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Dustin Putman

The Seduction  (1982)

Reviewed for by Dustin Putman

The Film
3 Stars
(Release Date: May 21, 2019) – Morgan Fairchild (in her big-screen debut) is the picture of cool '80s sophistication in 1982's "The Seduction," an L.A.-set "...from Hell" thriller pitting her Hollywood Hills-living news anchorwoman Jaime Douglas against obsessive stalker Derek (Andrew Stevens). It begins with phone calls to her home and flowers delivered to her office, then moves physically closer when he shows up at her place of work and bursts into her home to accost her with a camera in her face. Unbeknownst to Jaime and boyfriend Brandon (Michael Sarrazin), Derek is living in the house overlooking her own, spying on her at all hours. When the police tell them there is nothing they can do, Jaime finally must gather the strength to take matters into her own hands.

Directed by David Schmoeller, "The Seduction" opens with pink cursive opening credits scored to a Dionne Warwick ballad and then—if you can scarcely believe it—gets better from there. Made during a time when celebrity stalking was not commonplace or well-documented in the media, the film is perhaps more novel than it may seem when viewing it through 2019 eyes. The trajectory of the plot is, for the most part, conventional, but the picture takes appreciable strides in presenting a take-charge woman protagonist who doesn't simply sit around waiting for a man to save her. This doesn't, however, stop Jaime from taking time out from the highly charged, shotgun-toting climax to reapply her glossy lipstick, because even when one's life is on the line, it's always wise to look our best. Morgan Fairchild is immensely watchable and charismatic in the lead role, while Andrew Stevens (who would go on to play another creepy killer the following year in 1983's "10 to Midnight") manages to be alluringly handsome and appalling all at once as Derek. "The Seduction" is soapy, sudsy, over-the-top, and gloriously of its era. In other words, it's a must-see for connoisseurs of stylish, admittedly campy gems of the 1980s.

Blu-ray Picture/Sound

"The Seduction" stalks its way to Blu-ray from Scream Factory looking like it could have been filmed yesterday rather than 37 years ago. I could not find confirmation that this is a new 2K or 4K scan, but it certainly looks like it could be. This 1080p presentation appears fresh and filmic throughout. Colors are vibrant, black levels satisfy, and the new detail and clarity of the image ensures a striking dimensionality. For one such example, take the early sequence where Derek and co-worker Julie (Wendy Smith Howard) have lunch at a marina; the actors practically jump off the screen, giving a much-sought-after "window" effect that goes beyond watching on a TV screen. There are a few minor age-related instances of dirt spotted, but they are rare and of the blink-and-you'll-miss-them variety. In short, "The Seduction" looks gorgeous on Blu-ray. As for the DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio, it offers little, if anything, about which to criticize. Music and dialogue are handled expertly within the mix, while more action-oriented moments—including fight set-pieces and gunshot blasts—give an active, aurally textural urgency to the proceedings.

Blu-ray Features
  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director David Schmoeller and Producers Irwin Yablans and Bruce Cohn Curtis
  • "Beauty and Strength: An Interview with Morgan Fairchild" Featurette (22:16, HD)
  • "The Seducer: An Interview with Andrew Stevens" Featurette (11:10, HD)
  • "Flashbacks: An Interview with Producer Bruce Cohn Curtis" Featurette (22:20, HD)
  • "Remembering The Seduction" Featurette (10:47, HD)
  • "Remembering the Locations and Production" Featurette (11:11, SD)
  • "Remembering The Seduction and the Law" Featurette (7:52, HD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1:55, HD)
  • TV Spot (0:31, HD)
  • Still Gallery (1:53, HD)
Bottom Line
A moderate box-office success in January 1982 that seems that have fallen by the wayside of widespread public awareness in the decades since, "The Seduction" deserves to find new life on the Blu-ray format. This is a fun movie, a sleek, occasionally silly, but all-around effective early-'80s thriller with an unapologetically fierce star turn from Morgan Fairchild. Scream Factory's Blu-ray ups the ante with a wealth of bonus content, including its biggest get: a brand-new interview with Fairchild, who reminisces fondly about her experience making the film. Highly recommended.

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© 2019 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman

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