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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Larry Stewart
USA 1984

 

Pretty college freshman Kelly Fairchild (Daphne Zuniga, THE DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD) is pledging the Delta Rho Chi sorority and has been tasked with stealing the keys to her father's (Clu Gulager, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) shopping mall for "prank night" at the end of Hell Week. Tormented by a recurring nightmare involving her parents, a stabbing, mirrors, and a strange man on fire, and she has no memory of her life before nine years of age (when she supposedly fell out of a tree house), Kelly decides to do her psychology paper on dreams and nightmares. Her story intrigues teacher's assistant Peter Adams (James Read, TV's NORTH AND SOUTH) who - along with lab assistant Marcia (Marilyn Kagan, who later became a psychotherapist) - tries to interpret the symbolism of her dream, and finds some strange inconsistencies in her dream and what he is able to find out about her past. Meanwhile, the burned man from Kelly's dreams has escaped from a Houston asylum just in time for "prank night" at the shopping mall where scheming sorority sister Megan (Frances Peterson) - i.e. most deserving victim - has locked Kelly and her fellow pledges (including Zuniga's fellow soap star Hunter Tylo) inside with herself and a trio of stooges for the fright of their lives...

Arriving late in the slasher cycle, the Texas-lensed THE INITIATION - scantly released theatrically by New World Pictures - found most of its fans on home video and television (cut for nudity and what scant gore there is, but otherwise playing very much like an eighties TV genre effort). TV director Larry Stewart and TV writer Charles Pratt Jr. (later the head writer on the soaps SANTA BARBARA, GENERAL HOSPITAL, and ALL MY CHILDREN) give the mystery angle a good try with some misdirection by way of Freudian analysis, but the slasher angle (the entire second half of the film) is so tired no matter how well Czech cinematographer George Tirl (METAMORPHOSIS) manipulates shadows to create some false scares. Vera Miles (PSYCHO) has little to do as Kelly's fretful, secretive mother, and Gulager is wasted in too small a role. Quite enjoyable if your expectations aren't too high.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 1984 (USA)

Reviews                                                                        More Reviews                                                           DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

ArrowDrome/Arrow Video - Region 2 - PAL vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) Arrow - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

Box Covers

 

    

Distribution

ArrowDrome/Arrow Video

Region 2 - PAL

Arrow Video
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:32:54 (4% PAL speedup) 1:37:07.083
Video

1.83:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.59 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size: 35,538,288,772 bytes

Feature Size: 27,648,092,160 bytes

Total Bitrate: 37.96 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

LPCM Audio English 768 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles None English (SDH), none
Features Release Information:
Studio: ArrowDrome/Arrow Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.83:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:01)
• Liner Notes Booklet by Calum Waddell
• Reversible Cover

DVD Release Date: August 5th, 2013
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

Disc Size: 35,538,288,772 bytes

Feature Size: 27,648,092,160 bytes

Total Bitrate: 37.96 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
Brand new audio commentary by The Hysteria Continues

Brand new interview with writer Charles Pratt Jr. (21:17)
Brand new interview with actor Christopher Bradley (18:36)
Brand new interview with actress Joy Jones (13:34)

Extended Scene (1:07)
Original Theatrical Trailer (1:11)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver
 

Blu-ray Release Date: November 7th-8thth, 2016
Transparent Blu-ray case

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray November 16': The Arrow 1080P is a dramatic improvement over the older SD. The dark cast on the DVD image quality is gone and colors brighten and detail tightens - pleasing grain is very much prevalent on the dual-layered max'ed out bitrate. The DVD is vertically compressed (unnatural fatter faces.) Quite a superiority by the Blu-ray - night and day.

The film's audio is transferred  via an uncompressed linear PCM in original mono. The many shrieks and screams as well as the dramatic score by Gabriel Black and Lance Ong benefit - as does the 80's dance music from the party sequences which actually sounds kinda toe-tapping in lossless. Arrow add optional English (SDH) subtitles on their region FREE Blu-ray disc.

Arrow, as usual, stack the disc with value in the form of plenty of new supplements starting with a commentary by The Hysteria Continues and brand new interviews with writer Charles Pratt Jr. for over 20-minutes, actor Christopher Bradley for over 18-minites and actress Joy Jones for over a dozen minutes. All giving reminiscences about the production. There is a superfluous extended scene included, an original theatrical trailer and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn and, for the first pressing only, a collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver.

One of the more cohesive and well-thought out slasher efforts from the 80's and certainly worth a spin or two for fans of the genre. This Blu-ray is recommended!

***

ON THE DVD: ArrowDrome's dual-layer, anamorphic transfer looks a bit soft, but that seems to be more the fault of the film's cinematography. Presumably the master dates back to circa 2000 when this and other New World titles were mastered for release by Anchor Bay Entertainment in the US. No complaints about the Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track. The previous UK disc from Pegasus featured an open-matte transfer. Both versions have had previous BBFC cuts for the cassette release (59 seconds) waived.

Region-locked stateside viewers will miss out on the liner notes booklet and reversible cover, but the film is available in Region 1 in the now out of print 2002 Anchor Bay single-disc and 2003 double feature with another low budget New World slasher MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE (B0000AB16X), and the in-print but equally barebones from Image Entertainment.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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1) Arrow - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Arrow - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Arrow - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Arrow - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Arrow - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Arrow - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

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Box Covers

 

    

Distribution

ArrowDrome/Arrow Video

Region 2 - PAL

Arrow Video
Region FREE -
Blu-ray

 




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