When I was growing up in the late seventies, Farrah Fawcett Majors was the ultimate poster girl, and the image of her in a red bathing suit not only adorned my wall, but also the foot of my bed in the guise of a cleverly screen-printed furry rug. However, I was still barely old enough to understand just why I had her picture on both my wall and floor; I just knew that I liked it. When the seventies gave way to the eighties, a new breed of buxom blonde bombshells started to compete with – and, ultimately usurp – Farrah for my attentions, including the seemingly ageless Heather Locklear, Pia Zadora, and, perhaps my favorite of the lot, Morgan Fairchild.
And man, oh man, I definitely knew why I had her picture on my wall.
With her perfect, ski-slope nose, seemingly endless legs, and a mountain of blonde hair that could house a Cambodian family, Fairchild embodied the glitzy excess of the decade of decadence, and, when word came that her theatrical debut would feature the hottest hottie in Hollywood in nothing more than the skin God gave her, it was big news indeed. Sadly, at thirteen years old, I wasn’t able to see The Seduction until more than a year later, when it finally popped up on cable. Needless to say, the splendid sight of a naked Fairchild splashing around in a pool was worth watching the flick for alone (and, for those that don’t care to see anything else, this all happens in the first two minutes), but the often unintentionally funny rip on Hitchcockian thrillers also proved to be a goofy, entertaining ride. While not nearly as “shocking” as it may have been more than twenty years ago, The Seduction is still a marvelously guilty pleasure, and Anchor Bay’s presentation is as elegant the star, herself.
Fairchild plays Jamie Douglas, a superstar news anchor who attracts the unwanted attention of a young photographer named Derek (Stevens). At first, Derek just calls Jamie, sends her flowers, and leaves her messages at work. However, as his attempts to win her love become more frequent (and more invasive), Jamie and her boyfriend, Brandon (Sarrazin) seek out help from the police, who inform the terrified couple that there’s nothing they can do until Derek proves a viable threat.
Viewers born in (or to young to remember) the mid-to-late eighties may question the lackadaisical response of the police in the film, but one must bear in mind that The Seduction was made a few years before the anti-stalking laws were enacted in the United States, and that cases like this happened all the time; often with tragic outcomes. The DVD extras actually spend a great deal of time discussing the laws, the potential impact that the film may have had on their creation, and various cases of celebrity stalking. The set also features a “reunion” of cast and crew, and a commentary track but, sadly, neither Fairchild nor Stevens made themselves available for any of the supplemental materials.
Anchor Bay's handling of the film is really quite nice, presenting The Seduction in anamorphic 2.35:1 transfer that looks nearly flawless. There's some fine cinematic grain, and the image, itself, is inherently soft (a hazard of many 80's flicks, which look to have been filmed through plastic wrap smeared with Vaseline), but the colors are vibrant and there's no evidence of digital artifacting or black crush. The mono audio track isn't anything to write home about, but you'll be too busy absorbing the sight of Morgan Fairchild's perfectly toned body to notice such trivialities as sound.
While I personally think The Seduction’s a lot of fun, my opinion is also shrouded in a gauzy mist of teenage nostalgia, and shouldn’t be taken for anything more than that. I seriously doubt viewers weaned on hard thrillers will enjoy this, but there’s a definite “Midnight Movie” sensibility to the film that will surely please fans of “bad” movies – especially those that like a little celebrity skin thrown into the mix.