Fade to Black

retroist halloween movie madness

Fade to Black is a horror film that was never on my radar. I had heard people mention it and it might have even been on TV at some point and yet I passed it up. Boy was I wrong. The film is a great! Why would anyone not want to see a horror film where a crazy geek gets revenge, with a modern (modern for the early 1980s) twist.

In the film Dennis Christopher plays Eric Binford a geeky movie addict who loves old films. He loves them so much that he works at a film warehouse and spends most of his time watching these old movies. Being a geek with such obscure knowledge he is of course bullied and berated by everyone around him. Which of course pushes him further into his fantasy realm. Then he meets a young woman named Marilyn O’Conner played by Linda Kerridge. She resembles screen icon Marilyn Monroe and thus a new obsession if born. One that will let him merge his real and fantasy worlds? When Marilyn does not show up to what he believes will be his first date, Eric become unhinged.

He then starts to dress up like all of his favorite classic movie icons and seek revenge on all who have oppressed him. His plan is to kill them all, eventually finishing up by killing Marilyn. But a criminal psychologist is hot on his trail…will he stop him in time?

This movie is a lot of fun and the possibilities it opens for a bevy of sequels makes it all the juicier. Yes, the movie can drag at some points and Christopher doesn’t always pull of the characters he is trying to emulate. Which I know some people are bothered by, but I actually found much more interesting and believable.

Why in the world are people remaking well done horror classic like Halloween, when an almost classic like Fade to Black is just begging to be polished up and done well. Think of all the movie characters that have appeared in the intervening years that Christopher could emulate. Basically it gives your free reign to but a dozen of you favorite characters in one film. Now that sounds like a film geek’s dream. What? It is…why are you all laughing at me?? This is a great idea!

I’ll show them. I’ll show them all!

Int. Dark Office – Night
The lonely and tortured reviewer puts on a Smoochy costume from the movie, Death to Smoochy. He turns to the mirror and admires his new more menacing form.

FADE TO BLACK

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4 thoughts on “Fade to Black

  1. This is an absolutely awesome film! It was actually the first time I ever learned of Hopalong Cassidy…and they say movies don’t teach us anything. Dennis Christopher really does a great job of making you feel so sorry for Eric…even when he crosses the line.

    Great movie to review, Retroist!

  2. Fade to Black is easily one of my favorite all time films and Dennis Christopher’s performance as the “misunderstood” Eric Binford is one of the greatest psychos in film history.

  3. Atari Adventure Square says:

    I remember this being better than expected.
    Dennis Christopher was great in Breaking Away (an underrated coming-of-age movie) and this seemed up my alley, but I wasn’t sure what it actually was about.
    I think I had read a Fangoria article on Fade To Black (there was one, wasn’t there?) Certainly wasn’t in the gore genre, more of a thriller.
    It would indeed be great fodder for a remake, with contemporary horror icons.

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