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Film / Initiation: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4

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And if I die before I wake, thank you.

Initiation: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 is a 1990 horror film directed by Brian Yuzna and starring Clint Howard. This installment is unrelated to the previous three. Called Bugs in some releases.

After a woman bursts into flames in the midst of jumping off a building, wannabe investigative reporter Kim Levitt looks into what caused her death, encountering a Straw Feminist cult and freaking huge insects during her search.


This film has examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Janice.
    Janice: You look wonderful! Welcome to the family! Now, you have to bring us the boy...
  • Ambiguously Bi: Kim is shown as not being particularly satisfied by her sex life with Hank, and she lets Fima kiss her and then dreams about it.
  • Beyond the Impossible: In the short time it takes for Kim to get the police to her apartment the cult has already cleaned it and left. Blood doesn't come out that quickly.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The larvae and cockroaches.
  • Body Horror: Initiation is full of this, featuring stuff like a larva crawling into Kim through the belly button and emerging from her mouth as a giant cockroach.
  • Book Ends: The film opens and ends with a burning woman falling from a building.
  • Cassandra Truth: The cult covers its tracks ridiculously well and makes Kim look crazy.
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  • Cleanup Crew: The cult sends one to Kim's apartment while she's going to the cops to report Hank's death, so by the time they get to the apartment, it's spotless.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Kim's one female co-worker just happens to be in the same cult Kim is investigating.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • When Kim gets the bug juice dripped on her face, it pretty much looks like she's been facialized.
    • Plus there's the mask Ricky wears during Kim's introductory ceremony. It's flesh-colored and has a really, really long nose...
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Initiation was originally written as a pseudo-sequel to Brian Yuzna's Society, according to various reports, but turned into the fourth Silent Night, Deadly Night film to secure funding.
  • Fingore: Under the cult's influence, Kim's fingers start curling up and fusing together a few times.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: For no real reason, cult servant Ricky tries to defend Kim near the end. He gets knifed and eaten by giant larvae for his efforts.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: The cult tries to force Kim into killing Lonnie. While she does abduct him, she stops short of killing him at the last minute and saves him.
  • In Name Only: It has little-to-nothing to do with the series. The Ricky in this film isn't the same Ricky from the other films.
  • Market-Based Title: Initiation became Bugs when released internationally.
  • Sequel: The Original Title