Friday, October 25, 2013

Fade to Black

(1980) ***

Eric Binford is a lonely, angry, socially isolated, awkward (stop me already!) young man.  By day he works in a Los Angeles film exchange where he ships and receives film prints.  At night he lives with his wheel-chair bound, shrewish aunt who barrages him with endless criticism.  Eric spends his free time holed up in his film museum-like room watching and memorizing old movies.  He uses his vast film knowledge of useless facts to challenge and bet people on film trivia (e.g. “What was Hitler’s favorite movie?”*).

Eric’s life begins to unravel due to a coalescence of stressors.  He is bullied at work by his J. Jonah Jamison-like boss, he is picked on by co-workers, he is stood up on a date by a Marilyn Monroe lookalike, and his aunt ratchets up her criticism of his life, eventually wheeling herself into his room and breaking his film projector.  Like Michael Douglas in ‘Falling Down’, Eric has a psychotic break and begins killing his tormentors while masquerading as famous film characters.  The story climaxes on the roof of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (of course!)

As I was watching Fade to Black I thought, “I wish I could invite Eric to participate in Horrorthon!”  Fade to Black was more fun than I expected and it was another film I never heard of until I watched a Friday the 13th documentary recently.  I love revenge films and it was fun to see Eric dispatch his tormentors while dressed as famous film characters.  In my favorite sequence he challenges one of his bullies to a duel while dressed as ‘Hopalong Cassidy’.  Look how creepy he looks,

How many horror movies were made in the 1980s?  I mean, eventually I will have seen them all, right?  After 8 years of Horrorthon how is it that I keep learning about other 1980 films I haven’t seen?  Someone once suggested to Octo that we would eventually run out of films to watch – how silly!  Watch the trailer,


Octopunk said...

People ask me that all the time! I would say about one out of every five people I tell about Horrorthon asks if we're almost "finished." "Ha!" I say to them. "Ha!"

It is more likely that we'll run out of flicks from 1980 to see, but it's wonderful how many keep turning up. Excellent find. You made me laugh with "(stop me already!)"

Trevor said...

I was looking at video on demands list of new release horror films the other day. There were about 70, all from 2013, all but a few that nobody has reviewed. WE would need another dozen catfreek-style viewers to keep up with new releases alone.

Catfreeek said...

This film sounds great, I love the whole idea of it.

AC said...

eric would fit right in with this crowd, barring the psychotic break and murder spree, of course.