The Initiation of Sarah

Discussion in 'General' started by rhett, May 1, 2013.

  1. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    [​IMG]

    Netflix was losing a whole whack of titles (I think it was 1,700+) on May 1st due to Universal, WB and MGM jumping ship on the service, so I had a mini-marathon yesterday just trying to squeeze in what movies I could before they went the way of Vinegar Syndrome's SAVAGE WATER DVD. The highlight of the bunch was THE INITIATION OF SARAH (1978) a TV movie in the vein of CARRIE. For TV it's got a pretty stellar cast, with Kay Lenz (HOUSE), Morgan Fairchild (THE SEDUCTION), Tisa Farrow (ZOMBIE), Robert Hays (AIRPLANE!), Shelley Winters (NIGHT OF THE HUNTER) and a bunch of other solid character actors. Unlike the middling THE SPELL, another 70s TV movie CARRIE ripoff that was on Netflix, SARAH packed a punch with likeable characters, some interesting story deviations from the CARRIE template and a pretty mean streak that runs throughout.

    While SARAH is in parts about an outcast schoolgirl getting her revenge on the popular girls, there's a lot more on the table here, with the setting in college and the outcast girl (Lenz) having a sister as part of the popular group. The two battling fraternities also have a dark history, so there's some seething intrigue there as well as some surprisingly unanswered subtext about Lenz's mother and her connection to all this. The film had kind of a PROM NIGHT II vibe in that regard, with the demons from the past partially causing the ruckus in the present. Fairchild is the perfect bitch, and considering this is a TV movie, her comeuppance is pretty nasty. A lot of TV movies of the time would go to some darker places, and that's why I love them, but this one has the stones to do it when it matters most at the end. Pretty harrowing and effective.

    Not a lot of style, and the "mind moving" effects are all your basic objects-on-strings sort of thing, but the story and the performances really take it over the top. Solid little TV movie that I see was remade in 2006 (with Morgan Fairchild back but not presumably in her original role given her fate), also for TV. Has anyone else been initiated to this one?
     
  2. Cooperkill

    Cooperkill Active Member

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  3. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I've seen it several times.

    Confession: I actually really enjoyed the ABC Family remake! It's very contemporary teen movie, but I had a lot of fun with it. Not to mention, it's littered with eye candy. I'd say it's a cross between The Craft and the Sorority Row remake.

    Over half of my Netflix queue disappeared today, which is really sad. I will no longer have access to Modern Girls in HD, which is devastating. Also gems like The Immortalizer, The Resurrected, Spellbinder, Blood Games (which I fortunately own on VHS), etc.

    I noticed they were expiring a few days ago, so I crammed in as many films as possible over the past week. I got through (all first time viewings):
    Valet Girls
    Monster Dog
    Roller Boogie
    Are You In The House Alone?
    Burnt Offerings
    Secret Screams (Grave Secrets)
    Easy Wheels
    Ski Patrol
    The Apple
     
  4. booper71

    booper71 Lord of the Thighs.

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    I haven't checked but I have most of those in my que.

    If this keeps up I will have to dub netflix to vhs and dvdR to warrant having the service!
     
  5. Number Six

    Number Six I am not a number...

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    Ehhn. At a quick glance, I didn't even notice anything was missing. But then CPT HOOK mentions Monster Dog, which I know was in there. So I double-check...still looks like nothing's even gone. As long as they still have those FX comedies I'll stick it out with 'em.

    Query: If all I use Netflix for anymore is TV series, would it be better to jump over to hulu plus? I know, "It's only $8/month, cheapskate!" But I could take or leave Netflix honestly; there's no way I can justify 2 services that'll barely be used.
     
  6. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    Always enjoyed SARAH,saw it many times as a kid.It's one of the many old TV horror films I wish someone would release in a box set.I've seen the remake,it's not too bad either.
     
  7. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    A couple of the MGM titles in my queue just returned, including Frogs and Full Moon High.

    My recently shown is listing The Apple and Are You In The House Alone again, so those must be back too.

    Doesn't look like Initiation Of Sarah is available though.
     
  8. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    I love the flick - I always wondered: was Shelley Winters drunk during filming? She seems a little slurry in her scenes. I watched the original broadcast in '78 good times! Tisa Farrow is pretty good here, too. Not much in the way of special effects with the exception of Morgan Brittany.
    There are some campy "Carrie"-lite moments but overall it's a sold flick in some ways more satisfying.
     
  9. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    She's actually like that in a lot of films. I think it's just her acting style and the type of character she often played.
     
  10. scott71670

    scott71670 Active Member

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    I love this movie, and am surprised to say the sequel was pretty fun too!
     
  11. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    Sequel or remake? What kind of continuity (if any) is there with the original film?
     
  12. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  13. bruce h

    bruce h Editor - CINEMA ARCANA

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    Shout Factory have stated on Facebook that if this disc sells well enough they'll give more '70s and '80s TV horrors a shot.

    I already have my preorder in. :)
     
  14. Demoni

    Demoni Active Member

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    I never saw this but as you speak so well of this I just pre-ordered it.

    I would love to see "I Saw What You Did (1988)" released.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  15. Vortex

    Vortex Member

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    Hopefully Arrow will release a nice version of this film one of these days.
     
  16. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    Got my pre-order in also.

    I'm hoping they release Midnight Offerings (1981)
     
  17. Christy

    Christy Member

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    Watched this on netflix and really enjoyed it. I might buy the DVD release if the price is right.
     
  18. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    I watched both TV Terrors this past weekend, and enjoyed them both quite a bit.

    Initiation of Sarah was the better film, but Are you in the House Alone(?!) had a surprisingly relevant message about the treatment of rape victims. Both ended up being better than I expected them to be (not that my expectations were low, or anything). Does anybody know if this set did well enough for Scream to consider releasing more? If so, I wonder which one's they'd choose?
     
  19. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    Glad you liked them, dave. I enjoyed them both too, although I think SARAH is a far better film. I found ALONE to be a little anti-climactic and kind of drawn out, but I do agree that the message was a good one and pretty progressive for the time.

    I hope they do more, and I'd love to see DON'T GO TO SLEEP and THE SPELL next.
     
  20. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    ^ I was disappointed that Are You In The House Alone? wasn't really a horror movie, but as a made-for-tv junkie, I still enjoyed it regardless. Love Initiation Of Sarah, even visited the house from the film when I was in Los Angeles. Also thought the recent remake was surprisingly fun in a contemporary teen-movie way.

    As for more, I guess it depends on the era.

    If we're talking early '70s ABC Movie Of The Week, Home For The Holidays and Crowhaven Farm would make a great double feature. Warner Archive already tacked Bad Ronald, Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark, etc.

    For the '80s, The Midnight Hour Collector's Edition blu-ray would be a holy grail. As for double features, I'd love Deadly Lessons / Midnight Offerings, This House Possessed / Don't Go To Sleep. I Saw What You Did and Sorry, Wrong Number would be a great double feature, both remakes of similar films.

    As for the '90s, I'd really love for someone to start tackling all the amazing USA Network Premiere movies. I loved those, still have a ton of them on VHS. Buried Alive and Buried Alive II would be an amazing double feature, as would Deadly Game and Snow Kill. Haunting Of Sarah Hardy / Haunting Of Seacliff Inn / The Crying Child would be a fun combo, Trapped / Nightmare On The 13th Floor, Wheels Of Terror / Strays, The Lookalike / Duplicates, The Companion / High Desert Kill, I'm Dangerous Tonight / Trilogy Of Terror II, etc. Even though they were already released on DVD, I'd love for the Cabin By The Lake double feature to be re-released.
     

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