On the eve of its centennial celebration, a fog bank appears off the coast of Antonio Bay in California. People are murdered. Windows are shattered. Electricity flickers. It vanishes at the stroke of 1am, but it returns that night. The fog, you guys. THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE FOG.
I have a terrible confession: I had never seen this movie before. As I mentioned recently, I have seen the remake many times (fine, I’ll say it: I’ve seen it too many times), but I never saw this one. It’s unacceptable and I apologize to you all.
That being said…
This movie, man. THIS MOVIE. I loved it so much. Sure, the CGI fog looked a little cheesy at times, but it was 1980. I found it to be perfectly acceptable 80s fog.
We find out very early how many people are going to die, so each death feels like a countdown. “That’s four down! Two more to go! Who’s next? The mayor? He looks like he can’t outrun zombie fog pirates. I bet it’s him.”
The entire movie felt like a story being told around a campfire, somewhere far away from civilization. It was dark and dreary and ghosty and amazing.
The soundtrack is incredible (no surprise there: John Carpenter always brings the heat) and the cast was dynamite. In fact, let’s just give a rundown of some of the cast.
Nancy Loomis. NANCY LOOMIS! She’s the best. She’s basically her same, sarcastic, Annie Brackett-ian self here and it’s perfect. She’s perfect. She should be in more movies. I need to call her and tell her that.
Jamie Lee Curtis. 1980 was a big year for her. The Fog released in February, Prom Night in July and Terror Train in October. In this movie she plays a carefree hitchhiker who quick falls prey to the sexual prowess of…
Tom Atkins. He played a ladykiller (what else would he play?) named Nick Castle. Man, that’s a cool name. (It’s also the name of the actor who played Michael Myers in the original Halloween.) He seriously goes from meeting Jamie Lee Curtis to having sex with her in about 5 minutes. During that time all the windows are shattered in his truck by ghost fog and he’s all, “What was that? Let’s go back to my place.”
Adrienne Barbeau. She plays local DJ Stevie Wayne and she’s amazing. She essentially works as the narrator for the rest of the town, and goes from “seductive DJ voice” to “concerned mother voice” at the drop of a hat. She really is incredible in this. And Stevie Wayne? What a name. I love it.
Janet Leigh. Organizer of the town’s centennial celebration and wife to one of the first victim’s. She spends the vast majority of the movie in a state of panic that the town’s celebration won’t go well, and the rest of it in fear of being stabbed. She’s great.
Hal Holbrook. Last but not least, the man who discovers the town’s terrible secret hiding in the walls of the church: Father Malone. As soon as he finds out how the town was truly founded, he wants nothing more than to burn everything to the ground. Or die. Or both.
I will be watching this movie multiple times a year, most likely on dark and rainy nights.