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The Initiation (1984)

An amnesiac sorority member who has been plagued by a recurring nightmare is stalked alongside other coeds by a killer in a deserted department store where they are completing a hazing ritual.


Larry Stewart, Peter Crane (uncredited)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Vera Miles ... Frances Fairchild
Clu Gulager ... Dwight Fairchild
Daphne Zuniga ... Kelly Fairchild
James Read ... Peter
Marilyn Kagan ... Marcia
Robert Dowdell ... Jason Randall
Patti Heider Patti Heider ... Nurse Higgins
Frances Peterson Frances Peterson ... Megan
Hunter Tylo ... Alison (as Deborah Morehart)
Paula Knowles Paula Knowles ... Beth
Trey Stroud Trey Stroud ... Ralph
Peter Malof Peter Malof ... Andy
Christopher Bradley ... Chad
Joy Jones Joy Jones ... Heidi
Mary Davis Duncan Mary Davis Duncan ... Gwen


Kelly Fairchild has become a college student and a member of the Delta Ro Kai sorority. During all her life, she has suffered from a nightmare where a man is burning. She meets an assistant professor who can help interpret the dream. The sorority's initiation ritual is a nighttime breaking-and-entering into her father's department store. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They pledge themselves to be young, stay young...and die young. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The location used for the mall was the Dallas Market Center. The crew would shoot over night in the building after it closed at 7pm but would have to wrap up and be out by opening at 7am the next morning; thus, each night shoot at the location would have to be done in 12 hour increments. See more »


In the final shot where Nurse Higgins is murdered in her station wagon, the crew members and their equipment can be seen reflected in the passenger side windows of the car. See more »


Kelly Fairchild: I just had to get out of there. It was fun for a while. I don't know, I couldn't stop thinking about this other party I went to a long time ago. I think I was around twelve. Yeah, yeah I was twelve. Anyway, this fifty year old lady comes up to me and starts talking and asking me these questions. Like, did I have crushes on guys; did I have a boyfriend. I didn't. I mean, I was too young. Anyway, at the time I thought it was a dumb conversation. But then I realized what she was doing. She's ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK video version was pre-cut by 59 secs with edits to a man on fire during a nightmare scene, shots of a man being stabbed with a rake, and a sequence which intercuts the stabbing of a woman with a sex scene. The 2003 Pegasus DVD is fully uncut. See more »


References Friday the 13th (1980) See more »


Makin' Up For Lost Time
Written by Gabriel Black and Lance Ong
Performed by Gabriel Black and Screamin' Sax
Screamin' Sax Music (B.M.I.) / Eurasia Music (B.M.I.)
See more »

User Reviews

"Quit fooling around (insert name here).It isn't funny anymore"....
10 January 2005 | by Drive-In-FreakSee all my reviews

About half a reel into the film I was asking myself "Is this 'Sorority House Massacre'"? Mix parts of "Sorority House Massacre","Chopping Mall",and "Hell Night" and you have "The Initiation".I'ts not a bad film, but we've seen it all before.It's one of those films where you sit and think: OK they think they are safe now.... when is the killer going to jump through the wall, window,door,etc..? It's almost like the fine folks at New World Pictures where recycling their own material this time.Folks who are fans of the cookie cutter "slasher" movies (like myself) will have fun playing the "find the cliché" game.Of course there is the required skin,but the gore is rather lacking for my taste.It's a bit tame as if not to be offensive or over the top.That's always a bad idea in my book. Recommended for slasher/body count fans only.

5/10 on the Drive-in-Freak-O-Meter...Not bad but we've seen it all before.

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Release Date:

7 December 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Initiation See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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