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“See you in the movies!” Eric Binford (Dennis Christopher) loves movies. The classic black and white films of old. Gangsters. Dashing cowboys. Universal Monsters. All are welcome in his escapist fantasies of the theater or his own memorability filled room to hide from reality. Sound a bit familiar? Yes, the protagonist of Fade to Black is a bit too close to home in certain ways to the average movie buff. But there’s one line of his we haven’t crossed yet… hopefully: Murder! But at least he has some cosplay appropriate attire to do it in.
Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 108 — Fade to Black (1980)
Fade to Black is a rather obscure footnote in horror film history. Released in 1980 to little fanfare, Fade to Black hasn’t had a home video release since 1999, due to the endless licenses that would have to be approved. Showing clips from Creature from the Black Lagoon, White Heat and The Public Enemy, the legalities are pretty tied up. Not to mention some of the likenesses involved, like Marilyn Monroe look-alike Marilyn O’Conner (Linda Kerridge). She’s the object of Eric’s desires. The only non-movie related thought that gets him through being harassed by his Aunt Stella (Eve Brent), his boss Marty Berger (Norman Burton) and his beefy co-worker Richie (a fresh-faced Mickey Rourke). Eric is on edge and ready to snap at any moment. Luckily, he has plenty of elaborate costumes to show off his metaphorical Fade to Black.
Doc Rotten, Thomas Mariani and Christopher G. Moore managed to see this diamond in the rough thanks to Amazon Prime. While Doc enjoyed revisiting it, Thomas and Christopher viewed it for the first time. One found Fade to Black to be a tragically fascinating gem ahead of its time in predicting the type of obsession culture of the Internet age. One… wasn’t as impressed. The results may shock you. The trio discusses the film references, Dennis Christopher’s tragic performance, and that weird cop subplot. Yeah, they’re not even sure why it’s there. Still, Fade to Black is one to check out… while you still can!
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