The Coming aka Burned at the Stake – USA, 1981

‘What’s gotten into Loreen?’

The Coming – aka Burned at the Stake – is a 1981 American supernatural horror feature film written, produced and directed by Bert I. Gordon (Empire of the Ants; Necromancy; The Amazing Colossal Man; et al). The Alan Landsburg Productions movie stars Susan Swift, Albert Salmi, Guy Stockwell and Tisha Sterling.

Plot:

In 1692, a young girl in Salem, Massachusetts accuses several residents of being witches, and they are burned at the stake.

In 1980, a young woman who is a descendant of the accuser finds herself having recurring nightmares about the incident and comes to believe she is being terrorised by the ghost of the father of the women who were burned as witches…

Reviews:

” …Susan Swift (Audrey Rose – 1977) is good as Ann/Loreen, but the story and special effects (including some wonky optical work) leaves a lot to be desired […] The premise is interesting, but the execution is pedestrian.” Fred Adelman, Critical Condition

“Kooky though it may be, Burned has a semi-cruel dark streak as only a film that concerns itself with a five-year-old being burned alive can. Susan Swift‘s performance is seriously solid, regardless of the heaps of hokum thrown at her and frankly, I’d take this cockeyed lunacy over drippy Audrey Rose any day of the week!” Kindertrauma

” …it is told straight-faced rather than tongue-in-cheek; and the killings by animated light effect are sorely lacking in any of the trashy-fun transformation effects of the product of contemporaries like Troma and Empire. Too boring to really be called bad.” Richard Scheib, Moria

Cast and characters:

  • Susan Swift … Loreen Graham / Ann Putnam – Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers; Audrey Rose
  • Albert Salmi … Captain Billingham – Superstition; Empire of the Ants; Escape from the Planet of the Apes 
  • Guy Stockwell … Doctor Grossinger – Santa Sangre; Werewolf TV series; Grotesque; It’s Alive
  • Tisha Sterling … Karen Graham
  • Beverly Ross … Merlina
  • David Rounds … William Goode
  • John Peters … Rev. Parris
  • Jennine Babo … Dorcas Goode
  • Dana Hardwick … Justice Hathorne
  • Lauren Jennifer Downing … Sarah Goode (as Lauren Downing)
  • Frank Dolan … Kevin O’Neil
  • Judy Dodd … Nancy
  • Terese Giammarco … Gwyneth
  • David Golia … The Driver
  • Harold Jackson … Library Guard
  • Richard Kneeland … Giles Corey
  • Nina Marten … Rebecca Nurse
  • Janice Wayne … Miss Williams

Filming locations:

Salem, Massachusetts

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2 Comments on “The Coming aka Burned at the Stake – USA, 1981”

  1. I was working in Salem ma in the fall of 1979 when they made this movie there. I talked with John Peters who played Rev Parris- very smart guy..spoke 7 languages. Wrote books on gardening. Never been able to get a decent copy of this movie…always hopeful. Mitchellcole1@comcast.net

  2. Talk about obscure. Remember this being covered in one of the very earliest issues of fangoria, then seemingly disappearing.

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