31 Days of Horror Movies: The Fog (1980) (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Saturday, October 05, 2013
Source: Mania.com

Halloween is a special time. It is the one time of year when everyone gives of themselves. What they give can be anything from candy to a scare. We thought this October, we here at Mania would give you 31 Horror Films for the 31 days of October. Now, many of you will know these films. Some of you, may not. Get ready for 31 days of Horror Films that will run gauntlet from scary to campy, from horrific to down right ridiculous. Happy Halloween from Mania!

The Fog (1980), starring Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, and directed by John Carpenter (The Thing) was one of those horror films that Ted Turner reran the hell out of.  I am not sure why it is rated R.  There is no nudity, swearing, or blood. Maybe people getting whacked with meat hooks is enough for an R rating?   

Anyway, The Fog starts with a campfire ghost story told by the immortal John Houseman. It deals with a town, Antonio Bay, that double crosses a few lepers, who were just looking for a peaceful off shore island, and then steals all their gold.  The town’s people do a few other nasty things to these unfortunate souls, but one hundred years later, these Lepers return to take revenge on the town’s decedents.

This is a “less is more” movie.  The fog, itself, is creepy. Plus, it is how these ghastly killers travel.  So their faces and bodies are always distorted or covered, leaving your imagination to fill in the gaps, thus creating a horrific image in your own mind, this technique is now long since forgotten. Today audiences want to see the monsters and Hollywood wants to show off how much money they spent. In my opinion, it makes for a better movie, the “less is more” technique. More often than not, your imagination is better than what some make-up can make real.

The music is incredible. John Carpenter is one of the few directors who has scored his own movies.  His themes for Halloween (1978) are world renown, but it is The Fog’s music that might be, by far, his greatest piece of music.  It sets a tone for the movie and keeps a pace that is relentless and unforgiving.

This film was introduced to me several years ago via a friend, a friend who actually dressed up like Captain Blake, The Fog’s main bad guy, for Halloween. Kudos to my friend for the great recommendation. Now, turn off all the lights and sit down and be scared by The Fog.

Historical side note:  this is the first time that Jamie Lee Curtis appeared with her scream queen mother Janet Leigh (Psycho) in a film. They would later co-star in Halloween H20.

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Mania Grade: NA
Rated: R
Starring: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Atkins, John Houseman, Hal Holbrook
Written By: John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Directed By: John Carpenter
Genre: Ghost Story
Run Time: 89 minutes