It’s funny, as much as the technical side of moviemaking has advanced, just how much the art of selling movies has also changed over the past two decades. 1982’s The Seduction heralded star Morgan Fairchild’s arrival in the feature film world, and it
arrives on DVD intact with its original poster text, which reads
thusly: “Alone… terrified… trapped like an animal. Now she’s
fighting back with the only weapon she has… herself!” The back cover, meanwhile, quotes a listing from the All Movie Guide that reads, “An erotic thriller with sex, violence and nudity.”
Brian De Palma’s Body Double, which released two years later and helped make a star out of Melanie Griffith as it also tackled the same sort of topic of voyeurism in the new tech age. The Seduction doesn’t have that film’s bravura camerawork or masterful construction, true, but it’s also a less violent collision of sleaze and high art, whether attempted or achieved. The reason is that writer-director David Schmoeller (Puppet Master) never aims to bite off more than he can comfortably chew. Exposition is exposition, by God, and in place of De Palma’s complicated outdoor tracking shots we’re going to spend more time oogling Fairchild in silk pajamas or something of the like.
Which brings us to the straight rub for which you’re no doubt waiting: does The Seduction score high marks as a softie skin flick? Ehh… so-so, really. Cinematographer Mac Ahlberg shoots a beautiful frame, but the nudity here is mostly of the classy, tantalizing variety. The sex isn’t overt, in other words, save for one third act bump-and-grind — it’s more about peering at Fairchild in the pool or bathtub. Speaking of which, she does look absolutely gorgeous in the movie, though I should point out the above still isn’t from herein.
Anchor Bay’s superlative DVD release of the movie isn’t billed as a special edition, but it does come tricked out with enough of a fine slate of extras that it would easily qualify for such a designation. The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation is admirably free from grain, and comes with an audio commentary track from Schmoeller and producers Irwin Yablans and Bruce Cohn Curtis. It’s a glad-handing, name-dropping, credit-obsessed affair all the way through, but not without some anecdotal bon mots, such as on the attempted casting of Valerie Perrine and Theresa Russell in the lead role.