FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 2, 2023

Day 2 - "Frankly, I think we've entered a new age of madness."

Not to be too solipsistic or to have too much of a parasocial relationship with media...but sometimes it feels like certain movies were made expressly for me (or, in the case of today's movie, the one person who voted it a favorite). How else to explain the fact that Meg Tilly stars as Carmilla in the 1989 Nightmare Classics episode "Carmilla"? It's like a wink and an "I gotchu, girl" from the universe, I swear. And so it is with number 526 on the 2020 list of your favorite horror movies, writer/director David Schmoeller's The Seduction.

Side note: Is it just me or is it a bit strange that "parasocial" has become something of a buzzword lately when it's a phenomenon that's been around forever? It's like everyone just discovered it or something. Like when bacon became a fad, or folks started making sriracha a lifestyle. Sure, we all come to things or come to enjoy things at different times, but I'm always amazed when something pretty basic is suddenly everywhere. It's weird! That said, while sriracha is not a lifestyle choice for me I do love it a lot and I swear if this Huy Fong shortage doesn't end soon I cannot be held accountable for what I might do. I have tried all sorts of other brands and they are poor substitutes! I need a wink from the universe here.

Okay anyway, enough about my condiment desires. Let's talk about my cinematic desires, specifically my desire for The Seduction, which is hot and throbbing (sorry) because this movie was made for me and only me!! And like I said, the one person who voted for it!

I will prove my case. Your honor, the blog would like to enter into evidence the following:
  • The Seduction's year of birth: 1982, one of horror's best years
  • The color scheme of the opening credits...and that font!

It's wildly reminiscent of the font from the TV show Silk Stalkings, of which David Schmoeller directed six episodes. It's a small, sexy world after all!

  • The Seduction boasts a soft theme song called "Love's Hiding Place" sung by the one and only Dionne GD Warwick!
  • It's co-produced by Irwin Yablans
  • It's about an anchorwoman in peril
  • The anchorwoman in peril is Morgan effing Fairchild, just look at her delivering the news! Could you die

There is so much more, I loved this movie!

Derek (le hunk Andrew Stevens) runs a small photography studio and is completely obsessed with evening news anchor (just typing the words "evening news anchor" when talking about a horror movie really sends me!) Jaime Douglas (Fairchild). He's in love withe her, and he's convinced she's in love with him. That's right, his room--with his obligatory wall full of Jaime photos--is Parasocial's Hiding Place!

You know how it goes. Derek wages a war of constant, escalating harassment against Jaime: he surreptitiously takes photos of her, he calls her at home, he calls her at work, he calls her at her friend's house, he sends flowers, he shows up at her workplace with candy, he shows up at her house, he lurks in the background of her on the scene and Pulitzer prize-deserving reportage!

In one highly disturbing scene, Derek lurks in a closet and sweats profusely while he watches Jaime take one of those sensual movie bubble baths, you know, the kind where a woman spends a lot of time running her hands up and down her soapy calves.

The cops tell Jaime that there's really nothing they can do because "overheated fan" Derek hasn't done anything wrong. Jaime, Jaime's boyfriend, and I all disagree with this assessment, but what are you gonna do? Get a gun, as many characters suggest? Jaime says NO, she is a strong woman who will not resort to becoming a common vigilante! And yet, as Derek keeps on keepin' on...

YEAH BABY! Can you just hear the "chk chk" in that picture? Let me tell you, it's even more satisfying in the actual movie. Go figure!

These kinds of movies all play out in basically the same way, but the fun is in the getting there, and The Seduction is nothing if not fun. Well, truth be told it's perhaps a bit overlong at an hour and 45 minutes, but I don't really care. Giving me Morgan Fairchild as an anchorwoman is enough for me! But The Seduction keeps giving and giving, as Schmoeller gives a whole bunch of random characters moments to shine, including a few I need to shout out, like this kid, who is getting his portrait done at Derek's studio and refuses to smile:

This random, gravel-voiced neighbor that Jaime literally runs into one night, who is out with her dog and says "It's just me and Butch, looking for a place to poo-poo":

COLLEEN CAMP!!! As Jaime's best friend, who seems to have gone to the Patsy Kelly 1930s School for Wisecracking Gal Comedy Stylings and says things like "Boy, I'd better keep my trap clapped!" Like who is she!

There's also the salesdude in that store who tries to sell them a 50 pound silver cigarette lighter that's in the shape of an elephant? I love these random characters. And look, it's Lana's boyfriend Billy from Friday the 13th: A New Beginning!

I tells ya, I wish there were enough anchorwoman in peril movies that I could dedicate a whole SHOCKtober to 'em. Oh well. At least I'm going to dedicate a whole wall in my apartment to photos from The Seduction. I know it loves me just as much as I love it! *wipes sweat*


Steve K said...

I'm assuming the Rob Estes in Silk Stalkings to Melrose Place pipeline was cut for space, probably because the McBride connection would then take us to Lisa Rinna, and just how far afield can we free-associate away from the topic at hand? (Very far, I think.)

Stacie Ponder said...

I could free-associate for days, but I must control myself sometimes!

Riccardo said...

Morgan Fairchild has certainly had some career, starting with doubling Faye Dunaway in "Bonnie & Clyde" because Faye couldn't drive a stick shift (according to Wikipedia), and including two Emmy nominations (Primetime and Daytime). I once heard an ultra-low-budget filmmaker compliment her professionalism and preparedness on one of his movies (where she was half the budget but "worth it") and that probably counts for a lot at all levels of show biz.

Andrew Stevens, son of Stella Stevens, had some heat in his career in the late 1970s, what with starring in De Palma's "The Fury" and some high-profile TV miniseries, but then it seemed to rapidly cool around this time.

Unfortunately, "Frankly, I think we've entered a new age of madness" could probably apply to a lot of different time periods, which is bad for us in real life, but probably a good thing for mad scientist and "overheated fan" stalker movies.

Stacie Ponder said...

Yeah Andrew Stevens definitely had his popular/hot period and then he just seemed to vanish. I thought of The Fury while watching this and how it's kind of the forgotten/overlooked De Palma and wondering if I should give it a rewatch as it's been years since I've seen it.

James Lewis said...

I got to see the new documentary film about erotic thrillers, WE KILL FOR LOVE, recently. At one point in the film, Andrew Stevens says that when he was deciding whether or not to do The Seduction, he told the producers that he'd do it if he could have his name in a box on the movie poster. He says it was all the rage at the time. He had no idea what it meant, but he just knew it looked cool, and he wanted his name like that. So, they said yes, and if you look at the poster, there's Andrew Stevens's name in a box.

Cut to the end credits of WE KILL FOR LOVE --- as the interviewees names are scrolling up the screen, whose name is the only name in a box?

Needless to say, the crowd went wild.

Stacie Ponder said...

Oh my god thank you for that anecdote! And for putting WE KILL FOR LOVE on my radar, I need to see it asap...