11/28/2014  
Day of the Mummy on DVD Dec 9Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special on DVD Dec 9Field Of Lost Shoes on DVD Dec 2What If on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 25Hart To Hart: Season 3 on DVD Dec 9The Simpsons: Season 17 on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 2Robin Williams Remembered - Pioneers of Television on DVD Dec 2

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

One Direction Score Fourth Number One Album With ‘Four’...
"Dancing with the Stars" season 19 crowns a winner ...
Day of the Mummy on DVD Dec 9...
Demi Lovato Talks Miley Cyrus: "I Have Nothing in Commo...
5 Things That Should Be In Katy Perry's Super Bowl Half...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE (BLU-RAY)...
AIN'T IN IT FOR MY HEALTH: A FILM ABOUT LEVON HELM (BLU...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
DARK SHADOWS: THE GREATEST EPISODES COLLECTION - FAN FA...
JACK KEROUAC - KING OF THE BEATS...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

RR Rich Rosell

AFTER.LIFE...
NOTE BY NOTE: THE MAKING OF STEINWAY L1037...
VAMPIRE PARTY...
GIMME SHELTER (BLU-RAY)...
THE CREW...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Anchor Bay presents
Fade to Black (1980)

"Why don't you live in the real world with the rest of us?"
- Aunt Stella (Eve Brent)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: June 23, 2000

Stars: Dennis Christopher
Other Stars: Linda Kerridge, Gwynne Gilford, Tim Thomerson, Eve Brent
Director: Vernon Zimmerman

Manufacturer: Crest National
MPAA Rating: R for violence, sexual themes
Run Time: 01h:41m:52s
Release Date: August 24, 1999
UPC: 013131086492
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B C+A-B D-

DVD Review

Fade to Black tells the dark, sad story of one Eric Binford (Dennis Christopher), an intense young Hollywood film buff with a fringe film-industry job who lives with his "Aunt" Stella (Eve Brent), a bitter, crippled former dancer who blames him for the accident that destroyed her career and constantly puts him down. He finds a small measure of self-confidence imitating his movie idols (primarily Jimmy Cagney), and nearly finds romance with a Marilyn Monroe look-alike (Linda Kerridge). When she accidentally stands him up for their date, he begins to break down, killing his Aunt and other "enemies" while fully costumed as Hopalong Cassidy, Dracula, the Mummy and others.

Dennis Christopher delivers a nicely nuanced performance as Binford, keeping him out of stereotypical "nerd" territory and transitioning nicely between "Eric" and his Hollywood personae. His celebrity "impressions" are only fair, but they seem perfectly appropriate to the character and capture personality and energy well even when the voices don't sound right at all. The supporting cast is decent, though most of them overact shamelessly, and Linda Kerridge does look remarkably like Marilyn Monroe.

Director Vernon Zimmerman comes up with a few inspired shots, including one of Binford in half-Eric, half-Dracula makeup, but the script never quite lives up to its intriguing premise. Once the setup is established, the movie degenerates into a series of predictable (albeit colorful) murders with the inevitable tragic ending. The "film vs. reality" concept is strong, but the script doesn't go far enough to be a "black comedy" nor does it develop as a serious drama. The film also has a disturbingly conservative underpinning—it implies that violent films plant violent images and create violent behavior (although Eric Binford obviously has other problems), and a police psychologist (Tim Thomerson) who tries to understand Eric's motives is portrayed as a "soft-on-crime" doofus.



Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Anchor Bay's Fade to Black DVD is nicely mastered, presenting the film in its original 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio with an anamorphic transfer. Detail is excellent—the film has some dirt flecking, but color and black level are solid and this 1980 film looks more recent than it is. Especially impressive are the clips from older Hollywood films seen within the context of the movie—they almost look like transfers from the original prints. A clean, very filmlike transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: Fade to Black retains its original monophonic soundtrack, mastered in 2.0 Dolby Digital to decode through the center speaker. There are a few vintage "pops" in the soundtrack and some low-level hiss, but the DVD transfer is generally solid with clear dialogue, though bass is very limited. An accurate rendition of an older soundtrack.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Alpha
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The film's nearly-three-minute trailer is the only extra here, presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio from a decent print. The trailer plays up the "horror" aspects of the film and actually gives away several of the murders, so it's best to watch it AFTER seeing the film. No other information is provided, making for a disappointing showing in this department, especially considering that Fade to Black co-producer George Braunstein did participate in a commentary for Anchor Bay's Train Ride to Hollywood disc.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

Fade to Black is an interesting, dark film with a strong lead performance by Dennis Christopher, though the movie as a whole never matches the strength of its concept. Anchor Bay's DVD preserves the film well, though the lack of supplements is disappointing. Worth a purchase for horror completists, and a worthwhile rental.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

music, one direction, four, take me home, midnight memories, taylor swift’s 1989, television, dancing with the stars, alfonso ribeiro, witney carson, sadie robertson, mark ballas, janel parrish, val chmerkovskiy, horror, celebrity, demi lavato, miley cyrus, the tj show, heart attack, sonny with a chance, disney channel stars, sports, katy perry, superbowl, half time, comedy, drama, saturday night live, michael che, bill cosby, cameron diaz, beyonce, 7/11, american music awards, sunday, movie, hunger games: mockingjay-part 1, danny strong, christian toto, john nolte, sarah seltzer, documentary, action, foo fighters, beat the bots tour, 2015, sonic highways, fenway park in boston, wrigley field in chicago, citi field in new york, rfk stadium in washington d.c., chris pratt, guardians of the galaxy, dave chappelle, shailene woodley, ansel elgort, steve carell, michael sam, judi dench, esio trot, bbc, philomena, dustin hoffman, richard curtis, sci-fi, james bond, christoph waltz, daniel craig, ralph fiennes, ben whishaw, naomie harris, patrick schwarzenegger, adore you, arnold schwarzenegger, maria schriver, family, the big bang theory, mrs. wolowitz, carol ann susi, breast cancer, jennifer actress, plunging neckline

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store