“DARK SEDUCTION” (Film Review)


Coming out of the gates like the long lost gem that it is, the Greg Travis-helmed DARK SEDUCTION is a type of film very rarely seen these days, complete with a blend of pulp/noir greatness. Originally shot in 1984 and lost for decades, the Jim Jarmusch-like detective yarn feels like a cross between Raymond Chandler and the vampire films that were so magical and exciting growing up with.

What makes DARK SEDUCTION so damned interesting to experience is how remarkably original yet familiar it feels. It never feels like a parody, instead of coming off like a true labor of love for Travis, co-writer Steve Bishart and every single actor involved in the film. Telling the story of a hard-boiled private detective trying to solve a crime, all while dealing with wise guys, femme fatale women and vampires(!), DARK SEDUCTION is a black-and-white genre mashup that needs to be seen to be fully experienced. The fact that it’s taken 30+ years to find and finish speaks volumes about how passionate Travis was (and is) with the dry, humorous, and completely entertaining mix of gritty detective goodness and playful-as-hell genre elements.  

Following Tyler Horn’s detective character as he navigates the underworld (both in a crime and undead sense), it’s a ride that truly feels like the perfect theme-night, one where pizzas, beer, fedoras and poker games would accent perfectly. Filled to the brim with a standard whodunit tale but with plenty of new and fresh angles which is interesting, given the film’s journey.

DARK SEDUCTION still feels very hip and relevant,and its camp only lies in how unabashedly in love with all genres it tiptoes in and out of with complete respect. The characters are larger-than-life, fully fleshed-out noir archetypes, and the jazzy soundtrack makes DARK SEDUCTION another film to add to the pile of films you must show your friends, almost as a way to keep bragging right in an “I found it first” sort of way.

While Travis has gone on to play great supporting roles in such great films as David Lynch’s LOST HIGHWAY (I wonder if he ever did read the driving manual?), SHOWGIRLS (Don’t judge me, I love that movie) and MAN ON THE MOON, it’s DARK SEDUCTION that really shows how artistically fluid and fully formed the actor/director is. While it’s a film that some might undeservedly put into the “so bad, it’s good” category, there isn’t a single thing bad about this newly finished and wonderfully entertaining noir piece of gold. It’s all good.

DARK SEDUCTION is now on iTunes, Amazon, and VOD.

About the author
Jerry Smith

A lifelong genre fanatic, Smith loves all things Carpenter and
plays a mean game of hide and seek. Currently the Editor In Chief of
Icons of Fright, Jerry hails from the dead center of California and
changes diapers on his off time.

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