Halloween is just around the corner, and if you’ve been lucky enough to get your claws on Arrow’s latest jack-o’-lantern-tinged steelbook edition of Tony Maylam’s The Burning, then your celebration of All Hallow’s Eve is off to a terrific start. The Blu-ray rendition of this dual format offering shines with that rejuvenating Arrow glow, as if the entire film were blasted through some kind of supersonic movie projector. Those lake waters look so fresh and so clean that you could bottle and sell it tomorrow.
The highlight of this release’s extra features is undoubtedly Blood’n’Fire Memories with horror special effects makeup pioneer Tom Savini. The man has killed more teenagers than Freddy, Michael and Jason combined and it certainly is a treat to see this innovative man in action. He lets you in on some of his trade secrets, tells a few set stories and he doesn’t hold back on his thoughts on the Friday the 13th franchise!
Despite this, I still found the extras to be slightly lacking. While it is most fascinating to hear the movie’s composer Rick Wakeman regale us about his dealings with the ever tumultuous nature of the film-making business in the dreadfully titled extra, Synthly the Best, what I really wanted was interviews with the younger cast – Jason Alexander in particular. Both his charisma and chemistry with his camp buddies pretty much carry the movie until the bloody action is ready to commence, so it would have been interesting to hear his thoughts on his experience making the movie as well as his opinion of the finished product.
Save for a few severed fingers, Savini’s disturbingly realistic work continues to amaze and horrify me in ways that will keep this movie on my mind for days. It has been a while, but every kill scene, from the prostitute to the river rafting massacre feel just as savage as the first time I saw them. The big reveal of our killer’s handsome face still chips away at my soul each time I see it. Thanks to Arrow’s restoration certain scenes that were once too dark to make out on DVD have finally come into the light. The special features weren’t everything that I hoped for, but I’m sure they will satisfy the majority. Another great release that belongs in every slasher movie lover’s collection.