Now, I’m no geneticist, but I think I can glean an interesting bit of scientific business from a film like, I dunno, The Burning. The setup: a group of silly camp boys play a prank on the meanie caretaker Cropsy. This involves humorously sticking a rotted human head (covered in maggots, with two candles sitting in its eye sockets) on his bedside table. This awakens Cropsy in chuckle-inducing fashion, setting off a chain of slapstick involving a can of gasoline that results in a raging meanie inferno, eventually culminating in a silly time tumble into a lake. He he!
At the hospital, the token black dude nurse correctly diagnoses him as a "fucking Big Mac overdone". Cropsy promptly grabs somebody’s arm, as he apparently is already well versed in mongoloid stalker union regulations. Here we have a transformation that transcends mere crispiness. Crospy the caretaker starts as a mild mannered asshole working man, and through the mystery of intense heat, becomes an invincible, angry retard and professional shock machine. Somehow, his nucleotides melted slightly, altering the base pairs, resulting in a mongoloidal mess. He’s unable to feel pain, and exists solely to cut-up teenie slackers. This transformation occurs for every horror movie burn victim in history, so surely it must be based on some scientific fact.
Anyway, five years later, Cropsy is being wheeled out while a doctor’s voice over explains to him that life as a crispy mongoloid will not be without its speed bumps. First things first, he heads to the local red light district, hooking up with a prostitute in a motel room. He jams a pair of scissors into her sternum, above the waist but below the bra, which qualifies as borderline tasteful for these “stabbing a hooker with scissors” scenes. Cropsy smashes a window, lightning flashes, and hooker blood squirts on a mirror. This is all just a bunch of flash to spice up what is a mere practice detour on his camper hacking fun spree.
We head to camp, and the girls are playing softball, with Jason Alexander and his athletically challenged friends participating the only way they can; by staring at their asses. The camera understandably prowls the girl's cabin, and one of them goes off to take a shower. She shows her boobs and screams, and understandably so; super nerd Alfred has been peeping at her tits.
The lead girl rightfully chastises him, so he runs off and complains to one of the counselors about how much he hates camp because he’s lame and has no friends. No wonder he hates camping, what with Joe Dallesandro lookalike Glazer (if Joe had a touch of the down syndrome) picking on him, threatening the nerd with the only form of human communication Glazer understands: pummeling.
Alfred, Costanza, and company go swimming, and Glazer pushes Alfred into the water, who of course can’t swim, which I guess is an aquatic form of pummeling. Glazer then hits on the girls, but gets rejected, because, frankly, he is a giant, dumb asshole. Alfred, Costanza, and their buddies get a sort of “double-barreled ass revenge” by shooting a bee-bee into his behind, then collectively mooning him (including the dreaded “George Costanza buttock exposure”). These scenes and others robustly showcase the bully and nerd dynamic at work; the boorish dickhead being outwitted by geeky Jews much to the delight of all of the shut-ins in the audience, Hebe and otherwise.
that's Jason on the left there
When Alexander (who wears a number 96 jersey, which may be foreshadowing that he’ll be 86’d while upside down in a 69) isn’t showing his ass, he’s handing out porno mags like he’s the St. Nick of titties, and running into the room to give exposition as if he was the Paul Revere of script doctors. He mentions a big canoe trip and, sure enough, the trip begins the next morning while some invisible asshole dicks around on their banjos.
(SOME SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT, BUT YOU SHOULD'VE FIGURED OUT THAT CAMPERS WOULD BE GETTING KILLED)
Meanwhile, a couple goes skinny dipping under a full moon, and the girl is angered by his advances (sometimes full frontal nudity can send the wrong signals). He tells her to "get the fuck out of my face", perhaps a tad on the insensitive side, but so she does, heading back to land. Unfortunately, her clothes are now scattered throughout the woods (probably the handiwork of lecherous raccoons), and her attempts to retrieve them are cut short when a giant pair of gardening shears somehow finds its way into her aorta.
The next morning, everyone is quite concerned about the missing girl, deciding to split up and search for her. That is, all accept useless slacker extra Holly Hunter, who is more interested in tearing up leaves, and uncaring asshole Glazer, who just keeps hitting on that same fucking girl again and again. A group decides to build a raft and search the lake for the girl, coming upon a still, presumably empty canoe. Admittedly, thine description dost protesteth too mucheth, and Cropsy unceremoniously pops out, blocks out the sun, and promptly goes to work, cutting off fingers, slicing necks, stabbing chests, etc. This awesomely efficient orgy of teenie destruction ends with a close-up of blood dripping off a girls arm and into the water, fading to red, as if to say all of this plasma has managed to soak itself into the actual film stock.
Meanwhile, lo and behold, Glazer finally gets laid, but alas, he comes in a heartbeat. It turns out Glazer is a bully to make up for his sexual inadequacy, but you probably figured that out from the get go. He eventually gets brutally impaled in the throat with the shears, relieving the world of a future combination gas station attendant/date rapist.
The final showdown takes place in the hollowed out remains of Cropsy’s burned down cabin (which is a pretty cool looking area to battle a retard). His main nemesis in this case is a male camp counselor, which I think is one of the boys from the prologue all grown up. Cropsy pulls out his flame thrower, seeking an "eye for an eye" in the form of 1st degree burns, but eventually is undone by Alfred. The credits roll to some layered synth, courtesy of Yes keyboardist Rick Wakemen, taking time off from composing a keyboard/orchestra piece about an evil wizard who summons an army of demon gorillas in order to conquer all of Europe (not the band).
Here the final girl is replaced by a whimpering Jew nerd, but the effect is similar. A sympathetic character normally unequipped to handle a mad slasher has to summon deep seeded survival instincts, transforming from a mild mannered schmuck into a vicious killing machine. One must deal with a mongoloid on terms they can understand.
P.S. Not a 4th of July slasher like I Know What You Did Last Summer, but nothing says Americana to me than campers getting impaled by garden shears.