Fade to Black (1980)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Fade to Black Photos

Movie Info

A young social misfit attempts to escape his unsatisfying life by obsessive movie-going, becoming increasingly alienated from the real world. Ultimately, after another rejection from a beautiful girl, he snaps and transforms into a psychotic, film-obsessed killer in this violent thriller.
Comedy , Drama , Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
American Cinema


Dennis Christopher
as Eric Binford
Linda Kerridge
as Marilyn O'Connor
Tim Thomerson
as Jerry Moriarty
Marya Small
as Doreen
Eve Brent Ashe
as Aunt Stella
Bob Drew
as Rev. Shick
Mickey Rourke
as Richie
Melinda O. Fee
as Talk Show Hostess
Jane Wiley
as Gofer
James Luisi
as Gallagher
Anita Converse
as Dee Dee
Al Tafoya
as Newscaster
Bruce Reed
as Franco
Sharon Schlarth
as Mail Girl
Marilyn Staley
as Starlet
Gwynne Gilford
as Officer Anne Oshenbull
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News & Interviews for Fade to Black

Critic Reviews for Fade to Black

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (1)

Interesting premise and execution with various Hollywood icons depicted.

February 23, 2008

Excellent cheese, and Christopher is superb.

January 21, 2004

A film that gives movie buffs a bad name.

October 17, 2003
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

for film geeks that get the many references and can relate to Binford's lonely lifestyle

Full Review… | May 27, 2003
Old School Reviews

Interesting idea, lame execution

October 22, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

So-so slasher thriller with a clever movie geek twist.

July 26, 2002

Audience Reviews for Fade to Black


After years of anticipation, I finally bought the film in a double-feature and I have to admit that I was very disappointed. Not the fun slasher gem I was hoping for.

Jesse   Freeland
Jesse Freeland

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?

Bill Bryant
Bill Bryant

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.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

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