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eighties horror you might have missed

The Initiation (1984)

The Initiation provides some great stuff: creative kills (garden tools, bow-and-arrow and spear gun), a hip parapsychology professor (with an awesome nerdy assistant), plot twists and even a little roller-skating! It does take a little while to get going (so be patient), but it's worth the wait once the actual initiation begins, which takes place in a deserted, multi-level shopping mall. Apparently the crew was only allowed to film at night after the building closed, so there are many shots of closed shops, long carpeted corridors and empty seating areas, with one or two college students wandering through (and being killed off).

The sparse score features excellent droning tones, subtle arpeggiations, and an extremely high-pitched drone during the finiale, provided by Gabriel Black and Lance Ong, whose soundtrack work is confined to this film (although Ong appeared briefly in Carrie as the keyboard player for the prom band). Interestingly, Wayne Bell, the boom operator for the production, was Tobe Hooper's co-composer for the score to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre several years earlier (and also composed for TCM3)!

Daphne Zuniga is the leading lady, and previously appeared in The Dorm that Dripped Blood (1982). The director, Larry Stewart, did lots of work for television, including the live action Spiderman (remember that?) and The Incredible Hulk. Many of the other crew members seem to have a heavy TV background as well.