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Fade to Black (1980) Poster

(1980)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (3)
Chris Stein of the new wave group Blondie was the original choice to compose the soundtrack but his deal was canceled.
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When writer/director Vernon Zimmerman approached Irwin Yablans with his pitch for the movie, Yablans presented him with a similar screenplay he had written two years prior entitled "Alex". Zimmerman then incorporated some of Yablans' ideas for "Alex" into his own script.
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Characters from movie history that Eric Binford (Dennis Christopher) in this movie impersonates or dresses-up as include Dracula (Bela Lugosi), Hopalong Cassidy (William Boyd), The Mummy (Boris Karloff), Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) from Psycho (1960), Arthur 'Cody' Jarrett (James Cagney) from White Heat (1949) and Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark) from Kiss of Death (1947)).
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Dennis Christopher adamantly wanted to do the rooftop stunts, but the producers insisted on using a stuntman.
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This film about a psycho movie buff has lots of references to characters from movie history and the movies themselves. Of the latter, the following are referred to in this movie: Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954); Mark of the Vampire (1935); White Heat (1949); The Public Enemy (1931), Horror of Dracula (1958), Night of the Living Dead (1968); Kiss of Death (1947) and Halloween (1978).
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Second theatrical feature for Mickey Rourke.
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This was Dennis Christopher's first movie role after the Academy Award (Oscar) winning film Breaking Away (1979).
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Final feature film to date for director Vernon Zimmerman.
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In this movie, Linda Kerridge's character Marilyn O'Connor is meant to resemble Marilyn Monroe and even shares her first name.
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Time Out magazine called this movie a "darker cousin of Billy Liar (1963)".
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This movie ended up being director Vernon Zimmerman's final film for fifteen years until he directed the short Chuck and Wally on the Road (1995).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The meaning and relevance of this movie's title "Fade to Black" is that as the movie's central character, Eric Binford, is an obsessed psychotic fanatical movie buff. However, the title is actually a movie industry term that relates to a traditional fade-out editing technique from one scene to another. This "fade to black" editing process occurs in scenes after each killing throughout the movie. But the title also plays on the meaning of the word "black" here by inferring instead to darkness, the dark side, evil and horror as Eric Binford's character, hollow and pathetic during the early scenes, becomes more dark, cynical and mean-spirited after each killing.
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This movie's finale takes place atop Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
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Body count: 6.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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