JULY 27, 2007
What the hell’s with all the slashers? I’m supposed to be evening this out, but this is like four in a row, five if you count Bay of Blood. Still, I shouldn’t complain… beats trying to watch five goddamn anthology movies in a row.
The Initiation is of course one of several (or two) Daphne Zuniga slasher movies that came along long past their time. But it’s marginally better than Dorm that Dripped Blood, mainly due to the fact that it doesn’t bore you to tears from the first scene. No, this one begins with a little girl stabbing her mom’s boyfriend, which inadvertently leads to her dad being horribly burned in a scuffle. Also – third film in a row featuring the death of a father, which is upsetting to me. Oh well.
This one was shot in Texas, which is pretty rare for a slasher, for whatever reason. Maybe Leatherface and the like killed all of the slasher killers. Doesn’t really matter in the end, but it’s nice to see non Canadian/Connecticut locales in an early 80s slasher movie. Even if it IS as stupid as this one.
Actually the main problem with Initiation is the ridiculous amount of subplotting. It’s not enough that we have the back-story about the mom cheating on her husband with Clu Gulager (and really, who could blame her?), but there’s also an escaped mental patient or two, a professor who the mother doesn’t trust, some nonsense about a sorority prank, and in the least pleasant moment, one of the fodder girls discussing how as a 12 year old she was raped by her violin teacher (which she reveals and then immediately fucks a dude in a dept store bed and gets killed less than 5 minutes later). I’ve probably forgotten some others by now, but it seems an awful lot to accept in what should be a straight forward ‘slasher in a mall’ movie.
Actually I shouldn’t say mall, because it is called a store, and is set in a 10 story building, and often just resembles a college library. No idea what’s going on with the set design here, but it adds to the movie’s puzzling tone. There’s also another part where Vera Miles (!!!!) says about a character who has just been killed “He’d forget his head if it wasn’t attached”. This is of course horror movie cliché-speak for a character who has been beheaded, but… the character in question wasn’t. Again, the movie is just odd.
The ending is one of the wackier in slasher history too, as we are suddenly supposed to accept that the killer is the final girl’s heretofore unmentioned twin sister. Since decent split screen effects weren’t quite there yet, this leads us to a poorly edited climax where the two primary characters rarely share the screen, and when they do it is done with a double that looks nothing like Zuniga.
Poor little movie.
What say you?