FADE TO BLACK (1980) – Directed by Vernon Zimmerman; Starring Dennis Christopher
I had a feeling this would happen.
Sometimes, it’s best to not attempt watching a film when trying to put one’s young one to bed. Because I constantly had to start, and stop, start, and stop, etc. Kind of made it jarring to get into. But this isn’t the films fault, but mine.
I have to say that I have generally heard a lot of good things about Fade to Black in the horror circles I follow. So much that I know that the good folks at Scream Factory have tried to broker a deal (for awhile) to release the film on Blu-Ray but the owner of the rights is apparently independently wealthy and doesn’t care to make any more dough off of it. I think as it stands now you can find this on VHS, or an out-of-print DVD. I went through other means, but had to go ahead and finally watch it.
The concept of the film is interesting if not intriguing. A film-fanatic, Eric (Dennis Christopher), has been bullied most of his life by his Aunt (possibly mother?) and those he works around. He lives a life of the movies, quoting them, and using them to identify as much as possible with the outside world. One day he meets the girl of his dreams, who looks like Marilyn Monroe by the way, but quickly, through a series of events that the girl can’t control, ends up standing him up on their first date. This takes our lonely protagonist (?) down the path of destruction through the last half of a film.
This won’t be the first time I say this, but I might end up doing a retro review on this at some point in the future. I liked it enough that it stuck with me, but really feel a second viewing will help me digest the whole thing. Some of the acting is sketchy, but honestly, the story holds up enough to forgive some of these things. I definitely am giving this a recommend, but good luck tracking down a copy.