Thanks to Arrow Video releasing a Blu-ray of The Initiation, I got to go back and experience this somewhat unknown slasher film from the 80s. I’ve actually reviewed The Initiation before, so I’ll just list some of the greatest hits from that review below. The rest will be dedicated to a quick review of the Blu-ray. Short and sweet is what is on the plate today.
DISCS: 1 RUN-TIME: 97 min ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1 RESOLUTION: 1080p AUDIO: LPCM Mono LANGUAGE: English SUBTITLES: English SDH REGION: A/B (locked) RATING: R PRODUCTION DATE: 1984 RELEASE DATE: Nov 8, 2016
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.
Usually, a slasher will have some sort of catch to draw you in, a twist or something. The Initiation, is no different, as the entire movie relies on keeping the identity of the killer a secret, which is something most slasher films do, unless you’re The Slumber Party Massacre, but the difference with this movie, is the twist is so easy to guess.
The acting is above par for a stab-athon, or in The Initiation’s case, a spear gun-athon or garden tool-athon movie in the 80s. You’ll have some familiar faces, such as Daphne Zuniga or Hunter Tylo, a girl who loves to bear it all (I could’ve sworn though in the shower scene, she was wearing a wig, but not on her head, if you know what I mean). Even the awesome Clu Gulager from A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge and The Return of the Living Dead, shows up for a bit.
The Initiation is not a movie that I’m going to feverishly fight over and try to convince you to immediately go out and watch it, but I can say that if you have some time to kill, it isn’t a bad way to spend a night in.
As you can see, I didn’t mind The Initiation. I was disappointed that I was able to figure out who the killer was right away. Nevertheless, I did get a kick out of the killings, and most importantly, Hunter Tylo is a beauty both naked and fully clothed.
Arrow Video does what they usually do and releases a solid Blu-ray for the fans of The Initiation. Sadly, though, the features can be a bit lacking when it comes to interviews. We have a nice sit down with writer Charles Pratt Jr., but in regards to actors, we only get a couple bit players and no key members. What’s a matter Daphne Zuniga, you too good for The Initiation memory lane? Rounding out the features is a trailer, commentary and a nice booklet that is only included in the initial pressing (so be quick about buying it!)
As for the people that fawn over audio and video quality; to my rather easy to please eyes, everything looked great. The film does have some heavy grain at times, but I’m a grain lover (don’t tell my wife), so I love the look. The audio was perfectly acceptable, with no annoying issues popping up. Fans shouldn’t be worried about buying this one.
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
Sorority Saga – Brand new interview with writer Charles Pratt Jr.
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
The Initiation is one of many slashers from the 80s, but it does have a few qualities to keep you entertained. Hunter Tylo naked, for example. Arrow Video’s Blu-ray is a solid effort that shouldn’t disappoint anyone unless they are expecting a ton of interviews with some of the top-billed actors.