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 an after-hours break-in of her father’s department store. But what begins as a night of harmless college fun turns sour when, once inside the enormous mall, Kelly and her fellow pledges find themselves locked in for the night… with a deadly intruder stalking the corridors. Arriving in 1984, The Initiation might have been late to the slasher party, but, alongside the likes of The House on Sorority Row and The Mutilator, it remains one of the stronger entries to emerge in the latter days of the slice-and-dice boom.


What We Thought:

The Initiation is classic 1980’s college themed horror. It has the look, the feel and all the clich├ęs you expect/want out of 1980’s slasher flicks.

Does that mean it’s good? Well sort of. You have to have a soft spot for college kids getting killed, getting drunk, getting naked and overacting. We here tend to enjoy it. It’s not great cinema, but it’s entertaining enough.

Is it a movie we’ve seen a thousand times? Sure, but this one has a young Daphne Zuniga in it! She did this almost a decade before Melrose Place. She plays a sorority pledge who has the same nightmare over and over again, but maybe it’s not a nightmare!

Good thing her teacher works with memories and the brain! They investigate her nightmares and at the same time her sorority is doing pranks and initiations on the new pledges. But there’s someone out there dropping bodies and it all comes to a climax.

I will say the ending is pretty good. It leads you in one direction and then there’s a big twist. I was expecting the typical ending most of these had, but this one surprised me. I’ll give it that.

The Blu-ray restoration looks pretty good. It didn’t look gem perfect in the first place, it was after all a 1980’s slasher flick. Audio is top-notch with easy to hear dialogue and score. There’s some great bonus features in this collection.

I’m sure someone out there loves The Initiation for its campy-ness and cult status. It’s a fun watch especially if you like these films in the first place. The ending helps because it doesn’t go in the standard way. For that it is…


Bonus Features:

  • 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
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver

Cast & Crew:

  • Daphne Zuniga
  • Vera Miles
  • Clu Gulager
  • Hunter Tylo
  • James Read

Recommended If You Like:

  • The House on Sorority Row
  • The Mutilator
  • 1980’s Slasher Flicks


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