Fade to Black (1980)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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An interesting, introspective variant on the '80s slasher formula, this low-key psychological thriller details the troubled life of obsessed movie junkie Eric Binford (Dennis Christopher), whose love of old movies extends far beyond his job at a film distributor's warehouse and endless late-night film screenings in his bedroom. His singular obsession eventually rounds the bend into psychosis after he crosses paths with a Marilyn Monroe look-alike (Linda Kerridge), who becomes the physical embodiment of his cinematic desires. When stood up on what he believed would be their first date, Eric becomes homicidally unbalanced, transforming himself into a gallery of classic movie characters -- including Dracula, The Mummy, Hopalong Cassidy, and Norman Bates -- and sets out to destroy his oppressors, starting with his crotchety wheelchair-bound Aunt Stella (Eve Brent Ashe), then targeting a boorish co-worker (a very young Mickey Rourke), and eventually working his way toward Kerridge. The film begins with a groovy concept, but loses something in the execution -- the horror and comedy elements fail to gel completely, and Christopher's performance is too creepy to generate much empathy. … More
as Eric Binford
as Marilyn O'Connor
as Jerry Moriarty
as Aunt Stella
as Rev. Shick
as Talk Show Hostess
as Dee Dee
as Mail Girl
as Officer Anne Oshenbu...
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Critic Reviews for Fade to Black
Interesting premise and execution with various Hollywood icons depicted.
Excellent cheese, and Christopher is superb.
A film that gives movie buffs a bad name.
Audience Reviews for Fade to Black
A tour de force for a young Dennis Christopher in this easy going thriller. He plays a young man who is obsessed with classic old movies, an obsession that goes into overdrive when he snaps after his life takes a downward spiral.
All the folk that wronged or upset him he kills off by transforming himself into famous movie characters from various famous films eg. 'Dracula' 'The Mummy' 'Hopalong Cassidy' and 'Cody Jarret' from the Cagney film 'White Heat'. Along the way is good old Tim Thomerson as a criminal psychologist trying to help 'Binford'.
I say easy going thriller as Christopher is a very likable character in this film. His innocent looks and love of classic cinema is really quite fun to watch, the sequences where he transforms into various characters are really good too, charming really. The film isn't scary or horrific in any way, its very tame and almost like an extended episode of 'Quantum Leap' haha.
During the film there are the odd inserts from various old black n white films to show or mirror what's going on inside 'Binfords' mind, just like in the comedy 'Dream On'. None of murders actually involve any large amounts of blood or gore, its all done quite tastefully with cut aways and leaving it to your imagination. In fact almost all of the murders are merely accidents that Christopher's character brings on, but his lust for revenge gets the better of him near the end.
Great little thriller in a nice 'Murder She Wrote' type of way with some really nice makeup/prosthetics work. Look out for an early role by Mickey Rourke.
A sad and disturbing movie, about the humiliation and self-destruction of a young man; his only love was for the movies. It's creepy when he dresses up like many of his movie idols and commits murder. I liked the old-Hollywood flavor of the settings and characters.
Was pleased to finally track this down via YouTube since it's one of those oddball '80s horror titles that's always eluded me over the years, and I suppose I have to admit that it was just okay, after all that wait.
Don't get me wrong, it's a perfectly decent and enjoyable viewing experience, but after searching for it for literally years to find an easily accessible copy, but ultimately felt like more of a thriller than a straight up horror film.
Rental? If you can find it?
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