6.8/10
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352 user 223 critic

The Fog (1980)

A ghostly fog descends upon a small coastal town exactly 100 years after a ship was mysteriously sunk in its waters.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sandy Fadel (as Nancy Loomis)
Ty Mitchell ...
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John F. Goff ...
Al Williams (as John Goff)
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Regina Waldon ...
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Dockmaster
Darrow Igus ...
Mel
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Storyline

The small fishing town of Antonio Bay is about to celebrate its centennial anniversary, little do the proud townsfolk realise though is that the towns founders built Antonio Bay on the foundations of deceit,murder and theft. Now 100 years later, the ghosts of the past are set to return to take a bloody revenge. Written by Iantjambo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Lock your doors. Bolt your windows. There's something in The Fog! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's The Fog  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$21,378,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the 1990s, John Carpenter mentioned during an interview with Fangoria Magazine that he was interested in producing an anthology T.V. series based on The Fog. However, the proposed series would at first not have featured any of the characters from Antonio Bay. Instead the titular Fog itself would have served as a catalyst for other supernatural stories elsewhere. He also inferred that as the series progressed connective ties to his 1980 film would become more apparent. However the series failed to ever materialize and in 2005 a remake was produced instead. See more »

Goofs

When the fog cuts the telephone communication between KAB and the sheriff, the lines shown as being cut are actually the power lines, not the telephone cable. See more »

Quotes

[a tape recording of K-A-B promos has just slowed down]
Blake's Voice: Something that one lives with like an albatross round the neck. No, more like a millstone. A plumbing stone, by God! Damn them all!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Manhunt (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Precinct 86
(uncredited)
Music by Robert Cornford
Courtesy Studio G Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
00:00: 21st April, 1980.
11 October 2012 | by See all my reviews

The Fog is directed by John Carpenter who also co-writes the screenplay with Debra Hill. It stars Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Janet Leigh, Hal Holbrook, Jamie Lee Curtis and Nancy Loomis. Carpenter also scores the music and cinematography is by Dean Cundey.

The Californian fishing town of Antonio Bay is preparing to celebrate its 100 year anniversary. As the clock ticks past midnight strange events start to occur around the town, it seems that the town has a secret and that secret is back to make a point...

Not as praised as Halloween and The Thing from John Carpenter's early horror output, The Fog sees the director tackle the ghost story premise. For many who lapped it up back when the 80s began, it still enthrals and holds in its eerie vice like grip, for others in this desensitised age of gore and cgi overkill, it proves to be a film unable to justify the love poured on it by the fans. Which is a shame.

Being able to appreciate the craft of John Carpenter back in 1980 certainly helps to avert some harsh criticisms thrown its way, because Carpenter has achieved, pound for pound, a better ghost story on a fraction of the budget afforded big Hollywood genre productions that have been made since. That's not to say it's perfect, for it's not, Carpenter himself has never been wholly satisfied with the final film, this even after re-shooting a third of the film after originally making a picture reliant on suggestion over presence, but with some smoke machines, a synthesiser, a game cast and a spooky revenge story on the page, he's made a sub-genre classic.

Carpenter has somehow managed to blend old fashioned ghostly goings on within a modern setting, that of a fishing town that proves perfect once the sun goes down and the town tries to sleep. You can practically smell the salt in the sea, such is the knack of the director for setting the mood. Then with minimalistic panache, the director marries up fog with synth beats to create maximum dread, and then he teases, perfectly, by only letting us glimpse his ghosts as dark figurines, making us fill in the blanks as to what they look like, where armed with our imagination they prove to be more scary than some CGI enhanced entity created in the blockbuster age. The killings that follow carry a high gruesome factor, and we don't need (or get) buckets of blood for them to impact, and the suspense is jacked up so much in the final quarter it proves to be edge of the seat stuff as the spring finally uncoils.

Filmed in widescreen to give off a higher end production value, which works, Carpenter surrounds himself with familiar folk and inserts in jokes and homages that also keep the film grounded and a mile away from Hollywood excess. From character names to Hitchcock stars and references (Bodega Bay anyone?), the pic feels exactly what it is, a film made with love; Carpenter even cameos at the start of the film and it is a world away from the smugness of a Shyamalan. Yes there are problems, Curtis and Atkins are strangers who meet and in the blink of an eye they are in bed together, which looks to be a bad edit, while the gathering of principal characters in one place for the finale is a bit of a contrivance. Yet these are minor irritants, because The Fog is a film that once loved will always stay loved. In 78 Carpenter plotted the course for the slasher formula to follow, in 1980 he helped realign (see also Peter Medak's The Changeling) the good ship ghost story that was on rocky waters. Low budget creepy excellence. 9/10


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