Horrorthon Day 18 – The Fog (1980)

Written by Robert O’ Doherty

Back in the old days(2005), a young ol’ me went to see a new horror film called The Fog; starring Tom Welling from Smallville fame. I entered the theater with excitement and left a beaten soul. It never accrued to me back then to seek out the original 1980 film – I guess the remake just put me off from viewing it . As I grew, I became more knowledgeable in the wonderful subject of film, and that’s when The Fog started to float around on my radar. Still, I never got around to viewing it because something else would catch my eye (Don’t you hate when that happens?). When Greg and I began to plan this horrorthon, I knew this would be my golden opportunity to finally watch John Carpenter’s The Fog.

(Let’s get the hell outta this movie)

The first striking thing I want to mention about The Fog, is Dean Cundey’s cinematography. The beautiful landscape shots are eerie, isolated and on a rare occasion, the cold atmosphere made me go under my own covers to keep warm. Even as I write this review, I feel the cold spreading down my arms and back. Visuals causing physical sensations like this shows you the impressive impact Cundey had churned out. Cundey also worked on Halloween; a film that visually rattled me from childhood to this day, but that’s a movie I could typed about for hours.

(A hot cocoa please)

The Fog is set in Antonio Bay, California- a place that’s been cursed due to a rapacious incident that took place back in the 1800’s, when six founders of the bay caused the murder’s of everyone aboard a ship, the Elizabeth Dane, due to the colony’s desire to live near the bay. While they offered wealth, the group had leprosy and none of the founders wanted them around, except their gold. Unfortunately for the present civilians, they would receive the punshipment for the past sins.

( I got a hankering for some spankering! )

Every character is isolated in same way, from the sexy and soothing sound of DJ Stevie (Adrienne Barbeau [most scenes where by herself] ) to the hitchhiking Elizabeth (Jamie Lee Curtis). Even when characters are together, there’s still a sense of unfamiliarity. The only companionship most people seem to that have is Stevie’s late night radio show. Although the bay seems like a deserted area, it soon as company from a thick fog (you gotta wonder many fog machines Carpenter used throughout this picture), containing the ghostly crew who begin to slice and dice their way through civilians.

 (If only he had a pen)

The emerging dark figures from the fog are genuinely creepy as we never a clear glimpse at their facial features. The closest we get is when a dead crew member named Blake, adopts red eyes for some reason; I personally preferred the lack red-eye as it added a dash of cheesiness and that took away a stripe of sinister appearance. I will say, the red eyes looked bad-ass when Blake was gripping the gold cross with the last relative of the founders of the bay, Father Malone ( Hal Holbrook).

(And the gold cross will start bidding on ebay from $25,000)

The Fog slightly drags in the middle for a short period of time, but that doesn’t stop this classic ghost story from giving you the hibbie jibbies. I suggest a hot beverage, blanket with the lights turned down for an entertaining experience.

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5 thoughts on “Horrorthon Day 18 – The Fog (1980)

  1. This JC entry is all kinds of awesome. Good job. I’m glad you gave Cundey props for his stunning camera work. His photography is stunning here. That long establishing shot of Barbeau walking down those damned steps to the lighthouse! Amazing…

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