Scott Marks 12:30 p.m., July 26
Fade to Black
A lot of knowledge went into the characterization of the movie-buff hero, beginning with his ritual of going through the coming week's TV Guide and circling the movies not to be missed (99 River Street, The Big Sleep, etc.), and continuing through his wardrobe, his bedroom decor, his job, his scriptwriting ambitions, his dialogue, and his physical traits of a pasty complexion and dark circles under the eyes. All of this, or much of it, is frittered away, however, as the psychotic-killer tendencies of plot and character gather steam. What had started out to be a made-to-order cult movie, holding up a mirror to the minuscule buff population, ultimately has to spend too much time trying to appeal to the vast body of mainstream moviegoers, and without really trying to educate them. With Dennis Christopher; written and directed by Vernon Zimmerman. 1980.