Directed by: David Schmoeller
Run time: 104 minutes
The Lowdown: Man, back in the day, I’m talking way back in the early days of HBO, well before competitors like Skinemax arrived, you could always find The Seduction playing after midnight on the pay-cable platform.
More than likely, there's more than one person reading this who remembers those golden days and stopped to watch. And, why not?
The Seduction was a shining example of early 1980’s exploitation cinema. Not only did it star Morgan Fairchild, a popular former soap opera vixen, but Fairchild wasn’t shy when it came to being nude on camera, even if such scandalous moments were brief and mostly involved her swimming naked in a pool late at night.
More so, The Seduction was a classic prototype of the women-in-peril genre. Fairchild’s Jaime Douglas was gorgeous, blonde and splashed across television screens on the daily as a local TV news anchor.
Back then, in those days, the same time period that Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy so aptly mimics, news anchors were revered, idolized and often coveted. They were local celebrities who seemed approachable.
And, in The Seduction, Douglas’s star wattage does attract attention from the worst person possible, Derek (Andrew Stevens), an amateur, pre-Glamour Shots photographer, who begins stalking her and documenting her every move in photos.
What’s most interesting to discover in revisiting a film like this 37 years later is how times have changed.
Once Derek makes his intentions known to Douglas and her husband, they immediately go to the cops and are immediately turned away.
“There’s nothing I can do,” the lead detective tells them. “Want some advice? Get a gun.”
The Stuff You Care About:
Hot chicks – Dude, Morgan Fairchild!
Nudity – Yes.
Gore – No.
Drug use – No.
Bad Guys/Killers – Creepy, creepy, creepy Andrew Stevens.
Buy/Rent – Buy it (for the nostalgia)
White Chamber (Dark Sky Films, 89 minutes, Unrated, Blu-Ray): Sometimes, movies can hit too close to home. And sometimes, that’s a good thing.
White Chamber is a thoroughly enjoyable political thriller set during a not-so-distant future upheaval where the United Kingdom is at war with a rebel insurgence.
To combat the siege, government autocrats task scientists with creating the perfect interrogation chamber to use on the rebel leader if ever he’s captured, which of course he is. Only then, once he escapes, he turns the tables and subjects the architect of the “white chamber” to her own medicine.
White Chamber owes a debt of gratitude to claustrophobic thrillers like Cube, but it succeeds and surpasses such films due to its killer one-two punch of leading actors, Shauna Macdonald and Oded Fehr.
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Now on Video-on-Demand:
Winterskin (High Octane Pictures, 84 minutes, Unrated, Video-on-Demand): I’m not really sure what to make of Winterskin, an odd, anachronistic creature feature that can’t rise above the sum of its parts.
On the one hand, it plays like a period thriller with a father and son out hunting who stumble across an isolated cabin in the midst of a snow-covered valley. Yet, later, near the end of the film, there are characters traveling in trucks. As a viewer, there’s little on display to pinpoint the time period being depicted.
On the other hand, Winterskin feels like an extended, live-action fairy tale not unlike something from The Brothers Grimm. It’s central antagonist, Agnes (Rowena Bentley), is a cut from the cloth of a quintessential witch archetype, yet she’s really just a crazy recluse.
Regardless, I had a hard time finding my footing with this one, and despite a valiant effort, I just couldn’t get invested enough to watch all the way to the end.