Seduced By Evil
Seduced by Evil is a drama placed in the southwest and deals with psychic dreams and the magic of sorcerers who can "shape-shift" from human form into animals. Lee Lindsay, a journalist, starts having psychic dreams when her colleague, Joe Walthrop, begins researching a story for her on the power and superstitions surrounding a small hill town named San Paulo.
- Starring: Suzanne Sommers and James Sikking
- Director(s): Tony Wharnby
- Producer(s): Wilshire Court Entertainment / CNM Entertainment
- Screenwriter(s): Jann Arrington Wolcott, Bill Svanoe
- Release Date: Friday, September 16, 1994
- Rating: Acceptable
Featured Animal Action
The film opens with Joe driving back from interviewing a famous "brujo" or magician from San Paulo named Ceiro. He listens to a tape of Ceiro's voice as he drives out of town. We see a close up of a raven on a branch and then see it fly away. We watch Joe's truck from the bird's view point, then suddenly we see that the bird is inside the truck. In the next sequence, we see the bird attacking Joe and killing him. Lee awakes violently from a nightmare that is the exact scene we have just witnessed. This scene was shot in cuts. For the close ups of the bird, the trainer placed the bird on a perch. For the attack scene, the real bird flew A to B into the car window and in shots where the bird is seen flapping but there is no identifiable actor, the trainer was off camera with the bird perched on his arm flapping. When the bird attacks violently, it was a fake bird used. With the help of the driver/actor, the fake bird is made to look as if it is attacking the man. Lee believes she must complete Joe's story and ventures to San Paulo to meet with Ceiro. Her friend, Yanira, does not believe she should go there. Yanira believes in the magic and fears it will be dangerous for Lee. Lee sets out anyway and on her drive there sees a wolf sitting in the road. She slows down and tries to shoo it, but the wolf simply lays down. He stares at her intently and then moves off to the roadside, staring all the while. In a close up shot, we see the intensity of his interest in her as she rides by. For this scene, the wolf responded to a trainer's verbal commands. The trainer walked alongside the camera vehicle as it passed the animal thus maintaining the wolf's attention. As Lee arrives in San Paulo, we see the raven circling in the sky and landing on a dead cactus. She is fascinated by it as she enters Ceiro's drive. She interviews Ceiro and asks him if San Paulo is haunted. He replies that all places are haunted and that past, present and future all coexist in the spirit world. While at Ceiro's, he offers her some tea which renders her unconscious and enables Ceiro to whisper to her, planting words and images into her subconscious. We learn that Ceiro believes that she is the reincarnation of his past love, Terena. When she awakens and begins to leave, she sees the bird again on the cactus, sees it fly off, follow the truck and then turn off the road. Suddenly, Ceiro is standing in the road at the bottom of the hill. He tells her she will return. The raven used throughout the film was a highly trained bird that could fly to a specific mark, to and from the trainer as well as into free flight returning on command. In dreams, Lee sees the wolf, the raven and a mysterious shaman figure. We see slow motion shots of the bird and the wolf. These animal dream images are seen repeatedly throughout the film.. Yanira tells Lee that, according to superstition, the wolf is the protector of good, the raven is the teacher of magic and the shaman is a shape shifter. Yanira even does research for Lee and finds that during the seventeenth century in Brazil there was a powerful brujo named Feiticeiro who abused his power. His lover, Terena, ran from him because she hated what he had become. The legend promises that Ceiro's spirit will return to try and win her back. Yaniro leaves this information for Lee and sets off to confront Ceiro. We see several shots of the raven flying, perching and moving in slow motion. Yaniro dies on route and it is medically diagnosed as a heart attack, but Lee believes it is Ceiro. After leaving a black feather for Lee as a message, Ceiro causes Lee's husband, Nick, to suddenly and mysteriously lose his eyesight There is a shot of the raven perched on the backyard fence just prior to Nick's sight loss. For this scene the raven was trained to fly to a mark and perch. In a climactic battle between Lee and Ceiro, they both are seen as their animal totems; Lee, the wolf and Ceiro, the raven. Lee dreams that Ceiro has kidnapped her daughter, Melissa, and she goes after him to save her. Lee has a vision of Melissa on a mountain and climbs to reach her. Ceiro is waiting for her and believes that Terena is still the true identity of Lee's soul. Lee shape shifts into the wolf and attacks Ceiro, the man, who falls from the mountain and shape shifts, as he is dying, into his raven form. This scene is shot in cuts. We see the wolf growling, stalking and then tackling the man knocking him over the cliff. For the effect of the wolf stalking and growling, the trainer would put a bone down for the animal and then pretend to take it away. The animal's natural response was to walk toward the bone and growl as it was removed. The wolf was rewarded with the bone upon completion of the shot. For the moment when we see the wolf leap at Ceiro, the camera was placed at a low angle and the wolf jumped from the ground to his trainer who was on a table calling him. For the actual hit, when the animal attacks the man, the trainer stood in for the actor and prompted the wolf in play behavior. In the shot where we see the actor's face, the camera shot over the dog's shoulder and a German Shepherd was used as a stand-in for the wolf. In the final moments when we see the defeated Ceiro shape shift into the dead raven, a fake bird was used.