Jun 212022

The Initiation of Sarah actually isn’t a half-bad made-for-TV supernatural horror film from 1978 and while it’s pretty water downed and resembles Carrie if only a bit, this is well worth checking out.



The Initiation of Sarah

Genre(s): Horror, Supernatural
Arrow Video| NR – 96 min. – $39.95 | June 21, 2022

Date Published: 06/21/2022 | Author: The Movieman

Director: Robert Day
Writer(s): Don Ingalls and Carol Saraceno and Kenette Gfeller (teleplay), Tom Holland and Carol Saraceno (story)
Cast: Kay Lenz, Shelley Winters, Morgan Fairchild, Morgan Brittany, Robert Hays

Features: Commentary, Interviews, Image Gallery
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Full Frame 1.33
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 41.60 GB
Total Bitrate: 38.16 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Arrow Video provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3¼/5

Plot Synopsis: Shy misfit Sarah Goodwin (KAY LENZ) has a secret gift: the ability to control — and destroy — with her mind. When Sarah goes off to college with her more outgoing and popular sister, Patty (MORGAN BRITTANY), their plans to join the most prestigious sorority on campus are scuttled by snobby president, Jennifer Lawrence (MORGAN FAIRCHILD). Separated from her sister, Sarah is taken in by a rival, less popular sorority, whose mysterious house mother, Mrs. Hunter (SHELLEY WINTER), is harboring a secret of her own: a scheme to harness Sarah’s terrifying power for revenge. Betrayed by Patty, humiliated by Jennifer, it can only be a matter of time before Sorority Hell Week erupts in flame!

Quick Hit Review: As supernatural-horror movies, no less ones made-for-television, The Initiation of Sarah isn’t half bad with a good enough plot and some decent performances namely from Kay Lenz and Morgan Fairchild playing the stereotypical sorority b*tch quite well while Shelley Winters was delightfully over-the-top. It’s nothing especially great, and reminded me of Carrie, but certainly watchable.



This release comes in a wide HD keep case and inside is a nice 60-page booklet.

Audio Commentary — TV movie expert Amanda Reyes discusses the production as well as TV movies in general from the 60s to late 90s.

Welcome to Hell Week: A Pledge’s Guide to the Initiation of Sarah (16:33) is a new appreciation of the film by critic Stacie Ponder and Queer Horror programmer Anthony Hudson.

Cracks in the Sisterhood: Second Wave Feminism and The Initiation of Sarah (14:48) is a new visual essay by film critic and historian Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

The Intimations of Sarah (16:19) is a new interview with film critic Samantha McLaren who looks at witchcraft, empowerment, TV movies, and telekinetic shy girls post Carrie.

The Initiation of Tom (8:58) is another new interview, this with co-writer Tom Holland about his first time film writing credit.

And last up is an Image Gallery.


VIDEO – 4/5

Arrow Video releases The Initiation of Sarah onto Blu-ray for the first time where it’s presented in its originally televised 1.33 full frame aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Per the included notes, the picture was taken from the original 35mm camera negative which was scanned in 4K resolution and then graded and restored. This may not be a brilliant looking high-definition transfer but still looks fairly good for a TV movie that aired in the late 70s. Detail is sharp for the most part while colors are on the more neutral side, though the red in Mrs. Hunter’s robe at the end did stand out in the darker setting.

AUDIO – 3½/5

The movie comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 track which is perfectly serviceable, providing clear and clean enough dialogue. While some scenes there was noticeable white noise for the most part this lossless track was free of significant pops and hisses. As with the video, being a made-for-TV movie from 1978, so close to 45 years old, it’s respectably and I would have to assume sounded far better than those crappy TV speakers (which I kind of fondly remember growing up in the 80s).


OVERALL – 3½/5

Overall, The Initiation of Sarah actually isn’t a half-bad made-for-TV supernatural horror film from 1978 and while it’s pretty water downed and resembles Carrie if only a bit, this is well worth checking out.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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