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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Slasher > Cult > The Initiation (1984/Arrow Blu-ray w/DVD)

The Initiation (1984/Arrow Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: B & C+ Sound: B & C+ Extras: B Film: C+

1984's The Initiation is a film that you can picture playing on a drive-in screen. Similar to other slashers such as The House On Sorority Row, the film centers around college age murders in a sorority and stars Spaceballs actress Daphne Zuniga in her first leading role. Directed by Larry Stewart (who directed 1973's Thrill Seekers and not too much after this film) and also starring Psycho actress Vera Miles, the film follows many stereotypical slasher film tropes and is a little dated. but is still a fun film to watch... especially in a grand release such as this that I would suggest to slasher film fans. The film also stars Hunter Tylo, Clu Gulager, James Read, Marilyn Kagan, and Robert Dowdell to name a few.

Haunted by a recurring dream that involves her childhood, Kelly (Zuniga) is trying to make it through college life in a challenged female sorority. Planning a special initiation for her, to break into her father's huge department store, the group of girls soon find themselves victim to a grisly murderer who is hell bent on thinning out their numbers.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, the film looks better than it ever has before on Blu-ray disc with stunning detail and clarity throughout. Restored from the original 35mm film elements, the original uncompressed Mono PCM audio track is also crystal clear and up to par with what the filmmakers had originally intended. If you haven't seen this film before or only seen it on lesser formats, then this is definitely the 'proper' way to see it.

You also have the anamorphically enhanced DVD with lossy Dolby Digital Mono that is passable, but cannot take advantage of the restoration like the Blu-ray.

Special Features include...

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

Though short and sweet at around 97 minutes, The Initiation is a fun trip down slasher lane that has some interesting cinematography and a great score. If you're a fan of college setting slashers or '80s horror, then this is one that you don't want to overlook, especially now that it is available in such grand fashion by Arrow.

- James Lockhart



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