FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Nov 29, 2010

Film Club: The Initiation of Sarah

As I more than intimated when I announced The Initiation of Sarah as this month's Film Club pick, it's as if the film was made just for me. Seriously, this movie could have been borne from the Stacie Ponder Edition of Mad Libs. Let's fill in the blanks!
In this MADE FOR TV movie from 1978, a shy TELEKINETIC girl exacts revenge on bitches who tease her at a COLLEGE where the most important things in life are SHORTS, THE BRUSHING OF HAIR, and THE RUSHING OF SORORITIES. The film stars KAY LENZ and Morgan FAIRCHILD and Morgan BRITTANY (who was a total JERK on DALLAS and so Stacie was prepared to DISLIKE her immensely, but her character here was actually NICE), which is AMAZING enough...however, there's also ROBERT HAYS of AIRPLANE! (one of Stacie's favorite movies) and TISA FARROW, who is perhaps best known for her turn in LUCIO FULCI'S ZOMBIE, but she's also known for NOT BEING IN ENOUGH HORROR MOVIES ACCORDING TO STACIE. THE INITIATION OF SARAH also features SHELLEY GD WINTERS, who turns in one of her patented over-the-top IS SHE DRUNK? performances.

The best part of the film may very well be the recurring shots of a SCALE MODEL of a HEDGE MAZE that is supposed to be the REAL THING. It never fails to be completely EFFING AWESOME. NEVER. There's a bit of SATANISM thrown in and plenty of the requisite ROBES, DAGGERS of DESPAIR, and CANDLES, but then there's also this unexpected undercurrent of GAY. Seriously. There are enough LONGING glances between the GIRLS throughout the entire movie that it can totally be read as some sort of journey to SEXUAL AWAKENING if you're all, like, into SYMBOLISM AND SHIT. It's gay enough to be the lezzie version of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY'S REVENGE. Sure, it's a bit of a rip-off of CARRIE (just substitute MUD and EGGS for PIG'S BLOOD) and in the end there's not much CARNAGE (though the end is still a total downer- it's DEPRESSING in the way all these TELEKINETIC REVENGE movies are), but there's no denying that SARAH and company were initiated straight into my HEART.
Film Club Coolies, yo!
Made for TV Mayhem
Betty Bloodletter
Film Shuffle
From Midnight, With Love
strange spanners
I Will Devour Your Content
Maynard Morrisey's Horror Movie Diary
Creature Cast
Cinema Gonzo


gil mann said...

If you use the same template but fill in every blank with the word "crap," you get the Black Christmas remake.

Lazarus Lupin said...

Great choice, great crew!

Hey, have you already done "Alone in the dark?" It's another TV movie and the remake of it is going to come out sometime within the next year.

Lazarus Lupin
art and review

kindertrauma said...

I'm kicking myself for neglecting to bring up the gay undercurrent. Mouse and Sarah were definitely setting off some sparks. I sort of wish Tisa Farrow was cast as Sarah because there's just no getting enough of Tisa Farrow. I read she is now a nurse.

Stacie Ponder said...

Mouse was so into Sarah it was RIDIC! They should've gone there. But, I guess it was 1978 and all that.

Lazarus- indeed I have (not for film club. though). There's a link in the "reviews" section over yonder on the right!

Thomas Duke said...

I'm working on my review, and I'll send it to you tonight sometime. Don't close the clubhouse just yet ;)

Hud said...

This sounds awesome - I love sorority films. I can't find any release for the UK, anyone know it ever 'twas?


AK said...

Oh the AWESOMENESS that is The Initiation Of Sarah!!! Morgan Brittany (sickeningly beautiful and nice) Morgan Fairchild (sickeningly beautiful and awful) and Kay Lenz (of the three I woulda thought she'd go farthest-that girl deserved to be more famous. KL had it all!) I never picked up on the sapphic undertones (but what the heck, I was 5 or 6 suring my first and only viewing in 1978). Didn't MF's face turn to clay and fall off at the end (I had my face covered). And (sorry for the extreme length) have you ever checked out The Spell, another 70's TVM about schoolgirls involved with witchery? It's on Hulu and surprisingly moving. Thanks for making me think of Initiation Of Sarah again-loved it!

Thomas Duke said...

That's funny. I thought this was some sort of meta review on top of your regular review. Boy, life and/or the internet can get confusing some times.

Stacie Ponder said...

Sometimes I do things differently around here, like a haiku review or a 10-word review or something weird like this. I don't have any guidelines.

Thomas Duke said...

We don't need no stinkin' guidelines...ANARCHY RULEZ!!!

You should write a review using the zodiac killer code. That would REALLY confuse people.