There’s always something fun about watching something you haven’t seen in 40 years. FORTY YEARS???? GODDAMN! I guess that is or probably could be a lie. Surely it was in my videotape collection back when we had shelves and trunks full of video tapes and surely I watched it. I mean – I had the total fucking hots for Adrienne Barbeau for as long as I can remember. I suppose I still do – why wouldn’t I – but I don’t think I’ve seen her in anything since Carnivale, AAAAAHHHHH Maggie – be still my teenage heart
and loins. But – The Fog, right? John Carpenter, Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Jamie Lee Curtis and some killer lepers, what could go wrong here? Not much in my opinion. Some of the special effects are shitty but it was 1980 so if you hate them you can eat shit! Or – you might find yourself trapped aboard a ship with you leper buddies while we steal your gold and melt it down and bury you in the past and forget you ever existed you filthy, diseased assholes!
Or we can just talk about The Fog.
I just love how WordPress gives us the option to curve out these pictures so we can hang them on our walls in round frames and have instant ancestors. I wonder what Mrs Film Miasma would think if I started putting up oval photos of Barbeau and, who else… how about Lindsay Wagner? Or Suzanne Pleshette?? Carly Simon? Oh shit – I might faint. Lynda Carter? Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton (technically they were from the 80s but smooch smooch smooch). What’s happened here?
The Fog! If, for some reason, you’re not familiar, this busty, cigarette smoking, hot chick works the local radio station from the local, lonely lighthouse. One night, her creeping stalker guy from the local, lonely RADAR (see how I put that in all caps) station calls in letting her know there’s a heavy fog rolling in and she should let the lonely, local sailors know. “That’s bullshit,” she counters, quoting my grandpa. Then the fog rolls in – as foretold! Electronics go haywire and car horns blare (more on that later)! Dogs bark and people – end up dead. Deader than shit, you might say.
Elsewhere, Atkins, driving a late 1950’s model truck very similar to what I used to own (more on that later too) picks up a hitchhiker. Her name is Jamie Lee Curtis and they go ahead and screw (offscreen). The 80s! The next morning they decide to do some investigating aboard a ship – a ship some sailors went missing on during the big fog event.
Jamie Lee’s Character: They sure did drink a lot of beer last night.
Atkins’ character: Every night.
Lee: What’s it like?
Atkins: It’s the same every time, eventually the walls start to spin and then you pass…
Lee: I mean what’s it like being a sailor?
Atkins: OH, well… you do a lot of drinking.
Aside from that brilliant bit of dialogue, this has all of those old, good things John Carpenter used to do. Creepy score Things going on that you can’t quite see. A bunch of shit going on in the end and all of his characters doing something to stop it. Jamie Lee Curtis. Well, I don’t know if use to do her or not but if he did, great!
There’s one thing (s) that bothered me and this is maybe the most nit-picky, assholey thing I’ve ever said but, in those old model vehicles, horns didn’t run off of electricity so the electronics going haywire wouldn’t have affected them and – oh man – there’s this really compelling sequence later on in this thing where Atkins, Curtis and this kid are in the truck and trying to escape the things in the fog and she’s punching the accelerator and they’re stuck in in the mud and windows are breaking and they’re all fucked and everything is going to hell and!!! *cry* she’s obviously not using the gear stick to try and get that truck going and *cry cry* it was most likely a ‘three on the tree’ shifting system and that’s what I learned how to drive with and oh my god I’m a dick.
Aside from that, I think this movie is pretty great and I think it’s a real good tee up for what he did in Prince of Darkness, which is one of my favorite movies of his. I also think it would be careless of me to finish without something like this:
Barbeau: What are you doing there? Don’t you know I was up all night working?
Unknown stranger: Um…
Barbeau: Is that some sort of cursed driftwood in your hand?
Stranger: Well no.
Barbeau: What is this. Who are you? This isn’t in the script.
Stranger: I’ve been watching you from your closet. I’m not trying to bother anyone. I was just leaving to get something to eat.
Barbeau: Well this is just fucking creepy.
Stranger (sheepishly): Yes…
Spoiler! That stranger was me.
Filed under: THEY ALMOST MADE IT TO THE HAPPY FINISH