There’s Something in the Fog!: The Fog (1980)

So I don’t know about you all, but I love the fog.

I actually like driving in it, walking in it, just foggy days in general. I went to school in the bay area and loved mornings (not evenings-as that is a killer’s delight) when the fog would roll in. It just makes me want to drink tea, make cookies, bake or cook something, curl up with a good book, etc.

I hated having to bike in it though-soooo scary. When I went to university, I used to work at a music hall and they used the hall as a class some mornings. The class started at 6, and we had to be there at 5:30.

It was sooo scary biking to work every morning. The way to go from my apartment to the hall I had to bike up the highway. All I could do was pray every morning, please let no one hit me. The fog there was really bad-like mushroom soup bad.

I hope I can do it.

Where I live now we get really bad foggy days and nights too. Back in the 1800s the whole area used to be underwater, the winter rains would come and create a lake on the land, that would recede in the spring. Years later, the area my nieces live in are full of houses but still retain the bog-like quality they used to have hundreds of years ago-so when the fog comes it is really bad.

I like driving out there, as it is peaceful in a way-it almost feels as if you are the only one in the world. However, it is also still dangerous. There were a ton of accidents, a semi completely blocking the road, and I was almost in an accident when someone’s car broke down and they just left it in the road! Seriously, dude. Anyways…with all that in the especially in October-it made me think of:

There’s something in the fog!

Years ago my sister brought The Fog (2005) home for us to watch. It had Tom Welling from Smallville, that girl who was the bipolar superhero in Heroes, and the girl that Elle gets dumped for in Legally Blonde. It was kind of confusing, the effects were blah, and I remember not getting into it at all.

The whole time we watched it, my mom kept saying how she loved the original. Because of that, I have always wanted to watch it, but just never got around to it-until someone donated it to the library.

My time has come!

So this film starts off with a ghost story-no one knows its connection to the town, but we will.

The community Antonio Bay, CA is about to celebrate their 100th anniversary. That morning (12:00am) strange things begin happening. The first is that the minister, Father Malone (Hal Holbrook) in the old church discovers a piece of masonry falling off-for no logical reason-and a diary is discovered and with it an ancient curse!

That’s not good.

Meanwhile, fisherman are out at sea when the fog rolls in-it brings an 1880s ship and ghostly, creepy creatures that attack the ship.

Nick Castle (Tom Atkins) is driving home when he spots a young girl hitchhiking (Jamie Lee Curtis). She is weird.

I know blunt, but she is just so strange. If it was me, I would have kicked her out of my car.

Elizabeth Solley: Listen, I never hitchhiked before. I just really want to be careful. Can I ask you something?

Nick Castle: Sure

Elizabeth Solley: Are you weird?

Nick Castle: Yes, I am. Yes, I am weird.

Elizabeth Solley: You are weird. Thank God you’re weird. The last one was so normal, it was disgusting.

Yes, she basically has no character other than being nothing like a normal person. Like she does not react normal to anything, it’s almost as if Jamie Lee Curtis got a different script, like she thought the movie was about an alien pretending to be human going to a town with paranormal occurrences and trying to figure out “how” to do that without giving themselves away.

The two go to Nick’s place and sleep together. After they re done, something knocks on the large windows that Nick’s place has.

Now that I love-the way Carpenter creates these monsters in the fog-sooooo creepy.

As I mentioned above, I like walking in the fog, but not at night. It is so creepy as you can’t see anything, you don’t know if there is danger lurking there. When I was at university, I hated having to walk across campus at night. There was always that fear when turning a corner or passing an area thick with foliage-could there be someone waiting? Especially creepy when you hear footsteps, but can’t tell who or where they are coming from-or if the person coming your way is planning on hurting you.

I think Carpenter captures those feelings perfectly in his monsters/ghosts. Watching it, brought back all those feelings again.

Spooky…

So Nick is worried when the next morning, the fisherman aren’t back. He sets out, with-ugh-Elizabeth, in tow. When they get on the boat they found the corpse of Dick Baxter, while the other fisherman are missing. While there it seems as if everything is after Elizabeth?

Why? Who knows. She’s from “Pasadena”, maybe, but that’s all we get from her. We know nothing else and she is really bland. Why did Nick even take her along? Or even better, why does he continue to take her along when everything is after her.

Meanwhile, D.J. Stevie Wayne (Adrienne Barbeau) finished up work and visits with her son. He found a piece of driftwood with the word “DANE” on it. He gives it to his mom, who has to go back to work to listen to some tapes, taking the driftwood with her. It begins to seep water, and her tape player playing a gravely voice saying that revenge must take place. The wood spells out that “Six Must Die”. Then everything catches on fire! Stevie puts it out and the wood goes back to Dane.

Back with the fishermen, the doctor reviews the one body they have and discovers a mystery.

Dr. Phibes: [the pathologist has just examined the body of Dick BaxterWhat the hell happened out there?

Nick Castle: There was rust all over everything. It was like the boat had been out there a long time, taking on water. He was down below, near the bunks.

Dr. Phibes: Nick, his wounds are covered with algae, his lungs are full, and there’s silt under his fingernails. I tell ya, I saw Dick Baxter three days ago in Salinas. Now he’s lying there on the table looking like he’s been underwater for a month!

That’s not the only weird thing. While the men step aside to talk, Elizabeth waits by the body. Suddenly, Dick’s body reanimates and attacks Elizabeth. What a Dick move! (LOL sorry, couldn’t resist).

When the men return he is dead again, with the number 3 carved into him.

Kathy Williams (Janet Leigh) is overseeing the centennial celebration, and is worried about her husband’s-one of the fishermen-disappearance. As she moves forward with the celebrations she stops by the church. The pastor is freaking out as he has stayed up all night reading the journal he found and frenzied by lack of sleep and what he discovered!

Father Malone: [reading from Patrick Malone’s journal] “December 9: Met with Blake this evening for the first time. He stood in the shadows to prevent me from getting a clear look at his face. What a vile disease this is. He is a rich man with a cursed condition, but this does not prevent him from trying to better his situation and that of his comrades at the colony. December 11: Blake’s proposition is simple, He wants to move off Tanzier Island and re-locate the entire colony just north of here. He has purchased a clipper ship called the Elizabeth Dane with part of his fortune and asks only for permission to settle here. I must balance my feelings of mercy and compassion for this poor man, with my revulsion at the thought of a leper colony only a mile distant. April 20: The six of us met tonight. From midnight until one o’clock, we planned the death of Blake and his comrades. I tell myself that Blake’s gold will allow the church to be built, and our small settlement to become a township, but it does not soothe the horror that I feel being an accomplice to murder. April 21: The deed is done. Blake followed our false fire on shore and the ship broke apart on the rocks off Spivey Point. We were aided by an unearthly fog that rolled in, as if Heaven sent, although God had no part in our actions tonight. Blake’s gold will be recovered tomorrow, but may the Lord forgive us for what we’ve done.” I couldn’t read any further.

Sandy Fadel: You’re grandfather had a way with words.

Father Malone: The celebration tonight is a travesty. We’re honoring murderers.

Yes the story that was told in the beginning, the truth has been revealed. These lepers cursed the town and have waited 100 years to exact their revenge. They have come to kill the descendants of the six men who murdered them. The six are:

  1. Al Williams
  2. Other Fisherman
  3. Dick Baxter
  4. Father Malone
  5. Tommy Wallace
  6. Mrs. Kobritz

At least that is what I am assuming-the problem with this film is it isn’t really clear on who are those involved and those that aren’t. They kill the other fishermen who were on the boat but if I include him, that would make seven-when there were only six. So did they just kill him for fun?

Hmmm?

The other problem is that no one knew about this secret. It makes it not as interesting in my opinion. Now the 2005 film was really bad, but one thing it does do much, much better is clearly state who the descendants are. That was a much needed improvement-I also liked how the descendants all knew about the murder. I think that made the film more…fulfilling then having the ghosts kill people who have no knowledge and are paying for a crime they had nothing to do with.

So as the night picks up, so does the fog. Stevie sees it and how it is going against the wind. She warns everyone and begs someone to save her son-urging all to flee to the church.

The ghosts kill the nanny, Mrs. Korbitz, and go after Andy (why as he isn’t a descendent), but Nick saves him. Elizabeth is just there, why? Who knows. Why is she even in this film?

I’m done

Now I know this is a small fishing town, but where are all the people? The only ones at the church are Kathy Williams, her assistant Sandy, Father Malone, Nick, Andy, and Elizabeth. Where is the rest of the town? Are they alive? Are they dead? There were a lot at the celebration, but what happened to them?

I really feel like John Carpenter wanted to copy The Thing from Another World (1951), where you have this small group of people being attacked and trying to overcome it-there it made sense as they were on a small research center in Alaska. Here you have a whole town! Where are all the people? What happened to them? Obviously they are not attacking just the descendants as they were going after Andy-yet they left Nick alone? Just doesn’t seem very thought through.

Hmmm…

Anyways, the gang hide out below the church in the room where there is a giant gold cross, a cross made from the stolen gold.

That’s not good.

So the ghosts attack Stevie in the lighthouse-why as she is not from there but moved there. She isn’t a descendent, why are they after her?

Hmmm

And they attack the people in the church. Malone feels the guilt and brings the cross out, begging the ghosts to spare everyone and take him. As he offers the cross-it and the ghosts disappear.

All seems to be fine.

Stevie Wayne: I don’t know what happened to Antonio Bay tonight. Something came out of the fog and tried to destroy us. In one moment, it vanished. But if this has been anything but a nightmare, and if we don’t wake up to find ourselves safe in our beds, it could come again. To the ships at sea who can hear my voice, look across the water, into the darkness. Look for the fog.

But later, Father Malone is thinking over what happened. Why didn’t they take him? Then we have a fantastic twist!

So yeah, I didn’t love it. But I think it was way better than the new one. There was a lot in this film that just didn’t make sense, I mean there were so many unanswered questions.

I also hated the Elizabeth character. She makes no sense! Why is everything after her? Who is she? She doesn’t add anything to the plot and if she wasn’t there, it really wouldn’t change the film.

I do have to give the 2005 film credit for trying to make there be a reason why everything wants Elizabeth, and giving her a reason to be in the film. Even though it was still dumb.

I think the only thing I would watch it for are the ghosts, those are just done so well.

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning go to, Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more John Carpenter, go to China is Here Mr. Burton. The Chang Sing, The Wing Kong, They’ve Been Fighting for Centuries: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

For more Janet Leigh, go to We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes: Psycho (1960)

For more on Jamie Lee Curtis, go to Everyone’s Entitled to One Good Scare: Halloween (1978)

For more horror films with fishermen, go to You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: Jaws (1975)

There’s Nothing Out There. Nothing in the Mist: The Mist (2007)

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David, there’s nothing out there. Nothing in the mist.

So The Mist was an okay movie. I thought it was doing really good and totally creepy until the end. The end was totally screwed up as the director had to go and change the story. What a loser!

Book Slappers

So this is based on a story by Stephen King. And I know y’all know that a Horrorfest would not be complete without one. It is also not a complete rip-off of The Fog (the new or old film), as everyone thinks it is. There are quite a lot similarities, but they are extremely different in the motive and what the “monster” that is attacking is. In the different versions of The Fog, the creatures are it is supernatural, while in The Mist…well, you’ll see.

So the film starts the day after a huge thunderstorm has hit a little town (of course) in Maine (the usual). A thick, unnatural mist starts to descend on the town, and at first they don’t realize that something far more sinister is lurking within it.

supernatural supernatural

So, that day David Drayton (Thomas Jane), a graphic artist, decides to go to the local grocery store to buy supplies, bringing his eight-year-old son, Billy (Nathan Gamble), and his neighbor, Brent Norton (Andre Braugher) along. You know, just a normal average day.

h90CCAFFE

So while they are at the store, another storm comes and hits the the town. This time it severely engulfs the area in a thick mist. (Whenever I bike to work early in the morning I always think about this movie and The Fog.)

They do notice something very strange. It seems as if there is a plethora of military roaming about the area.

That's strange

That’s strange

When they get to the supermarket, they find it packed with people stocking up. A military policeman, goes after the soldiers in the supermarket, telling them to pack it up as their leave is over and they need to head out. Everything is normal until a local townsperson runs into the store covered in blood.

OMG

He begins screaming that there is something out there in the mist, killing and attacking people. People go to look out the windows to see what is out there, but the mist is so thick that they are unable to spot anything.

TheMist Supermarket wall window

Several people rush, out and everyone hears their screams…then nothing.

What!

Gilmore girls creep

The decide to seal the doors in order to keep “everything” out. One woman is worried about her children and decides to risk trying to go home. She asks for someone to accompany her, but no one volunteers.

How rude

She leaves and we never see her again.

Sadface Batman

So as you can guess, just like Night of the Living Dead, this film becomes more of a survivor story/deconstruction of humanity than an actual monster movie. You have a group of people trying to survive in a confinied area and while some rise to the challenge, others do not. This film has all the usual Stephen King clichés, like an deeply religious psychotic person who wants to kill/punish all who tries to control every one.

Of course

Of course

It couldn’t be a Stephen King film without it.

At one point the group tries to go check on their clogged generator. A couple men go to open the loading dock door to see what the issue is when large tentacles come reaching out and kill them.

the-mist-2007--05tentacles

This is just the beginning in monster attacks, as they face giant insect, pterodactyl -like creatures, and many more.

In a raid for medicine vis-à-vis The Day After Tomorrow, they run into the military supervisor from earlier hanging from a gigantic spider web. He tells them to question the men in the store for the true backstory of the mist.

truth downton Abbey Lord Earl

In the end it turns out that military are to blame as they opened a portal to another world.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Yes. In an ending as disappointing as Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull aliens just leaving. (Although the worse is yet to come.)

Eventually the section of the group that is run by the psychotic women, has increased that it outnumbers the other group lead by David. As she tries to get Billy to be a sacrificed, David’s team decides to leave, risking the unknown.

They are able to score a car and the group drive as far as the SUV will take them. They take stock of their options and decide it is better to end their lives, rather than be torn apart by whatever the things are. David shoots everybody in the car, including his son. Right before he turns the gun on himself, a military tank comes charging through proclaiming that they have defeated the monsters.

hold-up-wait-a-minute-let-me-put-some-pimpin-in-it

Yes. Yes. He has just killed his child and everyone when he didn’t need to.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Now I could forgive everything else. The stupid plotholes, the crazy clichés, the other dimension monsters, ANYTHING; but that ending? Really? Really? It’s just dumb.

Duh!

Duh!

Did you guys have to that? It is so horrible! First of all as he murdered his child when he didn’t need to. And secondly, it is extremely anti-climatic! I mean come on, it would have been so much better if they just had them driving off, no one knowing what will happen to them or whether they will survive. You know, like how it ended in the book?!

BetterthantheMovie

Yep you guys really messed up there.

See Hook agrees with me.

See Hook agrees with me.

2007The-Mist-2007

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For the previous post, go to The Past of a Man

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For more on Stephen King, go to He Who Walks Behind the Rows

For more films based on books, go to You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

For more quotes, go to Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die