Fade to Black (1980)

Eric's obsession with movies takes a deadly turn after he decides that he has suffered his final abuses from his friends and co-workers. With some quick make-up and costuming, Eric transforms himself into Dracula, Hopalong Cassidy, The Mummy, and other silver screen idols as he sets off into the night to seek his revenge! This relatively obscure and largely forgotten Horror film hit during the height of the Slasher cycle, yet it offers something new to the genre entirely. Eric is played by the sheepish Dennis Christopher, who is not just your typical nerd. Despite being constantly picked on by his peers, Eric maintains a high sense of self-esteem, and even has the guts to ask out his favorite lady, who bears an incredible similarity to Marilyn Monroe. It is only due to a series of unfortunate circumstances that Eric finally snaps and lashes out against his aggressors. Like TERROR TRAIN, FADE TO BLACK is mostly bloodless, and instead focuses on Eric's descent into madness rather than the exploitation of nudity and gore. Writer/Director Vernon Zimmerman leaves no room for subtlety in his frequent homages to both the Horror genre and film at large, but the clever allusions to WHITE HEAT and KISS OF DEATH are sure to be appreciated by movie buffs. Christopher is enjoyable in each of his many impressions, and successfully manages to draw from the audience's sympathies. FADE TO BLACK will hold a certain appeal for the fans of early 80's Slashers, and ranks right alongside NIGHT WARNING and CURTAINS as one of the more underappreciated films in the subgenre.

Rating: 7/10.

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  1. Remember watching this - and being creeped out by it - as a kid!

  2. It's still surprisingly effective if you can get your hands on it, Joe!