Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Fade to Black (1980 film)

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

Director  Vernon Zimmerman
Music director  Craig Safan
Country  United States
5.9/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy, Horror, Thriller
Screenplay  Vernon Zimmerman
Writer  Vernon Zimmerman
Language  English
Fade to Black (1980 film) movie poster
Release date  October 14, 1980 (1980-10-14) (US)
Cast  Dennis Christopher (Eric Binford), Tim Thomerson (Jerry Moriarty), Gwynne Gilford (Officer Anne Oshenbull), Norman Burton (Marty Berger (as Normann Burton)), Linda Kerridge (Marilyn O'Connor), Morgan Paull (Gary Bially)
Similar movies  The Collector, Halloween, Madman, Mad Max: Fury Road, My Bloody Valentine, John Wick
Tagline  Meet Eric Binford, the ultimate movie buff. If you know someone like him… run!

Fade to black 1980 trailer

Fade to Black is a 1980 American psychological horror film written and directed by Vernon Zimmerman, and starring Dennis Christopher, Eve Brent, and Linda Kerridge. It also features Mickey Rourke and Peter Horton in minor roles. The plot follows a shy and lonely cinephile who embarks on a killing spree against his oppressors while impersonating classic horror film characters, all the while stalking his idol: a Marilyn Monroe lookalike.


Fade to Black (1980 film) movie scenes

The film was nominated for multiple Saturn Awards, with Eve Brent winning for Best Supporting Actress. Released in October 1980, Fade to Black was commercially unsuccessful, but later garnered a cult following. It was released on VHS home video in the mid-1980s by Media Home Entertainment. It was first released on DVD on August 24, 1999 by Anchor Bay Entertainment.

Fade to Black (1980 film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters1342p1342p

fade to black 1980 movie trailer


Fade to Black (1980 film) Fade to Black 1980 LookbackReview

Eric Binford is a hollow, chain smoking, socially awkward and unlikeable young man who is also an obsessed film addict whose love of old films extends far beyond his job at a Los Angeles film distributor's warehouse and endless late-night film screenings in his bedroom. For his vast knowledge, he's been bullied by his friends and family. His singular obsession eventually turns into psychosis after he crosses paths with Marilyn O'Connor (Linda Kerridge), an Australian model and a Marilyn Monroe lookalike who becomes the physical embodiment of his cinematic desires.

Fade to Black (1980 film) Fade To Black 1980 Trailer YouTube

When unintentionally stood up by Marilyn on their first date, Eric becomes homicidally unbalanced, transforming himself into a gallery of classic film characters—including Dracula, The Mummy, and Hopalong Cassidy—and sets out to destroy his oppressors, starting with his crotchety, wheelchair-using, ex-dancer Aunt Stella (who is actually his mother), pushing her wheelchair down a staircase to her death (reenacting a scene from Kiss of Death) and making it look like an accident. Eric attends her funeral dressed as Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark's role from the aforementioned film).

Fade to Black (1980 film) Fade to Black 1980 D Vernon Zimmerman Apollo Twin

Eric then dresses up as Count Dracula to attend a midnight screening of Night of the Living Dead at a local cinema, then afterwords targets a hooker who had earlier snubbed him. She trips, falling to her death, and Eric drinks her blood.

Fade to Black (1980 film) The Outside Film Fade to Black 1980

A few more nights later, Eric dresses up as the cowboy Hopalong Cassidy, when he shoots and kills a boorish co-worker (Mickey Rourke) who taunted him on a regular basis.

Fade to Black (1980 film) Film Review Fade to Black 1980 HNN

Another few nights later, Eric dresses up as The Mummy, where he drives his mean and vindictive boss, Mr. Berger (Norman Burton), into suffering a fatal heart attack while he is working late night at the distribution warehouse.

Finally, Eric dresses up as gangster Cody Jarrett (from White Heat) and kills a sleazy filmmaker named Gary Bially (Morgan Paull), who stole his idea as his own for an upcoming feature film inspired by Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (to be called "Alabama and the Forty Thieves") at a barber shop in broad daylight which finally gives away his identity. Eric then eventually works his way toward Marilyn, hoping to lure her to his side.

Investigating the murders is a criminal psychologist named Dr. Jerry Moriarty (Tim Thomerson), who tries to find a pattern to the murders and find Eric, to help or stop him, with the assistance of a friendly policewoman. But Moriarty's investigation is hampered by his own mean-spirited and nasty boss Captain Gallagher, who tries to stop Moriarty's investigation because Gallagher wants to take all the credit of finding the killer for himself.

It all leads to Eric luring Marilyn to a photography studio where he drugs her to reenact a scene from The Prince and the Showgirl which is interrupted when Dr. Moriarty arrives, and Eric is forced to run with Marilyn at his side. It leads to the Mann's Chinese Theatre where the insane Eric is shot by the police on the roof of the building while reenacting Cody Jarrett's death scene (Made it, Ma! Top of the world!) in White Heat. Eric then falls off the roof to his apparent death.

Main cast

  • Dennis Christopher as Eric Binford
  • Tim Thomerson as Dr. Jerry Moriarty
  • Gwynne Gilford as Off. Anne Oshenbull
  • Norman Burton as Marty Berger
  • Linda Kerridge as Marilyn O'Connor
  • Morgan Paull as Gary Bially
  • James Luisi as Capt. M. L. Gallagher
  • Eve Brent Ashe as Aunt Stella Binford
  • John Steadman as Sam
  • Marcie Barkin as Stacy
  • Mickey Rourke as Richie
  • Peter Horton as Joey
  • Melinda O. Fee as Talk Show Hostess
  • Merchandise

    A novelization (ISBN 0-523-41409-9), written by Ron Renauld was released by Pinnacle Books in 1980.


    The film score by Craig Safan was released on a promotional CD through Perseverance Records September 3, 2009.


    Fade to Black (1980 film) Wikipedia
    Fade to Black (1980 film) IMDbFade to Black (1980 film) Rotten TomatoesFade to Black (1980 film) Den of GeekFade to Black (1980 film)