Seduction of Maxine (aka The Stalker, 2000) Movie Review

There’s nothing so wrong about “The Seduction of Maxine” (aka “The Stalker”) that a more seasoned director couldn’t have fixed. Oh sure, it’s no great Oscar movie by any stretch, but the acting is surprisingly reasonable for a film of this caliber, and the script, although by-the-numbers and heavily derivative (re: it’s a direct copy) of Kevin Costner’s “The Bodyguard”, is not entirely incompetent. Heck, writer Montana Muirfield (gee, wonder if that’s a pseudonym — nahhhhh) even throws in a last-minute plot twist that works — but only in the sense that you didn’t see it coming because, honestly, it’s idiotic and unreasonable.

Tracy Ryan (going under the name “Stacy Noal”) headlines “Seduction of Maxine” as the titular Maxine Strickland, a movie star who finds herself being stalked by a madman. Or, as the case may be, madwoman, as the script seems to keep pointing an accusing finger at Maxine’s personal assistant Naomi Grant (played by porn star Tera Patrick). For much of the film, the script works overtime, constantly switching from Naomi as the red herring to Armando the chauffeur, depending on who is onscreen at the time. It turns out both Naomi and Armando have their reasons for wanting Maxine dead — Naomi is jealous, wishing to be a bona fide movie star herself, and Armando is shagging the maid, which he believes is against Maxine’s rules.

To help Maxine survive her stalker, her manager/boyfriend (who is also having an affair with the slutty Naomi on the side) hires bodyguard Jack Howard (Paul Logan), who once took a bullet for the Governor, as we see in a flashback. Ol Jack’s still smarting from that bullet wound, and taking on the job of protecting Maxine becomes a problem as, according to all movies that have copied “The Bodyguard”, Maxine doesn’t like having her life walking to the beat of Jack’s uptight drum. Conflict ensues between the two principals, which don’t bode well for genre fans, since it means having to endure more background actors engaging in simulated sex.

Not that random, pointless sex is such a bad thing, mind you, but when you have a world class beauty like Tracy Ryan on the scene, who wants to see third-rate actresses engaging in bad sex? Not that Ryan is shy about the bump and grind. She has three sex scenes, including a coupling with Riley and the inevitable one with Jack, as well as a lesbian tryst with Monique Parent, who shows up just for that scene, apparently. While we wait for Ryan to disrobe, Tera Patrick does her best to fill in the rest of the running time. She’s game, and the porn actress proves to be a pretty decent actress. Of course the role simply requires her to vamp it up, which she does with great enthusiasm. Having seen her in TV interviews, it doesn’t appear as if she’s being anything but Tera Patrick in the movie, so perhaps crediting her with a credible performance is cheating.

As mentioned at the beginning of the review, the only real terrible element of the film is the directing by Madison Monroe, who shows no discernible talent behind the camera whatsoever. The film is executed in a point-and-shoot manner, without any visual flair whatsoever. The only scene that probably required more than a minute to set up and shoot is at the beginning, when the camera tracks through a movie set. Too bad the rest of the film has zero creativity behind it. Even the film’s many sex scenes are dry and dull, and if not for the enthusiastic performances of its two leading ladies, the film would be a dud. Worst, it would be an unoriginal and boring dud, and that’s something fans of the genre should never tolerate.

Luckily for “Seduction of Maxine”, Tracy Ryan is on her A-game, and the movie is worth watching just because she is the lead. While she gets to play it cute and demure (for the most part) when her character has her clothes on, Ryan shows the kind of raw energy that’s made her popular in the world of softcore, including a co-starring turn in “Forbidden”. Interestingly, although Ryan is the star of the movie, her more famous co-star Tera Patrick is the one getting all the press. A version of the movie (back when it was still called “Seduction of Maxine”) has Patrick half-naked on the cover, and the copy makes it seem as if Patrick is Maxine, and not Ryan. That’s a dirty trick, on the audience and Tracy Ryan. Shame on the movie’s producers for blatantly dissing Ryan. Tsk tsk.

“Seduction of Maxine” is a success because it delivers on what it promises: lots and lots of simulated sex, the majority of them with two great looking ladies who clearly enjoys their nakedness. Tracy Ryan is beautiful, as always, and Tera Patrick doesn’t completely suck as an actress. The rest of the cast is background noise, including Paul Logan as the buffed up hero. If you thought Kevin Costner was barely conscious in “The Bodyguard”, wait until you see Logan’s mannequin act. I swear the guy doesn’t breathe for half of the movie, even during his sex scenes with Patrick and Ryan. Now that’s just freaky.

Madison Monroe (director) / Madison Monroe (screenplay)
CAST: Tracy Ryan …. Maxine Strickland
Paul Logan …. Jack Howard
Tera Patrick …. Naomi Grant
Monique Parent …. Leah Hudson

Buy Seduction of Maxine on DVD