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The Burning 1981 ***

Pre scandal, Harvey Weinstein’s name became synonymous with awards friendly upscale drama, but he got down and dirty in this early slasher movie, with a story by credit and screenplay duties for his brother Bob. The Burning is a fairly straightforward story of teens at a summer camp getting picked off by disfigured caretaker Cropsy (Lou David), who puts his shears to good effect in some impressively tense killings. The supporting cast has to be seen to be believed; Holly Hunter, Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander and Short Circuit’s Fisher Stevens are all pictured in their youth, and although The Burning was labelled as a ‘video nasty’ in the UK, it’s brisk approach makes it a key film in horror history; Weinstein’s instinct for making money from a smartly acquired concept proved to be the template for a hugely successful and controversial career as a producer. Tom Savini provided the convincing effects.

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