Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Initiation (1984)

This week's post, I've handed over the reigns  to my brilliant partner in crime over at First World Failure, Beth Seaver to do her own exploring. Strap in...

OK, I’ll be honest. I’ve been through sorority initiation and I thought that this movie would just be a fun opportunity to relive the passive aggressive mental abuse minus the tears and secret eating. Sadly, the sense train jumps the track early in this film, and all we can do is survey the wreckage looking for meaning that isn’t really there. Fans of Halloween will be happy to know that The Initiation steals plot points with abandon, whether it makes sense or not. 

We open with a little girl sleeping. She wakes up and walks down the hall to find her mother and a man having sex. Unlike the rest of us (who would still be washing our eyes to this day), this little gal takes a page from the Michael Meyers handbook and...

Stabs him! Sure. Then another unnamed man rushes into the room (might want to start examining your lifestyle choices, Mom) and she...

Sets him on fire! Can I point out that we’re barely five minutes in and we have no idea what’s going on except we have an angelic young girl with anger issues? Moving on.

Our main character Kelly wakes up from her nightmare (Stabby McFirestarter was all a dream, got it), only to be greeted with a new nightmare. It’s time for midnight sorority ceremonies in our underwear!

Doesn’t matter how many times you chant, “Delta Rho Chi, never will die” we all know where this is going. 

The girl on the left is Meagan. Meagan dislikes everyone because she is 35 and still in a college sorority. Seriously, did someone attend the Luke Perry School of looking like a teenager? We learn that for “Prank Night” the pledges will be breaking in to Kelly’s family’s department store to steal the security guard’s uniform. You may want to write this down because we won’t be revisiting this plot point for about an hour.

Thanks to this handy transition, we’re now at a nuthouse. What does this have to do with the rest of the plot? Who knows? For now let’s just go with it.

This is our Nurse Ratched – you can tell by the way that she gets mad at this old woman who just wants to rock back and forth silently all day. 

This is another patient at this hospital. Obviously a graduate of the Cuba Gooding Jr. School of representing the mentally handicapped on screen with compassion. 

And finally something relevant to the plot! The sad groundskeeper/patient who has mysterious burn scars, and an aggressive way with gardening tools. I wonder if he’ll escape the sanatorium like a certain knife wielding killer from a more successful movie franchise. I don’t know, but someone is going to murder a certain bad tempered nurse with a gardening tool first. 

These are Kelly’s parents, getting a call that some patients have escaped the mental hospital and wondering out loud if they shouldn’t share certain “secrets” with their daughter. Let’s wait until some more people end up murdered first.  

Whoops. Looks like their “secrets” are lurking around the house. Too bad a wealthy department store owner can’t afford a security system. Good thing this gun and stunned expression will ward off any danger. 

Now we’re back at college, and Kelly is ready to try and get rid of her nightmares by participating in a “study” run by super hot teaching assistant in his creepy basement/dungeon.

His red shirted assistant is there to make sure things stay on the up and up and everyone keeps their tops on.

I’m going to question the credentials of the sleep dungeon, because all it does is make Kelly paranoid. You really do get what you pay for. 

Nightmares notwithstanding, we’ve made it to Prank Night, and Kelly and her fellow pledges will be stealing this security guard’s uniform. 

He’s not a very good guard, because about half the students from the local college and a deranged killer manage to make it inside on his watch. 

The guard doesn’t get all the blame. This “department store” is apparently six stories tall and looks like a hotel. Too much ground to cover for one man. 

Uh oh, they’re not going to be able to sell those beds if you leave your college hormones all over them!

And now they’re dead. As with most horror movies from this era, many people will die before our main character catches on. 

I hope this clue is obvious enough for her. She’s the only Kelly in this movie, right?

OK, good. We’re all sufficiently scared now. 

Finally! The teaching assistant who dates co-eds is getting to the bottom of this! The burn victim/alleged mass killer is actually Kelly’s father. Who she set on fire? In her dream that’s really a repressed memory? 

What to do when a killer is stalking a bunch of kids? Make some phone calls. Call the sorority house and Kelly’s mom, but whatever you do don’t contact the authorities.

Kelly pushes her burned father off the roof, and professor dream dungeon finally runs in. Hey...why doesn’t Kelly look more enthused?

Because it’s not Kelly!!! It’s her twin sister...Terry? This is the part of the movie where the sense train jumps the tracks, and bursts into flames. Did Kelly just push her father off the roof and he’s not even the killer? Why don’t Kelly and Terry have rhyming “twin” names? Why does Terry do all her murders with her father’s gardening tools?

Finally! Kelly is safe thanks to dear old Mom, who shoots Terry and quickly becomes very confused. Maybe she also forgot she had two daughters?
Is your mind blown too? You’d think that there was no recovering from a movie like this, but our heroine Kelly (or is it Terry? Who’s dead?) went on to play Princess Vespa in Spaceballs. John Candy in a cat suit makes more sense than any part of this movie.

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