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The Fog (1980)

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An unearthly fog rolls into a small coastal town exactly 100 years after a ship mysteriously sank in its waters.

Director:

John Carpenter
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1,900 ( 268)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adrienne Barbeau ... Stevie Wayne
Jamie Lee Curtis ... Elizabeth Solley
Janet Leigh ... Kathy Williams
John Houseman ... Mr. Machen
Tom Atkins ... Nick Castle
James Canning ... Dick Baxter
Charles Cyphers ... Dan O'Bannon
Nancy Kyes ... Sandy Fadel (as Nancy Loomis)
Ty Mitchell Ty Mitchell ... Andy Wayne
Hal Holbrook ... Father Malone
John F. Goff John F. Goff ... Al Williams (as John Goff)
George 'Buck' Flower ... Tommy Wallace
Regina Waldon Regina Waldon ... Mrs. Kobritz
Jim Haynie ... Dockmaster
Darrow Igus Darrow Igus ... Mel
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Storyline

As the centennial of the small town of Antonio Bay, California approaches, paranormal activity begins to occur at midnight. 100 years ago, the wealthy leper Blake bought the clipper ship Elizabeth Dane and sailed with his people to form a leper colony. However, while sailing through a thick fog, they were deliberately misguided by a campfire onshore, steering the course of the ship toward the light and crashing it against the rocks. While the town's residents prepare to celebrate, the victims of this heinous crime that the town's founders committed rise from the sea to claim retribution. Under cover of the ominous glowing fog, they carry out their vicious attacks, searching for what is rightly theirs. Written by Tim Kretschmann <Tim.K@VirComm.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What you can't see won't hurt you... it'll kill you! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's The Fog See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$21,378,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actresses Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis are real-life mother and daughter. See more »

Goofs

When one of the sailors peers out of the ship's window for a fog bank in the background, the superimposed fog appears over the edges of the window. See more »

Quotes

Kathy Williams: Are you going to give the benediction tonight, father?
Father Malone: Antonio bay has a curse on it.
Sandy Fadel: Do we take that as a "no"?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Road Games: Audio Interview with Richard Franklin (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Finale
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by John Carpenter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
00:00: 21st April, 1980.
11 October 2012 | by SpikeopathSee 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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