Actors: Daphne Zuniga, Vera Miles
Synopsis: Marking TV star Daphne Zuniga's debut in a leading role, The Initiation ranks amongst the finest of the college-based stalk-and-slash flicks - now finally restored in glorious High-Definition!
Kelly’s new sorority has a special initiation ritual in store for her. She is to break into her father’s department store. However, what begins as – an after-hours break-in of her father’s department store. But what begins as college fun turns terrible when, once inside the enormous mall, Kelly and her fellow pledges find themselves locked in for the night and a deadly intruder ix stalking the corridors. “The Initiation” looks like a classy film that is nicely packaged and has several interesting moments but it is as cheesy as all get out.
Kelly Fairchild is a pledge at her local college and as the new term draws near, she learns that she has to participate in the annual prank-filled initiation in order to gain the respect of her senior sorority sisters. This year, she and three of her friends have the job of stealing the uniform of the security guard that patrols the local mall after hours. It is lucky for the girls that the shopping centre is owned by Kelly’s father, Dwight, a local entrepreneur. Unbeknownst to everyone, the time chosen for the caper coincides with that of a recently escaped lunatic is also hiding in the mall.
This is director Larry Stewart’s one and only film and it is a film of two halves that starts flatly with nothing to note from Stewart’s direction. It’s only when the victims are locked in the mall with the maniac killer that he gets the chance to flex his creative muscle and deliver some taut suspense and engaging set pieces. He provides good suspense even with a cast that is just cheesy (I cannot think of another word). The script is actually quite good and the ending is a surprise so what happened?
Those looking for blood and gore may be disappointed with the lack of it and those looking for a fun slasher movie will find it here. I was reminded of those gore flicks of the early-eighties that packed a punch to our ocular senses. The acting is hilariously campy, but the good points, such as the impressively strong pacing, just about outweigh the bad.
When I sat down to watch this film I didn’t know anything about it and I was surprised to see Vera Miles and Clu Gulager on the opening credits. I actually enjoyed the film and even watched it twice. It has an interesting story, passable special effects, little blood, zero gore, dream sequence, frat costume party, 80’s fashions and hair. It’s not scary in the least, but it’s still a fun film.
FIRST PRESSING ONLY:
Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver
Brand new restoration from original film elements
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original Uncompressed Mono PCM audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary by The Hysteria Continues
Brand new interview with actor Christopher Bradley
Brand new interview with actress Joy Jones
Original Theatrical Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn