Fade To Black

Fade To Black (1980)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Cast: Eve Brent Ashe, Normann Burton, Dennis Christopher, Gwynne Gilford, James Luisi
Extras: Theatrical Trailer

Ah, another film that I saw when I was eleven years old and swore was the coolest movie ever. Well, all of these years later, “Fade To Black” doesn’t thrill me like it did then, but it does have a very interesting story. Eric Binford is a meek young man who is picked on by everyone around him. He loves movies and loses himself in the stories, unfortunately one day he snaps and begins to kill his oppressors. What makes the film original, is that Eric murders while dressed like famous film characters, such as Dracula, The Mummy, and Hopalong Cassidy. Once Eric goes over the edge, the film takes off, but the first fifty minutes really drag by. There is too much talking, too many shots of Eric wandering L.A., and too much Mickey Rourke in a tank-top. “Fade To Black” seems dated today, but it’s definitely not the worst entry into the 80s “slasher cycle.”

The DVD of “Fade To Black” from Anchor Bay offers a nice transfer of the film. The film is letterboxed at 1.85:1, and although not advertised as such, is enhanced for 16×9 TVs. The source print shows some grain and is overly dark at times, but this is expected for a low-budget movie from this time period. Overall, the picture is clear and sharp.

The digital mono audio is adequate, but of course, a stereo mix would have been preferable. A trailer for the film, letterboxed at 1.85:1 is also featured on the disc. While “Fade To Black” isn’t as good as I’d remembered, it’s great of Anchor Bay to give me a chance to rediscover this overlooked film.