Road Rash Reviews

The Initiation of Sarah (1978) Review***--

Cert 12 | 96 mins | 1978

3 stars of nicely remastered made for T.V. horror.

The Initiation of Sarah is an American horror film, written for the small screen by Don Ingalls (Bonanza, Fantasy Island), Carol Saraceno (Hart to Hart) and Kenette Gfeller (Police Woman).

Directed by Robert Day (The Avengers, Tarzan the Magnificent), it was originally released in 1978. It is now enjoying a home video Blu-ray release for the first time following  2K restoration courtesy of Arrow Films.

” Don’t pay any attention to them, make up your own mind. Goodnight Patty…I’m sorry I’ve forgotten your name.”

Patty (Morgan BrittanySundown: The Vampire in Retreat, Dallas) and her adopted sister Sarah (Kay Lenz – House, The Tick) are just aboout to head off to Waltham College together. Their mother is very keen for Patty to join her former sorority Alpha Nu Kappa, but doesn’t seem to believe that Sarah will ne up to the task.

Sure enough, when they begin to investigate which sorority to join, Alpha Nu Kappa are very keen to pledge Patty, but have no interest at all in Sarah. Luckily for Sarah though another Sorority, Phi Epsilon Delta (P.E.D.), seem keen to have her join them.

As Patty settles down with the popular girls to do the casually cruel bidding of Jennifer (Morgan Fairchild – Falcon Crest, Days of Our Lives), Sarah meets her new house mates, including the aptly named Mouse (Tisa Farrow – Fingers, The Last Hunter) and their imposing house mother Mrs Hunter (Shelley Winters – The Posiedon Adventure, Lolita). She also becomes close with psychology teaching assistant Paul (Tony Bill – Barb Wire, The Little Dragons).

Sarah soon discovers an intense rivalry between the two houses and as the two sisters are forced apart, she also feels her psychic powers beginning to grow as thoughts turn towards revenge.

“I will uphold the high standards of of Alpha Nu Sigma. I will not eat while walking in public and I will not associate with P.E.D., Pigs Elephants and Dogs, anywhere.”

The Initiation of Sarah is an entertaining film, which features some surprisingly good acting and is enjoyable regardless of it’s obviously low budget. It is inevitable that comparisons will be made with Carrie, this is basically the same story just set in college, but while it lacks the finesse and dramatic finale of Carrie, it neverless delivers a solid story.

There’s no denying that it’s extremely cheesy, however I didn’t find that detracted from the fun at all for me, it all feels so quintessentially seventies.

It’s well remastered and with lots of special features this is an excellent package, well worth adding to your collection.

“Look, it’s all a silly game they play. It’s a part of pledging. They make you do horrible things to test your loyalty. It doesn’t mean anything.”

The Initiation of Sarah is available to buy now on Blu-ray.

• Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative by Arrow Films
• High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
• Original lossless mono audio
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Brand new audio commentary by TV Movie expert Amanda Reyes
• Welcome to Hell Week: A Pledge’s Guide to the Initiation of Sarah, a brand new appreciation by film critic Stacie Ponder and Queer Horror programmer Anthony Hudson, co-hosts of the Gaylords of Darkness podcast, celebrating the film through a queer feminist lens
• Cracks in the Sisterhood: Second Wave Feminism and The Initiation of Sarah, a brand new visual essay by film critic and historian Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
• The Intimations of Sarah, a brand new interview with film critic Samantha McLaren looking at witchcraft, empowerment, TV movies, and telekinetic shy girls post Carrie
• The Initiation of Tom, a brand new interview with Tom Holland on this his first film writing credit
• Image gallery
• Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Luke Insect

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Lindsay Hallam and Alexandra West

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DirectorRobert Day
GenreHorror, thriller
StarringKay Lenz, Shelley Winters, Morgan Bittany, Morgan Fairchild, Tony Bill
Available to buy on : Own The Initiation of Sarah on Blu-Ray
Category: Blu-ray, film, Review