A few decades back a local TV anchor made the news when her stalker was arrested. This was at a time when nobody really talked about stalking. There was a lot of curiosity, but very few details other than the guy would drive over an hour to town to lurk near her home and the TV station. The situation freaked her out so that she relocated to another TV market. Years later I’d was hanging out with someone from the TV station who filled me in on the disturbing details of a few things the stalker did. It was nasty. Without giving too many gross details, the stalker liked to leave “gifts” (as he called them) on the door handles of her car and home. It was a horror story. The Seduction also deals with a TV anchor beings stalked by viewer although there’s no door handle scenes.
Jamie Douglas (Flamingo Road‘s Morgan Fairchild) anchors the top news broadcast in Los Angeles. She’s tens of thousands watching her every night. But she has one special viewer who wants to see her when she’s off camera. Derek (Night Eyes‘ Andrew Stevens) is a huge fan with an even larger telephoto lens. He hides near Jamie’s house so he can photographer her during a late night skinny dip in her backyard pool. He sends her gifts which she takes in stride since she needs loyal fans to watch her broadcast. Derek steps from behind his camera and drops by the TV station to meet her. She isn’t repulsed by the guy at first since he’s a handsome young man. He does disturb Jamie’s boyfriend Brandon (The Resurrection of Peter Proud‘s Michael Sarrazin). Derek completely crosses the line when he drops by Jamie’s house. Brandon gets him out of the place. But there’s no true way to protect Jamie from Derek’s creeping into her life. He even visits her friend Robin (Colleen Camp) to try to talk his way into her life. There’s little the cops can do since back in 1982, stalking laws weren’t on the books. So Jamie and Brandon have to fight Derek off by themselves.
While The Seduction was given three Razzie nominations when it came out, the film has improved over the years. The film really does a fine job exploring the subject of stalking. Jamie isn’t a huge Hollywood star trying to seduce the world. She’s a news anchor doing her job. And yet she has to worry about a stalker. This is something they didn’t teach in broadcasting classes. The Seduction also dared to shine a bright light on how stalking isn’t cute in a movie. How many romantic comedies featured the initially spurned lover not giving up on their “love interest?” They’re persistent in their pursuit. They put on disguises to get closer. It’s fun and games until she realizes the guy was truly the one for her. People love The Graduate which is pretty stalkery. In a romantic comedy, it’d be easy to see Jamie realize that Brandon isn’t the man for her like Derek. But this movie isn’t selling a Hollywood fantasy. The Seduction reminds us that for even minor celebrities, the biggest fan might not be the best fan to have.
If you recently saw Morgan Fairchild on The Food Network’s Worst Cooks In America: Celebrity Edition, The Seduction is a fine introduction to her dramatic work.
The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out the details of Los Angeles in the early ’80s. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio Mono. The levels are fine and things sound crisp. You can hear Derek’s camera clicking away. The movie is subtitled.
Beauty And Strength (22:16) is an interview with Actress Morgan Fairchild starts with her talking about her unusual role on Bonnie and Clyde. She talks about learning to act for a camera after spending most of her career on the stage. She took The Seduction because she had experienced a bit of fan stalking.
The Seducer (11:10) chats with Actor Andrew Stevens. He turned the movie down at first. He talks about why an actor’s name ends up in a box on a movie poster.
Flashbacks (22:20) sits down with producer Bruce Cohn Curtis. He talks of his relationship with Irwin Yablans. They had done Roller Boogie and Hell Night. He talks about John Carpenter and how he almost didn’t do Halloween.
Audio Commentary With Producer Irwin Yablans, Bruce Cohn Curtis, And Writer/Director David Schmoeller goes over so much of how the film came together.
Remembering The Seduction (10:47) has Bruce Cohn Curtis, Irwin Yablans, David Schmoeller, Actress Colleen Camp, Actor Kevin Brophy, And Associate Producer Tom Curtis sit on a stage and talk about the production.
Remembering The Locations And Production (11:11) brings together Bruce Cohn Curtis And Location Manager Charles Newirth to talk about the places they shot. They shot at Rita Moreno’s house.
Remembering The Seduction And The Law (7:52) has the director and an LAPD detective discuss the changes in stalking laws for California.
Original Theatrical Trailer (1:55) makes it feel a bit like a romance and then lets you know the truth.
TV Spot (0:32) promises it’s at a theater near you.
Still Gallery (1:53) includes the VHS box, the novelization, lobby cards and posters.
Scream Factory presents The Seduction. Directed by David Schmoeller. Screenplay by: David Schmoeller. Starring: Morgan Fairchild, Michael Sarrazin, Vince Edwards, Andrew Stevens and Colleen Camp. Rated: R. Running Time: 104 minutes. Released: May 21, 2019.
Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.