruel joke goes awry, severely burning him and subjecting him to five years of intensive, unsuccessful skin graft treatments, Cropsy (Lou David) is back at camp…and ready to wreak havoc on those who scarred him! With his hedge clippers in hand, he terrorizes the camp and systematically mutilates each victim. Can a few courageous campers save themselves and destroy this demented madman before he kills them all?

This Collector’s Edition Blu-ray + DVD combo pack comes with reversible cover art.  You can either have Nathan Thomas Milliner’s amazing new artwork or if you prefer the original theatrical artwork you can just reverse the insert and BOOM! The 1080p transfer on the Blu-ray looks good for a film that is over 30 years old.  It is presented with an aspect ratio of 1.85: 1.  I was very impressed with this transfer, especially gives props to Tom Savini’s impressive special make-up and effects. The audio track included in a decent DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track.  It is not stunning but works for the film, especially scores with Rick Wakeman amazing score!

The special features are damn impressive as well.  Shout! Factory really delivers for the fans here.  There are two audio commentary tracks.  The first is with with Director Tony Maylam and International Film Journalist Alan Jones and the second is with stars Shelley Bruce and Bonnie Deroski.  Fans should enjoy both.  The first is more technical, while the second is more rehashing, but still fun.  “Blood ‘n’ Fire Memories” is a look into Tom Savini’s make-up effects. “Slash & Cut” is an interview with editor Jack Sholder. “Cropsy Speaks” is an interview with Lou David.  “Summer Camp Nightmare” is an interview with actress Leah Ayres. There is some retro Behind-the-Scenes Footage.  Lastly wrapping up the extras is the Theatrical Trailer and a Make-Up Effects/Poster Still Gallery.

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