Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Phil's Horror Watch, Day 5: Phil watches THE INITIATION (1984)-October 5, 2011

Welcome back to day five of my horror movie marathon! So I decided to keep the 1980s theme going for another night, and here's a long lost and overlooked horror film that should be more recognized. The film was released to theaters during the first wave of the slasher films. Combining the fundamentals of a crime thriller and the requirements of the slasher criteria, the horror film THE INITIATION is a real treat to watch.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1984)
Kelly Fairchild (a young Daphne Zungia) is a college student going through initiation to become a member of the Delta Ro Kai sorority. Recently, she has been suffering terrible nightmares of a burning man. She befriends an assistant professor who helps her analyze with memory regression, but when he discovers what her dreams mean, Kelly and her pledge sisters are spending the night in her father's mall, which also contains an escaped mental patient who also holds the key to Kelly's past and her identity. The film also boasts one of the best, original, out-of-left field endings ever seen in slasher history.

Again, like CHEERLEADER CAMP, the film has been largely overlooked, and it's a real shame. The film contains some fine acting from Zungia (she would latter appear in films like A SURE THING, SPACEBALLS, and the TV show MELROSE PLACE), Vera Miles (PSYCHO), CLU GULAGER (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD), and James Read (LEGALLY BLONDE). The mall where the film was filmed at was the Dallas International Market, and the crew had to film at night between 7pm and 7am. So the cast and crew had to work all night and work fast. The death scenes in the film are great and are not too graphic, but there are a couple that are just painfully brutal. And the story is top notch, with a great twist ending that I did not see coming at all, and it's the ending which took the film to another level. Really, it's that damn good! The film was originally released to theaters in December of 1984.

THE INITIATION is one helluva slasher film that you really must see! You won't find this lost gem on any horror film list, because some folks might have forgotten about it, or may have never seen it, or never seen it. So do yourself a favor, after watching this film, go tell your friends, and have them tell there friends, because the more people know, the more well known this film will become. And just in time for Halloween!

THE INITIATION is currently available on DVD, and can be purchased on the Amazon website. Pick one up at their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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