The Fog

Production Year: 1980
Release Date: 07/23/2013
Studio: Scream Factory
Collection Number: 1121

John Carpenter's classic film about a town haunted by a mysterious fog has officially been given the Scream Factory treatment!  In 1980 director John Carpenter signed a two picture deal with AVCO-Embassy.  The first film in this venture, The Fog, marked his return to horror after the extremely successful Halloween.  The film is about the small town of Antonio Bay and a mysterious fog that rolls through at midnight on April 21st.  The Fog disrupts everything causing glass to shatter, alarm systems to sound off, and at the town's local church a few bricks are displaced.  During the chaos Father Malone (Hal Holbrook) happens to find his Grandfather's journal hidden  behind the now crumbling bricks.  There's likely a reason why the writings were hidden away...Possibly something to do with the town's despicable past.


Stevie Wayne (Adrienne Barbeau) is a local DJ who's the first to really notice anything is off-kilter, her suspicions are confirmed once her young son finds an old relic from another time.  Meanwhile Nick (an oddly mustacheless Tom Atkins) and Elizabeth (Jamie Lee Curtis) are on the hunt for a missing ship and it's three sailors.  The pieces come together as the trio begin to realize what's going on, but they might not have been quick enough; for when the sun goes down the fog will roll into the town bringing death to all it encounters.

The presence of fog is a staple in the horror genre, the idea of it being one of the main antagonists of a film is an interesting one.  Throughout the movie the fog has an eerie glow making for some really wonderful looking  scenery.  Fog alone can't carry a movie however, this film has a great ensemble cast made up of Curtis, Leigh, Barbeau, Cyphers, and Atkins.  There's a definite chemistry amongst the group as most of them have worked with each other at one time or another.  When combined with Debra Hill's writing and Carpenter's direction you end up with a very enjoyable horror movie.


Scream Factory gave The Fog a new high definition transfer supervised by the film's original cinematographer Dean Cundey.  The result?  The film looks great!  The blacks are deep, the other colors are exactly where they should be. There's a light grain present throughout and the movie retains a very filmic look.  I did notice one or two instances where the film seemed a bit soft, but they were very brief and wouldn't take much away from the overall score.


A great 5.1 DTS Audio track accompanies the superb transfer with a 2.0 track available as a secondary option.  There are also two audio commentary tracks available; One featuring John Carpenter and Debra Hill, the other featuring Barbeau, Atkins, and the production designer Tommy Lee Wallace.  The 5.1 Audio sounds excellent with proper lows and highs, I couldn't hear any of the typical issues that can occasionally affect some of these older films.

The disc is loaded with a handful of extras, some are new however a few have been carried over from previous releases.  First up is an interview with Jamie Lee Curtis, this feature not only covers her involvement with The Fog but the horror films that both preceded and followed.  It was certainly a worthwhile watch and one of the best featurettes on the disc.  Horror's Hallowed Grounds makes another Scream Factory appearance with one of the best episodes to date, Sean Clark takes us to a number of filming locations and manages to be as funny as he is informative.  An Interview with Dean Cundey, Fear on Film (an archival featurette,) Tales from the Mist, The Fog: Storyboard to film, outtakes, SFX Tests, Trailers, TV spots, and a photo gallery also round out the disc.  Yeah, I wasn't kidding when I said it was loaded.



John Carpenter's second foray into horror is a solid effort, while it might not be as groundbreaking as Halloween I feel it certainly holds up.  As this is a film I'm sure a lot of you already own I guess the real question is "is it worth the upgrade?"  With the improved picture and audio along with the plethora of special features I can honestly say "yes it is." 


1 comment:

  1. I'm really looking forward to picking this Scream Factory release up! Good review!

    ReplyDelete