Not that the original title, The Romance, would’ve been any better, but The Seduction is a fishy name for a stalker movie. Is the film erotic? I guess there’s nudity, but nothing sexy ever came from a stranger invading a woman’s privacy, and that’s exactly what happens to Jamie Douglas in David Schmoeller’s movie.
Notable for being the feature film debut of Morgan Fairchild (who was already making waves on TV’s Flamingo Road), The Seduction begins with Jamie skinny dipping in her pool while, unbeknownst to her, a photographer takes pictures from a nearby house. A public figure, from working on the news as an anchorwoman, Derek (Andrew Stevens) is obsessed with Jamie and while his affections start out small, with unsolicited phone calls, things progress quickly from there until he’s showing up at her work and in her home, unannounced.
Other characters include Jamie’s boyfriend, Brandon (Michael Sarrazin), who seems to show up whenever Derek pays a visit, and Jamie’s best friend, Robin (Colleen Camp), who you’ll know from the giant glasses she’s wearing (movies love putting best friends in glasses).
The film would make a good double bill with John Carpenter’s Someone’s Watching Me! and in a new interview producer, Bruce Cohn Curtis, talks about another film he had planned to produce of Schmoeller’s, with Carpenter set to direct. Schmoeller ended up directing the picture himself but if he hadn’t Carpenter might’ve said no to the project he took in its place – the game changing slasher, Halloween.
There’s a turning point in The Seduction where Jamie reneges on most of what she’s said throughout the movie. It’s easy to pinpoint the cause for this change of heart but after that the film lost me a little. Same as with Someone’s Watching Me! the police are undependable, so Jamie has to deal with Derek by herself.
Shout! have curated some hefty bonus features for this release. On the unseen side, you have new interviews with Fairchild, Stevens, and Curtis. Fairchild gets to talk a little about her stunt work and there’s a salary dispute that feels very relevant to recent conversations about gender parity. Carried over from an older release, you have a commentary track by Schmoeller, Curtis, and fellow producer, Irwin Yablans (Curtis and Yablans try to bring Schmoeller into the conversation, but he doesn’t say much). There are also three additional featurettes, the best of which (“Remembering The Seduction and The Law”) has Curtis talking to Detective Martha Defoe of the LAPD’s Threat Management Unit.
As I said before, the police don’t come out looking very good in this movie, which is why this featurette stands out. Laws have changed since then and there are more protections available today than when The Seduction premiered. Where The Seduction is a film that might discourage someone from going to the police, I really respect that they took the time to talk to someone who knows what’s going on, with web-sites posted at the end for further information. If the film itself raises eyebrows, the bonus features are filled with trivia that make this Blu-Ray worth your time.
The Seduction goes on sale May 21st from Shout! Factory.