FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 14, 2005

Day 14- ...annnnd SCENE!

I've had the old Visage song "Fade to Grey" stuck in my head for two days now, ever since the 1980 movie Fade to Black arrived in my mailbox courtesy of Netflix. I like that song, but it's really starting to get irritating. After attempted all my tried-and-true methods for getting songs unstuck to no avail, I'm approaching wit's end (it's down about a block on the left, next to the big Dunkin' Donuts). I guess it could be worse, though- I once had "Let's Hear It For the Boy" running through my mind for about a week. I was thisclose to jamming a fork in my ear to try to scrape the song off my brain.

PS- I love Dunkin' Donuts coffee, in a heart-with-an-arrow-through-it kinda way.

So was Fade to Black worth all the mental anguish caused by the EuroPop loop running between my ears? Well, since it's a Visage song, I guess so. If it was a Deneice Williams song, I'd be pretty pissed off right now.

Dennis Christopher stars as Eric Binford, a much put-upon film studio delivery boy who lives in the fantasy world of movies to escape his harsh reality. He resides with his crippled, shrewish, domineering aunt (Eve Brent), who tells him he's worthless and he needs to start livin' in the now. His overbearing boss (Norman Burton) treats him like garbage, he's bullied by some thugs at work (including a young Mickey Rourke), a smarmy film producer (Morgan Paull) steals his idea for a get the picture, right? Eventually, Eric has a complete break with reality and exacts revenge on his tormentors by re-enacting death scenes from various movies, killing people while dressed in all sorts of costumes: the Mummy, Dracula, Hopalong Cassidy...

While Dennis Christopher gives a good performance, the problem I had was that I could totally see why people didn't like Eric. He's an irritating, chain-smoking, mean kinda guy who quotes movies and fucks up all the time at work. And when I say "quotes movies", I don't mean he throws out the random Star Wars line or something like alot of people do. He acts like people from the movies and won't stop. If Eric asks you a question about a movie- like "What kind of gum did that guy who had one line in Casablanca chew between takes on Thursdays?"- and you don't know the answer, he'll insult you. He was too obnoxious to like. I don't condone revenge killing, obviously, but when your plot runs to the picked-on nerd seeking revenge on tormentors ilk, it sometimes helps if said nerd is likable, sympathetic, or a real victim of circumstance. If Eric Binford had been a little more like Carrie or the nerds of Lamda Lamda Lamda, I may have cared a little. As it was, I could feel my facial expression change from "interested, earnest, and trying not to think about "Fade to Grey" to "bored, disappointed, waiting for the movie to end, and trying not to think about "Fade to Grey" about three-quarters of the way through.

I did like all the clips from old movies that appeared throughout, though, and...umm...umm...I'll give it 5-and-a-half out of 10 "Luke...there is another...Sky...walker...."s.

Oh, and just so you know, tomorrow is my Friday the 13th marathon. I'm going to post throughout the day at various intervals, because if I waited until it was all over, I think the post would only say: "Guh".


Marty McKee said...

You didn't mention the great Tim Thomerson, just off runs in the brilliant but shortlived sitcoms QUARK and THE ASSOCIATES, as the sympathetic shrink. Nice performance.

Stacie Ponder said...

True...I just found the whole shrink/cop subplot to be so silly that I didn't have the energy to go into it! That lady was a really bad cop. Not bad like Shaft, but bad like...bad.

Hawkeye23 said...

I wonder if Doug Moench had this film in mind when he created the Film Freak over in Batman.