5.9/10
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45 user 50 critic

Fade to Black (1980)

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:

Vernon Zimmerman
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2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Christopher ... Eric Binford
Tim Thomerson ... Dr. Jerry Moriarty
Gwynne Gilford ... Officer Anne Oshenbull
Norman Burton ... Marty Berger (as Normann Burton)
Linda Kerridge ... Marilyn O'Connor
Morgan Paull ... Gary Bially
James Luisi ... Captain M.L. Gallagher
Eve Brent ... Aunt Stella Binford (as Eve Brent Ashe)
John Steadman ... Sam
Marcie Barkin ... Stacy
Mickey Rourke ... Richie
Peter Horton ... Joey
Hennen Chambers Hennen Chambers ... Bart
Melinda O. Fee ... Talk Show Hostess (as Melinda Fee)
Anita Converse Anita Converse ... Dee Dee
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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-282

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Eric Binford lives for the movies... Sometimes, he kills for them, too! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

...kun valot sammuvat See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »

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

References Niagara (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

A good idea, but poorly executed.
25 January 2000 | by matt-282See all my reviews

I first saw this film a few years ago which details a geekish movie buff that lives in a fantasy world of movies. Dennis Christopher plays Eric Binford, a young man living with his crippled, domineering aunt, and who works as a studio film delivery boy for a living. The nerd-like Eric gets teased and abused by his aunt, his nagging boss, and his co-workers. Seeing that this is a horror film, you know it's only a matter of time before Eric goes over the deep end and beings killing people, but the twist is he kills them by copying various death scenes from his favorite movies. With his studio connections, he dresses up as his favorite characters, (Dracula, the Mummy, etc.) for the killings.

Although we can relate to Eric Binford as a troubled soul, his character is not very sympathetic for it's not hard to see the reason why nobody likes Eric. With the exception that he knows a lot about movies, underneath he is just a hollow, chain-smoking, ill-tempered, clod. A subplot which includes a police psychologist tracking Eric's moves comes off as excess baggage and even the psychologist himself is not likeable either. In fact with the exception of the actress who plays the Marilyn Monroe lookalike, every character in the film is annoying, obnoxious, loud, selfish, mean-spirited and that hurts the film.

I think it could have been a lot better if it was made by more professional filmmakers other than talented amateurs. It was a good idea for a movie, but not well made. Although the storyline is good, some of the plotlines are not believable, the violence and special effects for the killings (mostly shootings) look cheep and phoney, and the editing is poor. But worth a look if you're a fan of the movies and just want to see some clips of your favorite B-movies, oafers and classic horror films. This is Dennis Christopher's show and he takes hold of it and doesn't let go. Probably his finest hour-and-a-half.


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