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The Initiation
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English Mono
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Region 2 / PAL
  • Theatrical Trailer

The Initiation


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Larry Stewart
Starring: Daphne Zuniga, Clu Gulager, Vera Miles
1984 | 93 Minutes

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: £9.99 | Series: ArrowDrome
Arrow Films

Release Date: August 5, 2013
Review Date: August 6, 2013

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SYNOPSIS

Like any blossoming young woman, Kelly 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 sorority sisters have tasked her with - a late-night break-in of her father's department store. At first, it seems pretty straightforward and everything goes to plan, but once inside the labyrinthian mall, Kelly and her fellow pledges finds themselves locked in, and they're not alone.

Who is the stranger stalking Kelly and her randy teen friends through the department's stores shadowy corridors? And how is this unseen assailant connected with Kelly's terrible recurring nightmares of a man burning in agony..?

Discuss the film and DVD here   


PICTURE

As part of the ArrowDrome series, Arrow Video presents Larry Stewartís borderline incomprehensible slasher flick The Initiation on DVD with an anamorphic widescreen transfer in the aspect ratio of about 1.85:1 on a dual-layer disc. The disc is locked for Region 2 and is presented in PAL, so North American viewers will require equipment that can play back Region 2/PAL titles.

As it stands I have to say Iím pleasantly surprised by the video presentation we get here. Itís nothing truly spectacular, looking to have been taken from a later generation print and there are obvious problems because of it. The film is soft and never excels in clarity, but most of this looks to be an issue with the source print, or the fact that the film is being shot somewhat out-of-focus (whether it was intentional or not is another matter.) The print is generally clean, though, with the worst offenders being a couple of scenes with heavy scratches on the right side of the frame, but these incidents are few. Most of the damage is limited to white specs scattered about.

Noise is minimal and the digital transfer looks decent enough upscaled. Colours look to be saturated well, and blacks, while not overly deep or strong, are presented well and I didnít notice any heavy crushing. There is a thin black border around the entire image, which is a little distracting at times but not a huge concern.

In general the transfer is pretty good, nothing exceptional, but fine enough. It works for the type of film, though, where it would be almost wrong to have a perfectly clear image for something that seems best suited for VHS.

6/10

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AUDIO

The 2.0 channel mono track is better than it probably should be but is still overall rather shallow with a slight tinny edge to it. Sometimes I found it was mixed a little low but Iím guessing this was intentional so that scenes with screaming or sudden jumps would be that much louder. So I basically had to crank it, which is what most will have to probably have to do to catch the dialogue (if it really matters) since there are no subtitles.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

This is the first ArrowDrome release Iíve looked at and Iím guessing the idea behind it is getting these titles (which they describe as ďviolent, horrific, sleazy, exploitiveĒ) out there fairly cheap. Because of this there are no special features of note other than a theatrical trailer and a booklet containing an essay by critic Calum Waddell that actually proves to be an interesting read. You also get a reversible cover presenting what I assume may be something closer to the original poster art.

1/10

CLOSING

Itís a budget release but it looks far better than I ever would have expected, despite some short comings in places. Not a stellar release, but those looking to own the film should have no doubts about picking this disc up.




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