The Fog is a 1980 horror film directed by John Carpenter, who also co-wrote the screenplay and composed the music for the film. It stars Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins and Janet Leigh. It tells the story of a strange, glowing fog that sweeps in over a small coastal town in California, bringing with it the vengeful ghosts of mariners who were killed in a shipwreck there exactly 100 years earlier.
The Fog was Carpenter's first feature film after the success of his 1978 horror Halloween, which also starred Jamie Lee Curtis. Though not as big a success as Halloween, the film received some good reviews (with a 68% positive rating on Rotten
Tomatoes) and was also a commercial success. A remake of the film was made in 2005.
Carpenter's, The Fog with Jamie Lee Curtis
The fishing town of Antonio Bay in California is about to celebrate its centennial. With preparations for the celebration underway, the centennial is also marked by a series of ominous events; as the witching hour strikes and the date of the town's centennial begins, various odd phenomena begin to happen all over the sleeping town - objects move by themselves, television sets turn themselves on, gas stations seemingly come to life, and all the public payphones ring simultaneously.
That same night, Father Malone, the town's alcoholic priest, is in his study in the church when a large piece of stone falls from the wall revealing a cavity. Inside is an old journal, his grandfather's diary from a hundred years earlier. Father Malone removes the book from the wall and begins to read. The diary reveals that in 1880, six of the founders of Antonio Bay (including Malone's grandfather) deliberately sank and plundered a clipper ship named the Elizabeth Dane. The ship was owned by Blake, a wealthy man with leprosy who wanted to establish a colony near Antonio Bay. During a foggy night, the six conspirators lit a fire on the beach near treacherous rocks, and the crew of the ship, deceived by the false beacon, crashed into them. Everyone aboard the ship perished. The six conspirators were motivated both by greed and disgust at the notion of having a leper colony nearby. Antonio Bay and its church were then founded with the gold plundered from the ship.
A supernaturally glowing fog appears, spreading over the sea and moving against the wind. Three local fishermen are out at sea getting drunk when the fog covers their trawler. When two of them go on deck to investigate, they see a ghostly looking clipper ship pulling alongside their trawler. The mysterious fog contains the vengeful ghosts of Blake and the clipper ship's crew, who have come back on the hundredth anniversary of the shipwreck and the founding of the town to take the lives of six people: symbolic substitutes for the six conspirators. Two of the fishermen are attacked and slaughtered on deck, while the third is killed in the wheelhouse.
At the same time, town resident Nick Castle drives down a country road and picks up a young female hitchhiker named Elizabeth Solley. While the two drive towards town, the radio and headlights of Nick's truck start to fail and all the windows inexplicably shatter.
Fog - opening sequence 1980 original - superb stuff
worth adding to your collection
The following morning, local radio DJ Stevie Wayne is given a piece of driftwood, part of a board, that was found on the beach by her young son Andy. The wood is inscribed with the word "DANE". Intrigued by the object, Stevie keeps it and takes it with her to the lighthouse where she broadcasts her radio show from. Stevie sets the board down on top of a tape player that is playing, and while she is momentarily distracted, the board inexplicably begins to seep water. The water spreads and causes the tape player to short out. Suddenly, a mysterious man's voice emerges from the tape player swearing revenge, and the words "6 Must Die" appear on the wood before it bursts into flames. A shocked Stevie quickly extinguishes the fire, but then she sees that the board once again reads "DANE" and the tape player begins working normally again.
After locating the missing trawler, Nick and Elizabeth find the corpse of Dick Baxter with his eyes gouged out. The other two fishermen are nowhere to be found. The body is taken to the local coroner's office to be examined by Dr. Phibes, who is perplexed by the body's advanced state of decomposition considering Baxter died only hours earlier. Whilst Elizabeth is alone in the autopsy room with Baxter's corpse, the body becomes momentarily re-animated. It rises from the autopsy table and grabs Elizabeth. As Elizabeth screams, Nick and Phibes rush back into the autopsy room, where they see the corpse lifeless again on the floor. However, it appears to have scratched the number "3" into the floor with the scalpel. Baxter was the third victim to die.
While this is happening, Kathy Williams, the wife of one of the missing fishermen and one of the driving forces behind the town's centennial, and her assistant Sandy Fadel visit Father Malone to ask him to give the benediction at that night's ceremony. He reads to them from the journal and reveals to them how the town was founded on murder and their celebration would be honoring murderers which is something the two women do not want to hear.
Fog special edition dvd release of the 1980 film
That evening, the Antonio Bay centennial celebration begins in the center of town. Kathy is told by the sheriff and Nick about her husband's disappearance, but insists on going on with her part in the ceremonies. At the same time, Dan, the local weatherman, calls Stevie at the radio station to tell her that another fog bank has appeared and is moving towards town. As they are talking, the fog gathers outside the weather station and Dan hears a knock at the door. Leaving Stevie on the phone while he goes to answer it, Dan is killed by the ghosts as Stevie listens in horror.
As Stevie continues her radio broadcast, the fog begins moving inland and neutralizes the town's phone and electricity lines. Using a back-up generator, Stevie begs her listeners to go to her house and save her son when she sees the fog closing in from her lighthouse vantage point. Nick and Elizabeth hear this on the car radio and go to help. Meanwhile, at Stevie's home, her son's babysitter, Mrs. Kobritz, is killed by the ghosts as the fog envelops the house. The ghosts then pursue Andy, but Nick arrives just in time to save him and they escape.
As the town's celebration comes to an end, Kathy and Sandy are driving home when they turn on the car radio and hear Stevie warning people about the dangerous fog that is sweeping through the town. Stevie advises everyone to go to the local church, which appears to be the only safe place. Nick, Elizabeth and Andy hear the same message and the group gather at the church. Once inside, they and Father Malone take refuge in a small back room as the fog begins to roll outside. Inside the room, Nick and Father Malone find a huge gold cross buried in the walls. The cross is made of the gold that was stolen from Blake and his people a hundred years earlier. As the ghosts of Blake and his crew begin to attack the church, Father Malone takes the gold cross out into the chapel. Knowing he is the offspring of one of the conspirators, Malone confronts Blake in an attempt to sacrifice himself and save everyone else.
Back at the lighthouse, two of the ghosts try to attack Stevie. She climbs onto the roof, but the ghosts follow and trap her.
Inside the church, Blake seizes the golden cross, which begins to emit an eerie glow. The church rumbles as the light emanating from the cross becomes brighter and brighter. Nick manages to pull Father Malone away from the cross only seconds before it disappears, along with Blake and his crew, in a blinding flash of light. The ghosts attacking Stevie on the roof of the lighthouse disappear as well, and the fog vanishes. Stevie gets back on air and warns the boats out at sea to watch out for the fog. Later that evening, Father Malone is alone in the church pondering why Blake did not kill him and thus take six lives. At that moment, the fog reappears inside the church along with Blake and his crew. As Father Malone turns to face him, Blake swings his sword at Father Malone's neck, decapitating him.
Fog - movie trailer 1980
John Carpenter has stated that the inspiration for the story was partly drawn from the British film The Trollenberg Terror (1958), which dealt with monsters hiding in the clouds. He has also said that he was inspired by a visit to Stonehenge with his co-writer/producer (and then-girlfriend), Debra Hill. While in England promoting Assault on Precinct 13, Carpenter and Hill visited the site in the late afternoon one day and saw an eerie fog in the distance. In the DVD audio commentary for the film, Carpenter noted that the story of the deliberate wreckage of a ship and its subsequent plundering was based on an actual event that took place in the 19th century near Goleta,
California. (This event was portrayed more directly in the 1975 Tom Laughlin film, The Master Gunfighter).
The Fog was part of a two-picture deal with AVCO-Embassy, along with Escape from New York (1981), and was shot on a reported budget of
million. Although this was essentially a low budget independent film, Carpenter chose to shoot the movie in the anamorphic 2.35:1 format, which gave the film a grander look so it did not seem like a low budget horror film. The picture was filmed from April 1979 to May 1979 at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, California (interior scenes) and on location at Point Reyes, California, Bolinas, California, Inverness, California, and the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Sierra Madre, California).
After viewing a rough cut of the film, Carpenter was dissatisfied with the results. Recalling the experience, Carpenter commented "It was terrible. I had a movie that didn't work, and I knew it in my
heart". Carpenter subsequently added the prologue with Mr. Machen (John Houseman) telling ghost stories to fascinated children by a campfire. (Houseman reprises this role in the opening of the 1981 film Ghost Story). Carpenter added several other new scenes and re-shot others in order to make the film more comprehensible, more frightening, and gorier. Carpenter and Debra Hill have said the necessity of a re-shoot became especially clear to them after they realized that The Fog would have to compete with horror films that had high gore
Approximately one-third of the finished film is the newer footage.
Fog - movie trailer 2005
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