PLOT: A lonely young man obsessed with classic Hollywood exacts revenge on those that have slighted him, while stalking a woman that bears a resemblance to Marilyn Monroe.
There are so many horror movies that can just be boiled down to the inherent evils of incels. Another film in this 31 Days of Horror will tackle a similar subject, but interestingly, these two movies are about 35 years apart.
This one is an interesting concept when you factor in the old Hollywood aspect of it, as it does reference a lot of classic films, but when all is said and done, it’s really just a slasher that with some campy, sometimes cringey set-ups. The fact of the matter is, our main character, Eric, just isn’t all that likeable. He does come off like a jerk a lot of the times, and he fully epitomizes the whole “nice guy” stereotype.
Fade to Black stars Dennis Christopher of Breaking Away and IT as a lonely young man by the name of Eric, who lives with his mother and spends his time watching old movies. He’s failing at his dead-end job and, more or less, exists with a dour air about him. This is probably one of the main reasons that a pre-fame Mickey Rourke likes to pick on him so much.
One day, he meets a girl that looks like Marilyn Monroe at a diner, and he successfully flirts with her and scores a date with her. When she loses track of time for their date, he has a mental break and goes on a killing spree, oftentimes donning a persona that he steals from some of his favorite movies. It’s up to a criminal profiler and the police officer he’s fucking to solve the murders and get to Eric before he kills again.
There’s some things that work in this film, but it sort of gets lost in the shuffle of a decade of better horror movies. It’s fun to see Eric’s interpretation of his favorite classic films, and the existence of this little wrinkle helps this movie maintain a tongue-in-cheek tone, but otherwise, there’s not a whole lot here that I would consider memorable.
In addition, the whole side plot of the pathologist and the police officer doesn’t add anything to the story, except to pad the runtime and have someone barely on Eric’s tail.
Dennis Christopher does a pretty good job in this and it’s cool to see Mickey Rourke before Diner and before he got his face caved in during his failed boxing career. The set-ups make each kill unique, but none of them are particularly memorable. It’s an interesting concept, but execution is mediocre.
Overall Rating: 6 out of 10