Monday, October 14, 2013

The Initiation - 1984

The Initiation

This slasher starts out with a nightmare dream sequence, runs us through a sorority initiation ceremony, whisks us to an insane asylum, takes us to a mansion, back to the sorority house, and finally deposits us at a huge, empty shopping mall. The story really shoots for the stars, incorporating all sorts of slasher elements and when it seems too much, they are all brought together with deftness.

The Initiation doesn't twist or stretch the genre, it takes all the interesting bits and pieces of other slashers and builds a pretty decent film.

Daphne Zuniga plays a rich, but sheltered woman entering her first year in college. She's taking the initiation into a sorority which leads her to the mall her father owns. She has been plagued by the same nightmare her whole life. Someone escapes from a mental hospital and begins a killing spree. That burn victim gardener looks mean and suspicious. Her mother seems to be hiding something. A solid slasher storyline.

The acting is decent. Daphne Zuniga has a wonderful, youthful, beauty which makes it easy to like her character. The second cutest woman in the movie gets naked a few times which is always nice. The rest of the characters are underwritten and flat at first, but as the film moves along, a few of them are fleshed out.

The kills are good. A few garden fork stabbings, an axe to the head, an arrow, an off-screen throat slit. They are all effective.

The music score is dated and mostly horrible. Might be fun to laugh at.

I was genuinely surprised at the ending. Even re-watching it, I mis-remembered the ending and was surprised again. If you want a solid, by the numbers, slasher, this a great option.

Here's a trailer. Be warned... boobs.

(Poster courtesy of Wrong Side of the Art.)

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