Fade to Black - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Fade to Black Reviews

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½ July 21, 2016
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.
½ September 12, 2015
My review contains minor spoilers!
Story of an ultra film buff with a mean aunt which he rightly or wrongly murders by throwing her down the stairs. I like how the film has you sympathize with him even after this. Micky Rourke is a pretty good bully to him as well.
The main kid has a really cool bedroom with masks and movie posters and photos and even an old projector. My main problem with the movie was the "love interest" that seemed to be arbitrarily thrown in there. The kid kills people by playing characters from movies, which is pretty cool. He gets his revenge on several people. The best one is the creepy cowboy mask. The ending was a bit half assed I felt though.
September 10, 2015
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?
½ April 10, 2015
Loses the viewer early and the only tension is if to turn it off or not.
½ September 27, 2014
A clever, self-conscious slasher film that reflects not just upon the genre but upon cinema more generally, Fade to Black is a funny, insane twist on the 80s slasher that will delight fans of the genre.
October 26, 2013
Eric Binford might just be the most annoying character in cinematic history.
August 9, 2013
Think "Taxi Driver" cross-bred with "Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer" and "Polyester". Somehow--Creepy fun for movie buffs!!
July 27, 2013
If Norman Bates had been a movie geek, this would be his film. A rare little gem that may not be perfect but is a great late night movie to watch on your own and the nods to the movies of the past is a nice touch.
½ January 31, 2013
Eric's obsession with movies takes a deadly turn after he decides that he has suffered his final abuses from his friends and co-workers. With some quick make-up and costuming, Eric transforms himself into Dracula, Hopalong Cassidy, The Mummy, and other silver screen idols as he sets off into the night to seek his revenge! This relatively obscure and largely forgotten Horror film hit during the height of the Slasher cycle, yet it offers something new to the genre entirely. Eric is played by the sheepish Dennis Christopher, who is not just your typical nerd. Despite being constantly picked on by his peers, Eric maintains a high sense of self-esteem, and even has the guts to ask out his favorite lady, who bears an incredible similarity to Marilyn Monroe. It is only due to a series of unfortunate circumstances that Eric finally snaps and lashes out against his aggressors. Like TERROR TRAIN, FADE TO BLACK is mostly bloodless, and instead focuses on Eric's descent into madness rather than the exploitation of nudity and gore. Writer/Director Vernon Zimmerman leaves no room for subtlety in his frequent homages to both the Horror genre and film at large, but the clever allusions to WHITE HEAT and KISS OF DEATH are sure to be appreciated by movie buffs. Christopher is enjoyable in each of his many impressions, and successfully manages to draw from the audience's sympathies. FADE TO BLACK will hold a certain appeal for the fans of early 80's Slashers, and ranks right alongside NIGHT WARNING and CURTAINS as one of the more underappreciated films in the subgenre.
Super Reviewer
½ August 20, 2012
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.
½ July 19, 2012
Un rejeton d'Hitchcok et De Palma version sĂ (C)rie B. Peut-ĂȘtre un peu poussif par moments.
July 17, 2012
Terrible film. The worst slasher film from the 80's.
June 28, 2012
in vergessenheit geratener thriller mit einem sehr jungen mickey rourke in einer nebenrolle, hatte den film mal in den 80ern gesehen und fand ihn jetzt aber wiedere recht unterhaltsam
April 5, 2012
I gotta love the tagline: 'Meet Eric Binford, the ultimate movie buff. If you know someone like him... run!'

Eric Binford is a lonely, socially isolated young man who lives for the movies. He spends his late-night hours watching them. He knows them all, and quotes them incessantly. He quizzes his colleagues, and *random* strangers on movie trivia; "What is Rick's full name in 'Casablanca'?" "I bet you don't know what Hitler's favourite movie was?", and so on. He even impersonates the likes of Cary Grant and James Cagney. His room is filled with movie posters. Not surprisingly, he works at film distributor's warehouse, where he has the accessibility of checking movie prints to take home with him. His infatuation with Marilyn Monroe grows more intensely when ends dating a girl who looks almost like her. But when things don't go right for him, and people piss him off, he bumps them off in re-created movie-style ways, masquerading as movie icons from the likes of Dracula to 'White Heat'. These sequences are handled with a mixture of reality and fantasy, reflecting Binford's deranged and skewed point of view. He lives *in* the movies. Dennis Christopher, who plays him, is wonderfully creepy. His wheelchair bound auntie shouts "Why don't you live in the real world like the rest of us?", to which he quietly retorts "No, thanks."
It maintains this sort of semi-surreal black comedy until the sad resolutely ending, where Binford is waving his gun, imitating James Cagney atop the roof of a cinema. In the final frames, Christopher finds a way to make you feel sympathy for this pathetic and disillusioned character.
The film is littered with movie references, some more subtler than others, that the most ardent of fans will spot them. But while I do have disdain for many people in the world, I don't think I wanna kill them just yet.
Binford, you're giving people like us a bad name.
March 27, 2012
I gotta love the tagline: 'Meet Eric Binford, the ultimate movie buff. If you know someone like him... run!'

Eric Binford is a lonely, socially isolated young man who lives for the movies. He spends his late-night hours watching them. He knows them all, and quotes them incessantly. He quizzes his colleagues, and *random* strangers on movie trivia; "What is Rick's full name in 'Casablanca'?" "I bet you don't know what Hitler's favourite movie was?", and so on. He even impersonates the likes of Cary Grant and James Cagney. His room is filled with movie posters. Not surprisingly, he works at film distributor's warehouse, where he has the accessibility of checking movie prints to take home with him. His infatuation with Marilyn Monroe grows more intensely when ends dating a girl who looks almost like her. But when things don't go right for him, and people piss him off, he bumps them off in re-created movie-style ways, masquerading as movie icons from the likes of Dracula to 'White Heat'. These sequences are handled with a mixture of reality and fantasy, reflecting Binford's deranged and skewed point of view. He lives *in* the movies. Dennis Christopher, who plays him, is wonderfully creepy. His wheelchair bound auntie shouts "Why don't you live in the real world like the rest of us?", to which he quietly retorts "No, thanks."
It maintains this sort of semi-surreal black comedy until the sad resolutely ending, where Binford is waving his gun, imitating James Cagney atop the roof of a cinema. In the final frames, Christopher finds a way to make you feel sympathy for this pathetic and disillusioned character.
The film is littered with movie references, some more subtler than others, that the most ardent of fans will spot them. But while I do have disdain for many people in the world, I don't think I wanna kill them just yet.
Binford, you're giving people like us a bad name.
½ March 24, 2012
Just watched Fade to Black for the first time since the 80's. I remembered it being really good, and it still holds up well. Dennis Christostopher is great in this. Looks like a horror movie, but it isn't. It's more a tragic drama and character study of a deranged kid. I used to know a guy in Hollywood who claimed this story was based on him.
August 19, 2011
Fade to Black never becomes a full-on slasher picture, but it has an interesting premise, in that the film's murderer is a classic film buff. The classic film references throughout the film are fun, though the Marilyn Monroe subplot gets tired fast.

Certainly a fun find for film buffs, or people interested in previous footage being used for another purpose. Moments in Fade to Black reminded me of Olivier's remixed scene in Skay Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and the entire film feels like a variation on the premise behind Carl Reiner and Steve Martin's Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, albeit on a smaller budget.
June 8, 2011
Dennis Christopher as a mad celebrity impersonator on the lam for murder.
May 28, 2011
this is one wild ride of a movie
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