The Killer from The Burning (1981)
1981's The Burning is one of my favorite slashers of all time. It has the panache of the first couple of Friday the 13th films, but it's much more of a mystery being a one-off. Had Cropsy come back for more adventures, the luster may have worn off a bit, but as it is The Burning stands alone as a really good slasher with a great villain.
Interesting Trivia: Tom Savini turned down the chance to work on Friday the 13th Part II to work on The Burning!
Cropsy's Story: Camp Blackfoot's alcoholic groundskeeper/janitor Cropsy is sleeping in his cabin one night when some young campers take it upon themselves to teach him a lesson. The prank goes horribly wrong, and Cropsy is severely burned - having to spend the next five years recovering in the hospital. He is released from the hospital, only to return to the site of his accident in order to stalk the campers of Camp Stone Water, located across the lake.
That's right. A burnt up villain that uses sharp objects to kill his victims. I'm not implying that a certain Wes Craven stole anything from this film, Cropsy certainly doesn't stalk people in their dreams, but it is interesting. In all honesty, the movie shares much more in common with Friday the 13th (specifically part 2) than it does with A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Interesting Trivia: The Burning was one of Miramax Film's earliest successes.
Okay, so the story is a little uninspired, but this ain't Shakespeare. Besides, who needs a good backstory when you've got a sharp pair of gardening shears just itching to get bloody? Oh that's right, I've failed to mention the fact that Cropsy is responsible for one of the greatest massacres ever to be filmed - the infamous RAFT MASSACRE. Please see this YouTube video HERE for reference.
I would like to recommend that everyone head over to Fright-Rags and check out their The Burning shirt which features the subject of today's Spotlight on Evil. It's pretty great and sells for $19.95.
There's not a whole lot more left for me to say about our dear Cropsy, the guy only lasted for one film in the slasher era for Pete's sake, but he will always be near and dear to me. I hope you guys enjoyed reading a little bit about my burnt up, kill-happy friend Cropsy.