A shy, lonely film buff embarks on a killing spree against those who browbeat and betray him, all the while stalking his idol, a Marilyn Monroe lookalike.

Director:

Reviews
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A disturbed young man who was burned as a child by his sadistic mother stalks women with a flamethrower.

Director: Joseph Ellison
Stars: Dan Grimaldi, Charles Bonet, Bill Ricci
The Prowler (1981)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An unknown killer, clad in World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35 year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.

Director: Joseph Zito
Stars: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney
Tourist Trap (1979)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A group of young friends stranded at a secluded roadside museum are stalked by the owner of the place, who has the power to control his collection of mannequins.

Director: David Schmoeller
Stars: Chuck Connors, Jocelyn Jones, Jon Van Ness
Death Valley (1982)
Crime | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A divorced mother, her young son and her new boyfriend set out on a road trip through Death Valley and run afoul of a local serial killer.

Director: Dick Richards
Stars: Paul Le Mat, Catherine Hicks, Stephen McHattie
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An American tourist, a youth gang leader, and his troubled sister find themselves trapped in a top secret government facility experimenting on children.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Macdonald Carey, Shirley Anne Field, Viveca Lindfors
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

At the snobby Crawford Academy, Virginia's group of friends start to go missing years after horrible events that happened to her as a child around her birthday.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane
The Unseen (1980)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A trio of female reporters find themselves staying overnight in a house occupied by a hostile being lurking in the basement.

Director: Danny Steinmann
Stars: Stephen Furst, Barbara Bach, Sydney Lassick
Nightmare (1981)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A mental patient murders innocent people upon escaping from an institution.

Director: Romano Scavolini
Stars: Baird Stafford, Sharon Smith, C.J. Cooke
Love in the Hamptons (Video 1976)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Mickey Rourke stars in his first film role as a young waiter in the Hamptons, who finds love with a cocktail waitress as she struggles to support her child and confront her troubling home life.

Director: Tom Folino
Stars: Mary Armstrong, Marilyn Chris, Joel Crothers
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

A little girl's brother kills the whole family but her (she escapes by hiding in the basement). He is committed, and she grows up with a new family, eventually going to college, where she ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Frank
Stars: Angela O'Neill, Wendy Martel, Pamela Ross
Bad Dreams (1988)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The lone survivor of a suicide cult wakes from a thirteen-year coma in a psychiatric ward, where other patients suddenly start dying under mysterious and gruesome circumstances.

Director: Andrew Fleming
Stars: Jennifer Rubin, Bruce Abbott, Richard Lynch
Hell Night (1981)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Four college pledges are forced to spend the night in a deserted old mansion where they get killed off one by one by the monstrous surviving members of a family massacre years earlier for trespassing on their living grounds.

Director: Tom DeSimone
Stars: Linda Blair, Vincent Van Patten, Peter Barton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jerry Moriarty
...
Officer Anne Oshenbull
...
Marty Berger (as Normann Burton)
Linda Kerridge ...
...
Gary Bially
James Luisi ...
Capt. M.L. Gallagher
...
Aunt Stella Binford (as Eve Brent Ashe)
John Steadman ...
Sam
...
Stacy
...
...
Joey
Hennen Chambers ...
Bart
Melinda O. Fee ...
Talk Show Hostess (as Melinda Fee)
Anita Converse ...
Dee Dee
Edit

Storyline

Shy, lonely Eric Binford delivers film cassettes and film-related supplies in Los Angeles for a living. But he really exists only to watch movies and immense himself in fantasies about cinematic characters and stars. Frequently bullied and betrayed, Eric comforts himself by pretending to be one of the many tough heroes and villains who have captivated him from the silver screen. However, his sanity takes a turn for the worse and he launches grotesque murders all patterned after characters and incidents from his beloved movies. He becomes known as the Celluloid Killer, one of the most horrifying murderers the city has ever known. Written by Matt Patay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet Eric Binford, the ultimate movie buff. If you know someone like him... run! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

...kun valot sammuvat  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Final feature film to date for director Vernon Zimmerman. See more »

Goofs

As Moriarty and Officer Oshenbull are racing to stop Eric near the film's ending, their police car changes briefly from a 1975-78 Plymouth Fury to a 71-76 Chevrolet Impala, only to change back once they arrive to the scene. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Aunt Stella Binford: [cynical tone] Eric! Get up! Well, lookie here. Mister Smart Mouth fell asleep with his nose buried in the screen again! Your one-eyed monster is gonna soften your eyes, much less rot your brain! You spend all your time daydreaming and watching those silly movies on the TV and on your projector.
See more »

Connections

Features Mark of the Vampire (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Tomorrow Night
by Shoes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
He's crazy about films.
9 April 2015 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

I'm absolutely obsessed with movies, especially horror, and I'm guessing that you are too, since you're currently reading an IMDb review of a relatively obscure, thirty-five-year-old horror flick. But as much as we love films, I doubt that either one of us is quite as crazy about them as Dennis Christopher's character, Eric Binford, in Fade to Black (at least I hope not).

Eric, a shy, dysfunctional loner, immerses himself in the make-believe world of cinema 24/7, ultimately confusing reality with fantasy, taking on the identities of characters from his favourite films to mete out punishment to those who victimise him. Disguising himself as gangster Cody Jarrett from White Heat, cowboy Hopalong Cassidy, and Universal monsters Dracula and The Mummy, he settles the score with his overbearing Aunt Stella (Eve Brent), a workplace bully (Mickey Rourke), and his tyrant of a boss. Eric also poses as Lawrence Olivier from The Prince and the Showgirl to woo a Marilyn Monroe lookalike he meets in a diner (Linda Kerridge). Meanwhile, the police are trying to piece together the clues before the killer strikes again…

Fade to Black is a technically competent effort with some stylish touches—the inter-cutting of old movie clips is a particularly effective trick—but the film suffers from some weak performances (Tim Thomerson, as a counsellor working with the police, is extremely wooden), a script that just gets more and more ludicrous (where the hell does Eric find a working tommy gun?), and a message that doesn't sit very well with this particular movie fan: that consistent exposure to violent movies will cause the viewer to act in a violent manner. We horror fans take enough crap as it is, without our own genre making us out to be loony tunes as well!


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Underrated gem of a movie amandybug822
How did this do at the box office? amandybug822
Does anyone remember the movie trailer? GoAndCloseTime
How old is Eric? amandybug822
one thing i could never understand galaxyquest86
yoooooohooooo! swarne-1
Discuss Fade to Black (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?