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The Initiate (1998)

Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
-EROTIC THRILLER (2001) Murder, a drug deal gone bad, a treacherous love triangle, and a secret occult society. These are clues that Jack Collins - deputy sheriff, must piece together in ... See full summary »


Chad Etchison


Chad Etchison




Credited cast:
Kenny Alfonso ... Mac Vitelli
David Baerwalde David Baerwalde ... Theo X
Matthew Brady Matthew Brady ... Ray
Steve Coulter ... Sheriff Robert E. Lee
Phillip DeVona ... John
Chad Etchison Chad Etchison ... Mike Best
Mary Johnston Etchison Mary Johnston Etchison ... Susan Anderson
Andrew Hamrick ... Harlan
Jessie James Dupree Jessie James Dupree ... Jessie James Dupree
Paul Johnston ... Dr. Shelby
James Lee James Lee ... Store Clerk
James McCracken James McCracken ... Jerry
Mack Murrah Mack Murrah ... Jack Collins
Shannon Young Shannon Young ... Sara Endor
Lee Zatkovic Lee Zatkovic ... Dr. Brannon


-EROTIC THRILLER (2001) Murder, a drug deal gone bad, a treacherous love triangle, and a secret occult society. These are clues that Jack Collins - deputy sheriff, must piece together in order to solve the puzzle of his best friend's murder. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (5.1)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Mac Vitelli: Tell me Jack, how does it feel to be back?
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User Reviews

Curious film...
23 July 2011 | by Quag7See all my reviews

Films like this infuriate me. Films which are thoroughly bad can be enjoyable in an "ironic" sense, but The Initiate is one of those films filled with promise, yet never delivers.

The premise is fascinating enough: A man in Southern Georgia dies in an accident and during the autopsy, tattoos indicating Freemasonry and/or Golden Dawn involvement are found on his body. The film then proceeds as a sort of mystery, but completely fizzles out. And I do mean completely. The film rapidly slows to a crawl to such an extent, I wouldn't be surprised if most who started watching this (I saw it on Netflix) abandoned it midway through.

Involving the Golden Dawn in a film plot and then going nowhere with it borders on cruelty.

But I have to say the problem with this film is almost entirely with the script. The film feels like it gets stuck in mud about 25 minutes in. From there it plods along, until it nearly stops. There is a shooting later in the film which is supposed to be the climax, but I was in such a bored stupor by then, it was impossible to involve myself in it or care.

What's excellent here is the use of light and shadow -- itself awkwardly highlighted as it contrasts uncomfortably with the script problems. The film looked better than it probably deserved to, and the low budget of the film actually added a kind of intimacy rather than cheapness. I wanted to see it succeed, because it had the potential to succeed in the way a big budget Hollywood production couldn't.

The soundtrack is also remarkable, and contrasts similarly. I almost wish the film had been completely ham-fisted; I could write it off completely as another relic in the enormous landfill of low budget films and wouldn't have bothered writing this comment.

I wanted to see more about the Golden Dawn. I wanted more character development, and I wanted a film with some complexity. Worse yet, the movie has no apparent ending. It seems to trail off in mid-sentence. There is no resolution of tension, no twist, nor even any kind of a cliffhanger. It almost feels like they ran out of money and just never finished.

So many individual aspects of the movie are so good that my temptation is to give the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt. So much effort was put into specific aspects of the film (the aforementioned look, for instance) that I have to believe something subverted the film's production before it could be finished properly.

Those who are fascinated by the films occult elements in particular will be supremely disappointed. There's a brief discussion of Crowley and the Golden Dawn, and a brief shot of one of the characters in some kind of altar setting, and that's it. What the occult has to do with what turns out to be about a mundane drug ring with bikers, I am not sure.

This film is older than I thought. The writer/director has no other IMDb credits. I would encourage the creators of this film to take another shot at film-making.

While The Initiate can only be categorized as a failure, it is an interesting one. I would certainly consider watching any further projects by the filmmakers.

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