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Fade to Black (1980)

Release Date:October 14, 1980
Running time:102 minutes
Cast:Dennis Christopher, Tim Thomerson, Gwynne Gilford, Norman Burton, Linda Kerridge
Director:Vernon Zimmerman
Writer:Vernon Zimmerman
Distributor:American Cinema

Description: An interesting, introspective variant on the '80s slasher formula, this low-key psychological thriller details the troubled life of obsessed movie junkie Eric Binford (Dennis Christopher), whose love of old movies extends far beyond his job at a film distributor's warehouse and endless late-night film screenings in his bedroom. His singular obsession eventually rounds the bend into psychosis after he crosses paths with a Marilyn Monroe look-alike (Linda Kerridge), who becomes the physical embodiment of his cinematic desires. When stood up on what he believed would be their first date, Eric becomes homicidally unbalanced, transforming himself into a gallery of classic movie characters -- including Dracula, The Mummy, Hopalong Cassidy, and Norman Bates -- and sets out to destroy his oppressors, starting with his crotchety wheelchair-bound Aunt Stella (Eve Brent Ashe), then targeting a boorish co-worker (a very young Mickey Rourke), and eventually working his way toward Kerridge. The film begins with a groovy concept, but loses something in the execution -- the horror and comedy elements fail to gel completely, and Christopher's performance is too creepy to generate much empathy.~ Cavett Binion, All Movie Guide

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