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      The Initiation of Sarah

      1978 1h 36m Horror List
      Reviews 26% Audience Score 100+ Ratings When a coed is humiliated by a group of sorority sisters, she is urged to get even by unleashing her psychic powers. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

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      Matt Brunson Film Frenzy During the 1970s, ABC dominated the TV-movie scene with its slate of terror tales: Duel, The Night Stalker, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Trilogy of Terror, Bad Ronald, Killdozer, and many, many more. Add to this expansive list The Initiation of Sarah. Rated: 2.5/4 Jul 11, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member 1978 TVM: Two sisters (by adoption) pledge to different sororities that do not like each other. One sister is chosen by an uppity sorority, while the other (the adopted one, who happens to have telekinetic powers) is chosen by a sorority of misfits. The house mother of the misfit sorority, who may have been involved in the death of another student years before, takes an interest in the new pledge. Rivalry between the sororities grows. Things come to a head when the sororities have their initiation ceremonies. This movie feels like a "Carrie" ripoff, only it's a college setting vs. a high school setting. Slow and plodding, the action comes just sparingly. Disappointing, despite a reasonable cast. Fun fact: Morgan Fairchild, who has make a career as a drama/soap opera vixen, plays the main uppity sorority girl to the hilt. Her character's name is Jennifer Lawrence. Stars: Kay Lenz, Shelley Winters, Morgan Brittany, Morgan Fairchild, and Tony Bill. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review Audience Member Co-written by the man who wrote the hilariously awful 1970s Captain America TV movie comes this made-for-TV ripoff of "Carrie," except with a mousy sorority sister seeking revenge on her mean fellow sorority sisters. Morgan Fairchild plays the lead mean sorority sister, so that's pretty fun. Kay Lenz plays the Carrie-like character, Sarah Goodwin. Airplane's Robert Hayes plays the nice guy of the film. Shelley Winters, Tony Bill, Kathryn Grant, Tisa Farrow, and Michael Talbott also appear in this camp fest. Overall, this is a terrible movie, but it was VERY entertaining on a campy so-bad-it's-good level. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/31/23 Full Review Audience Member I love it! BLATANT ripoff of Carrie from 2 years earlier. Love making fun of it as I watch it. Horrible production, writing, dialogue & acting. "what happens when you freak out?" "Oh I, well I tried to bail out a couple times ya know." LOL Bail out, buy the farm, peg out, push up the daisies, see HA HA HA nice cliches Rated 1 out of 5 stars 02/12/23 Full Review Audience Member Made for TV supernatural fun set in a sorority house. It's got a few decent moments, but overall it's pretty blah. Rental only. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/07/23 Full Review Audience Member The Initiation of Sarah (Robert Day, 1978) NOTE: This review contains some spoilers for the film. Proceed with caution. Ah, the seventies—the golden age of what has come to be known as the Satanic Panic film, though the repercussions of same would not be felt until the eighties and early nineties, when Satanic Panic leached into American culture, with shysters coming up with all sorts of things to keep a newly-freed-from-Red-Dread country checking under their beds for boogeymen at night. Instead of commies, we were told, we needed to watch out for devil worshippers kidnapping and molesting our children (or even doing it right at the day care []). All of it absolute bunk, of course, cooked up by the morally bankrupt in order to make themselves a few bucks. And as a result, I feel like I should take every Satanic Panic movie made in the seventies to task for foisting these monstrosities on us. But instead I watch a movie like The Initiation of Sarah and I just wonder to myself, “people eventually thought this sort of thing really happened?” (An amusing side note: I did not know until just now that the movie had been remade in 2006, starring Mika Boorem and Summer Glau. Satanic Panic has indeed returned, at least on celluloid.) Sarah Goodwin (House's Kay Lenz) is a newly-minted college freshman at a campus where greek life is everything. (For those of you who went to bigger schools and don't believe such things exist: when I was a college freshman in 1986, 95% of the males at my school were in a fraternity. The women weren't yet because (a) my class was the second to be coed and (b) sororities were not chartered on our campus until 1989.) She goes through rush, but as something of a wallflower, she is for the most part heckled or snubbed... until she finds her niche in the polar opposite of the Mean Girls-esque sorority that pledges her glamorous sister Patty (Gypsy's Morgan Brittany). Now, we already know something is up with Sarah, since she used telekinetic powers (without understanding what she was doing) to prevent her sister from being raped in the very recent past...but let's forget all that, shall we? Oh, well, until the sinister house mother (Shelley Winters) and some of her creepier housemates discover Sarah's talents and decide to put them to good use humiliating those stuck-up chicks. The good part—while this is (obviously) somewhat derivative of certain earlier movies (*cough*Carrie*cough*) whose names we won't mention, there's that other supernatural aspect to it that sets it apart somewhat. That's the good part. The bad, is it that a made-for-TV movie feels cut? That makes sense in the days of the DVD, where the “made for TV movie” has an unrated director's cut waiting in the wings to be released a week later, with all the f-bombs not dubbed and the extra half-mil in special effects not cut out to make room for deodorant commercials. But in 1978? The final sequence, especially, feels as if it had been cut to shreds, with some implications that are never fully spelled out, and a few characters who would have done exceptionally well given another two minutes of epilogue. Still, there's enough of the final sequence, or what was the final sequence (I hope), to give you an idea that you think you know what happened. And hey, maybe there's a director's cut waiting in the wings. Hey, they made a remake, right? ** ½ Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member "The Initiation of Sarah" tells the tale of a college freshman (Kay Lenz) with telekinetic powers. She is pressured to join a sorority after her sister (Morgan Brittany) is recruited to a rival chapter run by a group of popular bullies. It just so happens that the house Sarah pledges is run by a witch (Shelley Winters). She wants to use the girl to exact revenge on the daughter (Morgan Fairchild) of the sorority girl that spurned her when she was a student 20 years earlier. Will Sarah give into the temptation to put her and the house mother's tormenting rivals in their place or resist the unrelenting anger brewing within her? Although it's a bit slow, "The Initiation of Sarah" serves up some fun TV-safe scares. I can see this airing the week of Halloween in 1978 and doing quite well in the Nielsen ratings. No one can deny the influence "Carrie" had on this movie. Shelley Winters ("The Poseidon Adventure") effectively plays the creepy old house mother with diabolical plans for the naïve Sarah. Morgan Fairchild ("The Seduction") is perfect as the venomous leader of the mean sorority girls who pick on poor Sarah. Morgan Brittany ("Dallas") and Kay Lenz ("Moving Violation") are wonderful as the two sisters torn apart by their rival houses. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Initiation of Sarah

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis When a coed is humiliated by a group of sorority sisters, she is urged to get even by unleashing her psychic powers.
      Robert Day
      Jay Benson
      Don Ingalls
      Production Co
      Charles Fries Productions, Stonehedge Productions
      Original Language
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Oct 3, 2018
      1h 36m