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The Seduction (Blu-ray Review)

Scream Factory seems to be making a light foray into the erotic thriller area of film genre-dom, continuing with this month’s release of the Morgan Fairchild-starring 1980s film The Seduction. If you’ll remember, they had a Valentine’s release of the four Poison Ivy films just few months back. The Seduction is getting some rather top tier treatment to with its Blu-ray debut here. They’ve got interviews, a commentary and vintage featurettes galore to soak up onto this disc. And yes, those new interviews do include a BRAND NEW one with Morgan Fairchild herself sitting down to reflect on her first lead role in a major motion picture. The street date for the release is May 21sts, so you have a little bit to pre-order a copy and if you use the Amazon link at the end of the review, you’ll help the site, and also secure the copy to your doorstep on the day of release. Maybe this review will be enough to seduce you into doing that. Or, maybe not. 

Film 

L.A. anchorwoman Jamie Douglas (the stunning Morgan Fairchild in her big screen debut) has it all: a glamorous career on a top-rated news show, a luxurious house in the hills, and a devoted young admirer named Derek (Andrew Stevens). But when Jamie rebuffs his romantic advances, Derek becomes an obsessed stalker who plays out an increasingly psychotic courtship with the frightened newswoman. Soon he is threatening every part of her life, secretly watching even her most intimate moments. Her tough-talking lover (Michael Sarrazin) can’t console her. A by-the-book cop (Vince Edwards) can’t protect her. But Jamie is far from helpless … and ready to fight back with all the weapons at her command. When the smoke clears … who will survive The Seduction?

The Seduction was the first of its kind and tackled an issue nobody was discussing at the time. It must be given the credit it deserves for blazing a trail and covering new ground. However, the film now works best as a capsule than it does holding up to any sort of modern scrutiny and could be a more challenging watch in this era with how far things have come. Its also a bit of a chore to sit through as its almost too patient and too afraid to get darker as it rolls along.

One of the biggest issues with the film, and I think would even be the case when it came out, is that it is barely a step up from being an ABC Movie Of The Week from that era. There is nary a difference between The Seduction and a television episode (Or made for TV movie). The production values, script and execution all feel made for the small screen and there’s nothing that sets it apart. Morgan Fairchild is pretty good here, but even she at the time was a big time TV actress, so that fits the mold as well.  And in terms of the more erotic stuff with the film, its not even close to titillating or being really anything.

The film’s title is The Seduction, but it really has nothing to do with any of that. It’s a pretty misleading title. The title should have been something along the lines of stalking. The presence of a seduction is nowhere to be found in the film. We need something more deadly to be more accurate. Some may enjoy going back to this one, but I honestly found it to be quite a chore and very bored through most of it. Fairchild gives a fun performance and looks stunning in the film, but that only takes the movie so far.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: The Seduction doesn’t provide any information on the transfer for the film, though it looks to have been provided by Studio Canal. One could assume its at least a 2K transfer. Th image a is a little grainy and the print can bring off a tad rougher look at times, but I feel its pretty true to its source/condition. Details are pretty strong and the image has a bit of a gloss to it, keep it a little bit softer. Overall, this is solid, but one feels it could be improved if anyone ever wanted to go back to it (Doubtful).

Depth:  Solid depth of field here as spacing and movements are free and smooth with no distortions causing issue. Camera movements are confident and backgrounds give a decent pushback look to them.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and pretty consuming. Detail can be lost easily and grain picks up heavier in the shadows. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are more natural in the film. Reds shine through via robes and fabrics. Also make-up colors do pop through quite a bit. Most of the oranges, browns and more rustic colors have a nice bold look to them.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish. Facial features come through quite well in close ups, but the further you pull back can be more difficult depending on the lighting in the scene.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Format(s): English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics: The Seduction comes complete with its monaural audio track. Its a nice mix that has a good loose quality between its effects, vocals and music/score. And it surprisingly gets a decent little bump when going for LFE sounds like a shotgun blast. Overall, this one gets the job done complimentary to the film at hand.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp, plenty audible and part of the scene at hand in every way.

Extras 

Audio Commentary

  • With Producer Irwin Yablans, Bruce Cohn Curtis and Writer/Director David Schmoeller

Beauty and Strength (HD, 22:16) – An interview with Actress Morgan Fairchild. She opens revealing that she was Faye Dunaway’s body double on Bonnie & Clyde and that was her first time on a movie set. Fairchild goes over her growth as an actor and learning how the camera works via her loads of television and how she was ready for The Seduction when it began. Morgan talks about what attracted her to a script and how the fan stalking issue hadn’t been done yet. She gives a very honest look at the production and is quite knowledgeable and information with her recollection of the film overall.

The Seducer (HD, 11:10) –  An interview with Actor Andrew Stevens. He opens with wanting top billing and turning it down a few times because of it, until his name had a box around it on the poster (And not having to audition). Stevens goes over his approach to the character and working on the film and with his costars/director/etc.

Flashbacks (HD, 22:20) – An interview with Producer Bruce Cohn Curtis. This is pretty much him giving the story of how the film was made from finding the script during shooting Roller Boogie and convincing Irwin Yablans that “This is the one”. He goes over money, casting, the shoot, etc in very good detail with plenty of fun anecdotes, done very matter of fact like. Of note, he almost had John Carpenter set up to direct the film Tourist Trap (Which when that fell through, he directed Halloween for Yablans instead).

Remembering The Seduction (SD, 10:47) – Featurette featuring interviews with Bruce Cohn Curtis, Irwin Yablans, David Schmoeller, Actress Colleen Camp, Actor Kevin Brophy and Associate Producer Tom Curtis. The group sits on stage and reminisces about the origins of the project and how it went over the production (Originally called “The Romance”).

Remembering the Locations and Production (SD, 11:11) – Featurette with Bruce Cohn Curtis and Location Manager Charles Newirth. The two sit in theater sits and talk about the production design, location scouting and shooting it for the film.

Remembering The Seduction and The Law Featurette (SD, 7:52) – Bruce Cohn Curtis, Detective Martha Dafoe and writer David Schmoeller discuss real life stalking cases and high profile celebrity stalking cases.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:55)

TV Spot (SD, :31)

Still Gallery (HD, 1:53)

Summary 

The Seduction is a time capsule of a film that was doing something others weren’t, but so many have after it can be tough to see that in the original. It also doesn’t hold up so well. Scream Factory’s Blu-ray debut of it does hold up well with good video and audio presentation and a slew of new interviews and previously released featurettes. This truly is the definitive release of the film and fans should easily grab this when released.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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