Director: Larry Stewart
Notable Cast: Daphne Zuniga, Vera Miles, Clu Gulager, James Read, Marilyn Kagan, Robert Dowdell, Patti Heider, Frances Peterson, Hunter Tylo, Paula Knowles, Trey Stroud, Peter Malof, Christopher Bradley, Joy Jones, Mary Davis Duncan
Like many of the slashers in the 80s, The Initiation desperately tried to set itself apart from the rest of the pack by using gimmicks and marketing ploys to its benefit. With the title, posters, and slogans, The Initiation plays up the idea of college sorority pledges and uses a lot of cult like symbolism to sell its slasher as something more than just a hack n’ bleed college kid slaughter. The plot does center around new pledges to a sorority, but it’s hardly a film that the marketing (looking back at least) makes it seem like. No, The Initiation is more or less your standard slasher that introduces a variety of topics to give it a unique spin on its competition in 1984 and the resulting film is scattered and often unfocused. For every idiotic piece though, there is a bit of style or thoughtful tidbit that balances it out. However, despite some decent efforts at being a memorable little horror film, The Initiation just comes off as uneven more than anything else. Occasionally charming, worthy of some of the cult status it has achieved over time, but hardly one of the genre’s best.