Movie Name: Def by Temptation
Studio: Bonded Filmworks
Release Date(s): May 11, 1990
MPAA Rating: R
A creature is feasting in New York City and preying on men. The woman is known as Temptation (Cynthia Bond) seduces and eats…taking the men for her own. When Temptation sets her eyes on Joel (James Bond III) who has come to the city to test his faith. When K (Kadeem Hardison) realizes that Joel is being targeted, an agent named Dougy (Bill Nunn) reveals Temptation might be more than she appears to be.
Written, produced, and directed by James Bond III, Def by Temptation is a horror film. The movie had a limited release.
Def by Temptation is like the evolution of the blaxploitation genre. While blaxploitation often ended up falling to stereotypes but also allowed actors that might not have found work get the experience that Hollywood wasn’t offering them to tell stories that Hollywood wasn’t telling. This movie really isn’t exploitation but it also unfortunately isn’t very good.
The movie feels like you are watching a really long episode of Tales from the Darkside. The story isn’t pieced together well and feels really segmented. The movie is a movie about faith at its core, but it is garbled with a story about this demon. I think both stories could have been told but the writing doesn’t combine them well.
James Bond III not only struggles with the script but he struggles as the idealistic star of the film who is tempted by the demon. He’s flat and shouldn’t have been in his own film. Kadeem Hardison is the best friend and essentially playing his A Different World character in a horror film. Cynthia Bond doesn’t really develop as a horror villain and Bill Nunn has to be one of the least convincing detective around. Samuel L. Jackson has a small role in the movie as Joel’s deceased father.
The movie also looks cheap. Troma helped put out the film, and Troma isn’t known for its style. It is mostly shot on a set with cheap effects and in general the film is odd with screen cards directing the story on occasion by telling the time of day etc…it feels episodic.
Def by Temptation isn’t a very good horror film and it isn’t scary. All the elements are there for a good story but through the telling, acting, and visuals, the movie fails on all fronts. It is a different voice in horror that was missing at the time, and it is too bad that this movie failed to capture it within its budget.