The Initiation opens on an almost phantasm-like sequence, the picture fuzzy, the lighting sporting an almost dreamlike haze. And for good reason: it’s a dream we’re experiencing. No sooner are we out of the nightmare that we get a look at a group of college pledges, and we learn that their rendition of hazing can be a little… illegal. Like breaking into a business… because, well, it’s great to break major laws while earning a place among the sorority sisters.
We cut to the Fireside Sanitarium where we meet an entirely new lot of head-cases… and the groundskeeper, a disfigured man with an alarming disposition about him. Looks like he’ll play the film’s red herring.
The picture quickly changes gears, becoming something of a cult meets slasher piece. Loonies are running about freely, and they seem to be thinking as a single unit, as creepy as that is. Creepy or not, the movie begins a quick descent into terror, and a number of sequences manage to stick with the viewer, while a few questions rapidly form in the mind: Will Kelly, the picture’s protagonist survive to see the final credits, and what precisely is driving groups of institutionalized senior citizens to slaughter with no mercy?
The flick is crisp, the sound every bit as sharp of the picture itself. It’s an aged production, but it looks much cleaner than the vast majority of non-restored films of the 1980s. Arrow has this pic looking magnetic, and the sound mix is thoroughly impressive. I never caught the picture on VHS, so I’m uncertain of the consistency of the sound, but I can tell you with confidence, this release sounds awesome. It’s just a fine package, as a whole.
As for Arrow’s bonus supplements, there’s no skimping here. The disc is loaded with additional goodies, and those extras are quite diverse in selection.
Check out the cover right here:
Here’s a rundown of all the glorious additions you’ll find on the disc:
- Brand new restoration from original film elements
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Original Uncompressed Mono PCM audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- 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
Arrow, as reliable as they’ve always been, have turned an underrated and overlooked little chiller into a brand new must-have for the collection. You can show your appreciation for Arrow and the hard work they’re putting in by ordering up a copy of The Initiation.
And here’s an awesome video Arrow put together that should only serve to stoke the fires of desire!