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Fade to Black (1980)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 1,595 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 34 critic

A shy, lonely, film geek goes on a killing spree against those who bully and browbeat him, while at the same time, he stalks his idol; a Marilyn Monroe look-alike.

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Title: Fade to Black (1980)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jerry Moriarty
...
Officer Anne Oshenbull
Norman Burton ...
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
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Storyline

Eric Binford watches a lot of movies. He is the truest definition of a film geek. One day, his sanity takes a turn for the worse and he begins acting out his favorite scenes from the movies. In doing so, he manages to involve his enemies and the scenes usually result in death. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

film geek | death | slasher | cult | violence | See more »

Taglines:

People used to laugh at Eric Binford. Now he knocks them dead with every performance. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie ended up being director Vernon Zimmerman's final film for fifteen years until he directed the short Chuck and Wally on the Road (1995). 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 day dreaming and watching those silly movies on the TV and on your projector.
See more »

Connections

References Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Heroes
Lyrics by Carol Connors
Music by Craig Safan
Performed by Marsha Hunt
See more »

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User Reviews

 
FADE TO BLACK (Vernon Zimmerman, 1980) **1/2
27 October 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This one presents an interesting and original idea for a slasher: a disturbed film buff kills people who have wronged him while dressed up as his favorite movie characters! It even has a Hollywood backdrop: in fact, I visited some of the places where it's set – such as Hollywood Boulevard (the violent climax itself takes place atop Grauman's Chinese Theater) and Venice Beach – when I was there in late 2005/early 2006.

Still, despite some undeniably good moments, I don't feel that the film extracts the full potential offered by this fascinating premise: to begin with, some of the references it makes are simply too obscure to be picked up by casual audiences (99 RIVER STREET [1953]) – while to others is attributed a significance beyond their worth (Hopalong Cassidy, THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL [1957]). The film is buoyed, however, by Dennis Christopher's striking leading performance – who gets to 'play' popular roles, interspersed with genuine excerpted footage, from the horror (Dracula and The Mummy), gangster (James Cagney from WHITE HEAT [1949]) and Western (William "Stage" Boyd as the afore-mentioned cowboy hero) genres during his various stalk-and-kill maraudings; he even replicates the famous wheelchair-down-the-stairs murder of an old woman perpetrated by a cackling Richard Widmark in KISS OF DEATH (1947).

Also notable are Tim Thomerson (later of TRANCERS [1985]) and Linda Kerridge: the former appears as the Professor of criminal psychology who reveals himself sympathetic to Christopher's plight (he's assisted by a female rookie, but eventually gets overruled by the stuffy Precinct Captain); Kerridge's uncanny resemblance to Marilyn Monroe, then, makes her the perfect 'idol' to drive Christopher in his warped crime-spree (among whose victims is a young Mickey Rourke). Finally, the film is equally enjoyable as a time-capsule – for the singular opportunity it offers of seeing various current releases on the marquee (ALL THAT JAZZ [1979], KRAMER VS. KRAMER [1979], COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER [1980], HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT [1980], SERIAL [1980]).


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