Friends, it was back on February the 1st of 1980 that John Carpenter’s follow up to his massively successful Halloween was given a limited release – The Fog. Seven days later it would see a wider release by AVCO Embassy Pictures and while it still did well at the box office – pulling in 21.3 million domestically on a budget of 1.1 million dollars – it unfortunately didn’t find the popularity of Carpenter’s previous feature film. Which in my mind is a shame because I quite loved it when I first saw it at the 62 Drive-In of my youth – although we had to wait until Spring before my Father and myself saw it for the first time. In fact I talked a bit about that experience with the Projectionist on an episode of the Saturday Frights Podcast last year – the reason I enjoyed The Fog so much is that I am a sucker for a good ghost story. Throw in the element of some righteous supernatural revenge – a case of the sins of the Father type of situation – with some extremely great performances from the cast and it is easily understandable why The Fog became a cult classic.
That for my money is one seriously well made film trailer – if perhaps it gives a little too much away – it is quite stylistic and matches the the mood of the movie itself. I think that like many of John Carpenter’s films, The Fog just needed some time to find it’s audience – because it is just as enjoyable now as it was 40 years ago. Although to be fair as has been widely talked about – even with working from a screenplay co-written by the late and great Debra Hill – when the film was complete and Carpenter watched a rough cut… he realized the the film didn’t work as it was. Which resulted in re-shoots but in the end it was for the better – adding the wonderful campfire sequence at the beginning of the film with John Houseman as well as re-shooting some existing scenes.
There is another element that is absolutely fantastic about John Carpenter’s The Fog and that is the score provided by the Director. Much of the mood of the film is definitely helped by the score – you don’t have to take my word for it though, you can listen to both the prologue with dialogue by Houseman as Mr. Machen in addition to a bit of the score yourself.
So perhaps tonight if you are looking for something worthy to entertain yourself and you can’t make it to the Haunted Drive-In where we are showing The Fog – why not join us for the 40th Anniversary by picking up a copy of the film? Or you could also listen to the Saturday Frights Podcast episode where we discuss the movie – with guest Rockford Jay!