Initiation, The (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus takes a technical look at The Initiation on DVD from Arrow Video...
Like any blossoming all-American gal, Kelly Fairchild (Daphne Zuniga) is looking forward to her sorority initiation with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. And she's got every reason to be anxious considering the prank her Delta Ro Kai sorority sisters have tasked her with a late night break-in of her father's department store.
However when the girls get inside the mall, the girls soon discover that they are not alone...
The opening scene is Vaseline soft in appearance, like watching through a fogged up lens but of course this is intentional given the dreamlike approach to the introduction to the film. Jumping out of the dream the image is still soft around the edges but generally comes with an acceptable amount of detail and a fair bit of colour, even if that colour is coated in 80s music video neon pinks and blues.
Close ups offer hints and better detail, black levels are generally all solid, even if some of the edges can be closer to dark blue sometimes and colour throughout holds up very well. There's a fair bit of grain apparent but it's never intrusive and even though this isn't a remaster that outreaches the films routes it shows distinct signs of improvement.
The score is synthy and hollow, the dialogue clear but equally thin. This is all very B-movie sounding and there's no audio enhancements to hide that. Everything feels like its living in the centre speaker and when elements reach outside it, such as giggling girls or excited psych ward patients, the larger sounds can feel scratchy and screechy and their limitations felt entirely.
Of course these limitations are unavoidable for the most part, these cult horrors were made on tiny budgets after all but there are obvious improvements on the DVD. The deeper score elements can actually deliver some worthy thuds from time to time, the dialogue while thin never has any clarity issues even with multiple elements overlapping one another and while this one still sounds like the era and genre it was made in it certainly sounds better than VHS quality.
The only extra on the disc is the film's trailer.
The Initiation is an easy to forget slasher with the a boring killer splattered between plenty of girls showing T&A. The plot feels lazy and the half assed reveal at the end may be a surprise but it's not enough to save the low rent horror before the credits roll. The disc has obvious signs of improvement video and audio wise but with next to no extras this isn't the best cult release out there.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over
Release Date: 5th August 2013
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Mono. 2.0 English
Easter Egg: No
Director: Larry Stewart
Cast: Vera Miles, Clu Gulager, Daphne Zuniga
Length: 92 minutes
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