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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Burning [Blu-ray]

 

(Tony Maylam, 1981)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Miramax Films

Video: Shout! Factory

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:31:29.442

Disc Size: 39,849,868,169 bytes

Feature Size: 25,931,882,496 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 21st, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2074 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2074 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1581 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1581 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1751 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1751 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Tony Maylam and Alan Jones

• Commentary by Shelley Bruce and Bonnie Deroski

• Blood n' Fire Memories (18:01)

• Slash and Cut (12:04)

• Cropsy Speaks (11:19)

• Summer Camp Nightmare (6:45)

• Behind the Scenes Footage (7:56)

• Theatrical Trailer (1:27)

• Make-up and Special Effects Gallery

• Poster and Stills Gallery

DVD of the Feature

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: What starts out as a harmless prank turns into a terrible tragedy when the caretaker at a summer camp winds up horrifically burned. Permanently disfigured, he returns to the campgrounds seeking revenge against the teenagers responsible. His weapon: a huge pair of garden shears!

 

 

The Film:

Apart from early appearances by Jason Alexander and Holly Hunter, an interesting score by Rick Wakeman, and some typically... effective work by effects icon Tom Savini, this slasher film is also among the more frightening of its kind. The plot concerns a summer-camp caretaker named Cropsy (Lou David) who is horribly burned by mischievous teen campers during a botched practical joke. Years later, he leaves the hospital as a disfigured gloppy mess with an axe (actually, hedgeclippers) to grind. After dispatching a local prostitute, Cropsy heads out to the wilderness to terrorize a group of campers. They're the usual bunch of horny, obnoxious teenagers, but there are some interesting performances by Larry Joshua as a mean-spirited bully and Brian Backer (of Fast Times at Ridgemont High) as a put-upon nerd. The campers visit an island and, in a scene heavily cut by the ratings board prior to release, several of them die in a horrifying mass slaughter aboard a boat. The remaining teens are brutally picked off one by one until Cropsy is finally defeated.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Although Harvey Weinstein claims he had the idea for THE BURNING before FRIDAY THE 13TH, the result is a more polished retread as young campers and their counselors pay the price for an accident that left Cropsy the camp janitor burned beyond recognition and out for revenge with a pair of shears. Like FRIDAY THE 13TH, THE BURNING had its gory Tom Savini make-up effects cut for an R-rating and the resulting film was rather innocuous though it started to gain a cult following once viewers became aware of uncut releases abroad. Initially released in the US as a cut, R-rated, fullframe release on videotape from Thorn/EMI, THE BURNING (the first Miramax production and the feature debuts of Holly Hunter, Jason Alexander, and Fisher Stevens) and then in a plethora of European tape and DVD release of varying degrees of completeness and varying quality, THE BURNING was not seen uncut legitimately in the United States until MGM released an unmatted Amazon.com exclusive VHS that sold out quickly. What distinguishes the film from many of its slasher ilk is the professional direction from Tony Maylam (hired after the Weinstein's saw his Genesis concert film), the cinematography of DP Harvey Harrison (Nicolas Roeg's THE WITCHES, second unit on GOLDENEYE), Rick Wakeman's electronic score (although the best tracks were written solely for the soundtrack album), and the F13-topping gore and savagery of the kills of characters generally more likable than those of post-SCREAM recursive slashers and simple retreads.

Eric Cotenas

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Burning on Blu-ray from Shout Factory looks improved over the previous digital release - that we reviewed,  the 2007 MGM DVD, HERE. For an 80's slasher flic - it looks quite good with stronger colors, a bit of depth and no artefacts that exist in the SD. There isn't a preponderance of noise in the darker sequences and detail, in close-ups, is acceptable. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate - I doubt it could look any better and is probably a strong replication of the original theatrical appearance. The visuals are clean, no speckles, and the 1080P supports a worthy presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio comes in a, now, standard DTS-HD Master 2.0 at 2074 kbps. The screams and aggressive effects export some extra bass and overall it sounds solid. The electro-pop-y score is by Rick Wakeman and, for the most part, suits the film expression building suspense and a sense of immanency. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

The Burning package is loaded with extras starting with 2 commentaries - the first by director Tony Maylam and Alan Jones, the second by actresses Shelley Bruce and Bonnie Deroski. Blood n' Fire Memories runs 18-minutes and is a detailed look at the creation of the film's make-up effects with special effects artists Tom Savini. Slash and Cut is a 12-minute interview with editor Jack Sholder. Cropsy Speaks spends 11.5 minutes with actor Lou David and Summer Camp Nightmare is a 7-minute interview with actress Leah Ayres. We get 8-minutes of Behind the Scenes Footage, a theatrical trailer as well as a Make-up and Special Effects Gallery and a Poster and Stills Gallery. There is a DVD of the Feature included in the Blu-ray case.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Wow - almost satirical in it's blood-splattering hyper-gore. The Burning really pushes the horror genre mid-level to upper-tier in terms of gruesome-ness. I didn't find it particularly polished - but it seems cohesive enough for the fans. Keep your eyes peeled for a young Holly Hunter (her first film!)! The Shout! Factory Blu-ray looks and sounds acceptable but the supplements may be the most appealing feature of the package. For those keen? -> enjoy! 

Gary Tooze

May 16th, 2013

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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