• The Seduction (Shout! Factory) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Shout! Factory
    Released on: May 21st, 2019.
    Directed by: David Schmoeller
    Cast: Morgan Fairchild, Andrew Stevens, Michael Sarrazin, Vince Edwards, Colleen Camp
    Year: 1982
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    The Seduction – Movie Review:

    Directed by David Schmoeller, 1982’s The Seduction has the distinction of being the title in which the graceful and beautiful Morgan Fairchild made her feature film debut. In this picture Fairchild plays Jamie Douglas, a news anchorwoman who lives the high life in Los Angeles. She’s making good money, likes her job and lives in a swanky pad out in the hills. She and her well-to-do boyfriend Brandon (Michael Sarrazin) have got it going on!

    Yep, everything seems rosy in Jamie’s life, until a photographer named Derek (Andrew Stevens), clearly her number one fan, takes an unhealthy interest in her. He starts by calling her at the TV station but soon enough he’s getting a bit pushier and sending her flowers. Soon enough, things take a creepy turn when he starts using his photography skills to document her personal life, taking shots of her that she would very much like to keep away from anyone else’s eyes. She talks to Brandon about it, and to her best friend Robin (Colleen Camp), eventually deciding to go to the police. The L.A.P.D.’s finest aren’t much help, they tell her to get a gun to protect herself. If that weren’t enough, a serial killer starts operating in the area!

    “Alone... Terrified... Trapped like an animal. Now she's fighting back with the only weapon she has... Herself!”

    One of the first movies to really deal with the issue of celebrity stalking, The Seduction (which really doesn’t feature much in the way of actual seducing) doesn’t know whether it wants to be an erotic thriller or a slasher and, as such, winds up doing very little erotic thrilling and very little slashing. At times it feels pretty tame, delivering little of the skin or murder set pieces that fans might have expected from the way that the film was marketed. It’s mildly sleazy at times, but never much stronger than that.

    Still, it’s a super slick looking film thanks to some fantastic cinematography from the great Mac Ahlberg. This is a very lush looking film and Fairchild is always lit and framed and made up in such a way as to always look perfect no matter the circumstances. This doesn’t really foster a feeling of reality here, but her fans will no doubt appreciate how much care was taken with this aspect of the picture. Lalo Schifrin’s score is also pretty decent.

    As to the performances? Fresh off of a TV soap opera, Fairchild isn’t bad here. She’s not great, mind you, but she’s not bad. She certainly looks the part but on top of that manages to handle both the mild horror movie elements in the film and its more dramatic requests easily enough. If nothing else, her scene with the shotgun is reason alone to watch this one, but her character is written as such a cliché that it’s hard to get too invested in her plight. Colleen Camp is likeable here as the best friend, the movie might have been better had she been given more screen time, and Sarrazin is fine the Fairchild’s beau. Stevens does a half-decent job as the stalker in the film, he’s creepy enough to work in the part but the movie never lets him go as crazy as you’ll probably feel he should have before its all over and done with.

    The Seduction – Blu-ray Review:

    Shout! Factory presents The Seduction on Blu-ray in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 2.35.1 widescreen on a 50GB Blu-ray disc. There’s a wee bit of print damage here and there and a few scenes look grainier than others but overall this is a very pleasing, film-like presentation that provides strong detail and nice color reproduction. Black levels are good and the image never suffers from overly enthusiastic noise reduction or obvious compression artifacts.

    The English language audio track, which is presented in DTS-HD 2.0 Mono format, is free of any problems. Dialogue is clean and clear and the mix is properly balanced. There aren’t any issues with hiss or distortion, there’s strong clarity throughout. Optional subtitles are provided in English only.

    Producers Irwin Yablans and Bruce Cohn Curtis join writer/director David Schmoeller for a commentary track that originally appeared on the 2005 Anchor Bay Entertainment DVD release. It’s an engaging track with the trio clearly having a good time reminiscing about the making of the film. They cover the inspiration for the story, the casting of Fairchild and importance of her being in the film, the score, various performers bit part and otherwise, and lots more.

    Shout! Factory also supplies three new featurettes starting with the twenty-two-minute Beauty And Strength piece in which Morgan Fairchild herself is interviewed on camera. She talks here about her early days, working as Faye Dunaway’s body double on Bonnie And Clyde, before then talking about her television work and making her proper feature film debut with The Seduction. She shares her thoughts on the script and the concept behind it and is also quite honest about the finished product. The eleven-minute The Seducer interviews actor Andrew Stevens about his experiences working on the picture. He speaks about getting the part, taking issue with credit in the film, what it was like working with some of his fellow cast members and more. The twenty-two-minute Flashbacks gets producer Bruce Cohn Curtis in front of the camera to discuss how he came to be involved in the production and its connection to Roller Boogie of all things, working with Yablans, the importance of casting the film, budgetary issues and quite a bit more. All three of these new featurettes are well done and quite interesting.

    Also carried over from the old DVD are three featurettes. Remembering The Seduction runs eleven-minutes and features Schmoeller, Yablans, Kevin Brophy, actress Colleen Camp and associate producer Tom Curtis discussing the history of the film’s production, the original name for the movie, its connections to Hell Night and more. The Seduction And The Law runs eight-minutes and features Schmoeller, Curtis and LAPD Detective Martha Defoe discussing for eight-minutes some interesting real life stalking cases, some of which have involved celebrities and now stalking is absolutely a very real problem. Remembering The Locations And Production is an eleven-minute piece that explores the location scouting work that went into the movie and the importance of the house that served as the primary location in the film.

    A trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection round out the supplemental package.

    The Seduction – The Final Word:

    The Seduction isn’t a great film by any stretch but Fairchild’s fanbase will no doubt consider this disc essential just because it was such an important step in her career. Offering a pretty strong upgrade over the old DVD release, Shout! Factory carries over all of the extra features from that disc and includes three new interviews to sweeten the deal. The presentation is also quite solid. Fans of the film – and we know you’re out there – this is an upgrade worth making.

    Click on the images below for full sized The Seduction Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Matt H.'s Avatar
      Matt H. -
      Andrew Stevens is always good playing a sleazeball. Even when he's playing a dad or a nice guy, he has that look where he could turn into an asshole at any moment. I want the Night Eyes trilogy on Blu.
    1. Keeth's Avatar
      Keeth -
      I was thinking this film had quite a bit of nudity but that's a memory of an early teenager catching this on a cable movie channel...