The Fog (1980) - John Carpenter

The Fog is really short, both on entertainment and time. The movie feels like it just builds, and builds, and builds. However, nothing is ever really achieved. The antagonist is too vague. You never really know what the antagonist is, zombies, pirates, zombie pirates? There are too many questions that the movie leaves you with. It also feels as if it is rushed, and the run time seems to be a bit short.

The stars are a-plenty in this freak fest. Jamie Lee Curtis makes an appearance, this is during her scream queen era. Also joining the cast are Adrienne Barbeau, Janet Leigh, and Halloween III's Tom Atkins. Atkins really made his way around the horror movie circuit in the 80's. He was pretty popular. This is the third movie that I reviewed with Tom Atkins in it. It doesn't fare much better than Halloween III. Creepshow blows this one out of the water. 

The plot of this movie is pretty simple. Really simple in fact. This next paragraph has spoilers. So don't read ahead if you don't want me to ruin the movie. A fog is rolling into town on the anniversary of a crazy battle in which a trove of Pirates were massacred. The Pirates had gold, but it was stolen and made into a giant cross. Now the Pirates are showing up in a fog bank that rolls in around midnight and fades away around one in the morning. To make a short story short, a priest gives the gold back to the Pirate captain. He leaves. That's it. For some reason some of the pirates are just wearing black clothes. Others are actually zombies, but you can't see them. They are too heavily shadowed the entire movie. 

This movie was missing the horror part of the story. Everything else was there, but it was missing a conflict aside from the main one. It was too linear. If the movie had some twists and turns then there might have been a shred of hope. The movie did look pretty. It had some fantastic shots and really well done effects, it was just very vanilla. What happened to John Carpenter? This movie wasn't the best, but it was still shades above Ghosts of Mars. Why did Carpenter fade out. The eighties were definitely his heyday. 

Hey, there's a fog bank out there.

  • Dr. Phibes, the name of the coroner played by Darwin Joston, is an in-joke reference to Dr. Anton Phibes, the character played by Vincent Price in The Abominable Dr. Phibes.
  • Adrienne Barbeau and Jamie Lee Curtis, the leads, do not appear together in any scenes.
  • At one point during the movie, Tom Atkins' character mentions Bodega Bay. That is the scene of another horror movie, The Birds.