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On this episode of the cast, we chat with filmmaker John Berardo about his college slasher throwback with a modern twist, “Initiation”.


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NHE host Scott Murphy chats to writer/director John Berardo about his debut feature Initiation (stylized Init!ation), a college campus slasher with a 90s throwback feel and a feminist twist.

In the interview (beginning at 2:10), John tells us about how his college experiences informed the story of the feature and how he fought to have actress Lindsay LaVanchy (who co-wrote the film) take the lead in this. Plus, we talk about how some of the film’s starrier names (Jon Huertas, Yancy Butler, Lochlyn Munro) came on board and how the team came up with the look for the killer’s mask (imagine EDM Jason). We also discuss the recent resurgence of the slasher genre post-Happy Death Day.

Elsewhere in the interview, Scott talks to John about his favorite slasher movies, the schizophrenic nature of the subgenre’s audience, and how it would be difficult to make a straightforward slasher in the current era due to the problematic nature of some of the subgenre’s tropes.

Initiation is currently available in the US (as of May 7th).  You can rent it on Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Vudu, Amazon Video, Microsoft Store, FandangoNOW, YouTube, Redbox, or DIRECTV online. A UK release has yet to be announced.

Check out the trailer for the film below.


Host Scott Murphy (host of the Guilty Pleasures Podcast) chats to the best indie talent the horror genre has to offer. While the show typically focuses on indie directors, actors and writers are often a part of the conversation as well.

Murphy is a freelance journalist, reviewer and podcaster. He got into horror in his early teens and has not looked back since. As well as reviewing on New Horror Express, he currently writes reviews for The Wee Review and has previously written for Slimehouse TV, Subtitled Online and The 405.  His favorite horror movie is The Shining, and his favorite horror novel is Interview with The Vampire.

Be sure to tune in every Monday for new episodes of the NEW HORROR EXPRESS podcast on the Morbidly Beautiful Network. 

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