The Seduction/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< The Seduction
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1982 offered up Morgan Fairchild (nee Patsy Ann McClenny) in a big screen thriller designed to take her from TV stardom (“Flamingo Road”) to movie stardom. That didn’t exactly happen but Fairchild, the beautiful model-turned-actress (Faye Dunaway’s double during the filming of the classic Bonnie & Clyde) more than holds her own in this titillating “woman in distress” picture.

Fairchild is perfectly cast as Jamie Douglas, a “star” Los Angeles evening news anchorwoman who becomes the object of an obsessed TV viewer named Derek (Andrew Stevens). Her mannequin good looks and perfect diction serve her character well. So does what reads onscreen as her alter ego: Fairchild semi-nude—in showers, hot tubs, pools and saunas—talking dirty and enjoying an active sex life (Showgirls didn’t have the first outrageous in-pool sex scene!) with boyfriend Brandon (Michael Sarrazin).

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Although a suspense story and, as it turns out a bloody one, The Seduction chronicles the thoroughly modern and genuinely unsettling tale of the different stages of stalking. What are the options available—in this case to a harassed woman (visits to her job, incessant phone calls, unwanted cards and gifts) when no specific threat has been made? Her boyfriend thinks she’s overreacting. So does her best girlfriend and the local police detective—at least at first.

Featuring a haunting score by film veteran Lalo Schifrin, (aptly) voyeuristic cinematography by Mac Ahlberg, and a collection of audience-pleasing scenes including a live “on air” emotional breakdown, a visually compelling silent hide-and-seek in a department store (very Hitchcock), and a surprise gory murder, The Seduction, even with its many genre clichés (is she really going to walk down that dark street alone?!) more than lives up to its title. (Available for view in a single link on You Tube.)

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Josiah Howard is the author of four books including Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide (now in a fourth printing). His writing credits include articles for the American Library of Congress, The New York Times and Readers Digest. A veteran of more than one hundred radio broadcasts, Howard also lectures on cinema and is a frequent guest on entertainment news television. Visit his Official Website.
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