The Initiation (1984)

R   |    |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller

The Initiation (1984) Poster

An amnesiac sorority member who has been plagued by a recurring nightmare is stalked alongside other coeds by a killer in a deserted department store where they are completing a hazing ritual.


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14 March 2003 | BillyBC
No sorority girl pillow fights or spanking parties, but it's not bad...
(**1/2 out of *****) This okay slasher thriller tries to offer more than the standard slice-and-dice affair by having as its main character a young college student (Daphne Zuniga, a year after her cameo in the wretched "The Dorm That Dripped Blood") who is traumatized by an event in her past that caused her to forget everything up through age ten. From the opening scene, we already have a pretty good idea of the surprise involving the girl's secretive parents (played by Clu Gulager -- excellent in "Return of the Living Dead," but just mediocre here -- and Vera Miles from "Psycho"), but there's another twist at the very end that, in spite of some clunky hints here and there, is impossible to see coming (it's hardly fair, but it still provides a bit of a jolt.) With all the background and character development out of the way in the first half hour or so, we finally get to the more-familiar second half, where a group of sorority babes (including Zuniga) and frat boys break into a department building at night as part of an initiation stunt and are subsequently killed off by a maniac who uses a variety of gardening tools and other sharp objects. People are shot with arrows, shot with guns, shot with spears, stabbed, axed, and decapitated until the surprise killer is finally revealed (and it's probably not who you think.) Gaping plot holes abound, but, all in all, this one isn't too bad (and, besides, you're not supposed to pay attention to that kinda stuff in these kindsa movies anyway.)

HIGHLIGHT: The pretty, blonde sorority girl happens to be holding the public address intercom microphone when she is attacked at the security guard's booth, and her shrieks echo throughout the entire building.

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