The Hellish Initiation Hazing Pledge Night Night

dead scared the hazing 2004

DEAD SCARED

3 Stars  2004/15/84m

“Best friends are hard to keep… alive.”

A.k.a. The Hazing

Director/Writer: Rolfe Kanefsky / Cast: Tiffany Shepis, Nectar Rose, Parry Shen, Brad Dourif, Jeremy Maxwell, Philip Andrew, David Tom, Charmaine DeGrate.

Body Count: 14

Laughter Lines: “You don’t understand, man! The book is evil!” / “And it will be punished – we’ll all take turns spanking it later, OK?”


On the surface, Dead Scared looks like just another cheap video flick that appeared in the post-Scream binge. So it comes as a pleasant surprise that the film manages to transcend its budgetary constrictions with a witty writing and sharp, sassy dialogue.

The fact that it doesn’t stick to the slasher rules like flypaper is also a plus, as it serves up a cut n’ shut plot reminiscent of both The Evil Dead and Hell Night: Five college pledges embark on a scavenger hunt set for them by senior members of their respective sorority/fraternity houses, which is to end with a night spent at an abandoned house where a murder occurred a zillion years earlier.

Too bad that two of them end up accidentally killing a creepy professor (Dourif) after they discover he’s into some dark rituals. Once gathered at the house, it transpired that he’s not so dead after all and his spirit possesses one of the pledges and sends them on a quest of gory carnage, with people being turned into mannequins or biting their own tongues off.

dead scared the hazing 2004

As the numbers dwindle, the final trio of teens are left to establish re-equilibrium. In a similar way to the previous year’s Detour (which also featured Shepis in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-her cameo), it’s the characters who initially appeared least likely to survive who emerge victorious, with Rose as a man-eater who pretends to be a bimbo to get the guy she wants where she wants him.

Although short on fresh ideas for this type of venture, creator Kanefsky inks some great moments and exchanges and the plucky cast turn in surprisingly good performances, with Dourif’s comic charm elevating his comparatively minimal screentime to be the most memorable.

Blurbs-of-interest: Dourif voiced Chucky in all six Child’s Play outings, and was also in Trauma, Urban LegendChain Letter, and both of Rob Zombie’s Halloween re-do’s; Parry Shen was in all three Hatchet movies; Tiffany Shepis was also in Basement JackBloody Murder 2Home Sick, and Scarecrow; David Tom was in Stepfather III.

One comment

  • This movie was a lot more fun than it had any business being, they used to play it on late night cable all the time.

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