Fade to Black

Fade to Black ★★★½

I was always curious, and had my hypotheses, but now I know for a fact that the white-dude exploratory harmonica scene of the 1980's was fueled by an endless supply of cocaine. I also dig that this movie is all like "yeah, TV might not be good for the kids, and the nascent slasher boom is in the process of starting a cultural backlash but what is REALLY lethal is exposure to unhealthy levels of Film Noir: carcinogenic AND murdercidal!, providing ridiculously toxic models of masculinity and misogyny, as well as conditioning young people to discuss their feelings with snappy one-liners and sarcasm at either end of a gun barrel!"

Fade To Black is an expression of the ultimate inutility of movie trivia, but when it slips fitfully past Noir into Horror, it begins firing all at once and I am suddenly, rapturously in love. Maybe a New Wave Taxi Driver relegated to a Vespa and starring Lon Chaney Jr. Jr., where the movies are real and real life isn't? A long-form essay on White Heat's contribution to the delinquency of psycho creeps?

The Yablans connection ultimately pays off in Fade To Black's inclusion of Halloween and Halloween's Slasher POV amidst all the other Classic Movie Tropes years before any official canonization on the part of the larger industry.

Dennis Christopher deserves a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award for Fade To Black alone!

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