Wednesday, November 14, 2012

THE SEDUCTION (MEDIA HOME ENTERTAINMENT - 1982)

"The Seduction" is the curious result of director David Schmoeller ("Tourist Trap," "Crawlspace," "Puppetmaster") taking his theater studies with Alejandro Jodorowsky, work with Klaus Kinski and mentoring in film by Luis Buñuel and throwing them in a deep, dark hole only to be retrieved at an undetermined point following the completion of this film. "The Seduction" was profoundly mediocre and excellent practice for the three seasons of "Silk Stockings" Schmoeller would later go on to direct in the 90s. It begins with all the promise of a "Red Shoe Diaries"-esque late night cable movie channel softcore, Morgan Fairchild swimming nude while a mysterious onlooker is taking photographs all set to a soundtrack of breathy, delicate violins and electric piano solos scored by Lalo Schifrin ("Cool Hand Luke," "Prime Cut," "Dirty Harry"). This really sets a precedence for the remainder of the film of getting the worst possible outcome from everyone involved, unless you count the acting/facial paralysis Fairchild seems to be suffering from. I guess that's what happens when you pool your talent from television actors famous for their guest appearances on "The Love Boat." "The Seduction" was released during Morgan Fairchild's lucrative career in television embedded seamlessly between her two episode stint on "The Love Boat" and her appearance on the "Billy Crystal Comedy Hour." Playing TV newscaster Jamie Douglas's (Fairchild) boyfriend Brandon is unremarkable Canadian treasure Michael Sarrazin ("They Shoot Horses Don't They"). The slightly more unremarkable Andrew Stevens (10 to Midnight, Death Hunt), who plays Jamie's stalker Derek, road a wave of television softcore work through the mid-90s and into great films such as "Point of Seduction," "Illicit Dreams," "Subliminal Seduction" and so on. Stevens also had the esteemed honor of doing a two episode guest spot on "The Love Boat."

This film has all the suspense of an episode of the "The Andy Griffith" Show with minimal amounts of sex, violence and nudity but revolves around a vaguely interesting concept, lonely people with nothing in their lives but fantasies and the relationship between fan and celebrity. Derek falls in "love" with Jamie because she is an on air personality then begins attempting to inject himself into her life. "The Seduction" is a castrated attempt at a thriller but a step by step instructional on how to make a stranger fall in love with you. Take secret photographs of her swimming, send her flowers, call frequently and always unwantedly, rub your muscles while starring at a photo of her whispering "you can't keep your eyes off me can you", surprise her at work by lurking in her office with chocolates then lay in wait hoping your handsome chiseled face will wash away all the creepy shit you did subsequently. Lover boy doesn't really seem like much of a threat through most of the film but eventually motivates Brandon to turn to the police who can only advise "get a gun" reducing Jamie and Brandon into rifle-toting vigilantes.

"The Seduction" is a thriller falling back on it's softcore erotic qualities which barely exist outside of the music, steamy hot tub sex and peeping toms hiding and sweating in closets. The only potential for merit I can see are the brief Morgan Fairchild nude scenes... a soapy nipple or two and some slow leg caresses, my favorite.


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