Digital Dismemberment: The Fog Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray and DVD Review
Producer– Barry Bernardi, Charles B. Bloch, Pegi Brotman and Debra Hill
Special FX– Rob Bottin and Steve Johnson
Cast– Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Houseman, Janet Leigh, Tom Atkins and Hal Holbrook
Released By– Shout!/Scream Factory
Release Date– 7/30/2013
The Premise: “When the fog rolls in… the terror begins! This moody horror classic from master of terror John Carpenter (The Thing) and producer Debra Hill (Escape From New York) stars Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween), Tom Atkins (Halloween III: Season of the Witch), Hal Holbrook (Creepshow) and Janet Leigh (Psycho). Don’t get lost in the fog!
The sleepy seaside village of Antonio Bay is about to learn the true meaning of the word “vengeance”. This seemingly perfect town masks a guilty secret… a past steeped in greed and murder. Exactly 100 years ago, a ship was horribly wrecked under mysterious circumstances in a thick, eerie fog. Now, shrouded in darkness, the long-dead mariners have returned from their watery grave to exact a bloody revenge.”
Ahhh, John Carpenter, Adrienne Barbeau, Rob Bottin and Jamie Lee Curtis! In my mind, this is one of Carpenter’s most under-rated films. The Fog was a low budget independent film, but he chose to shoot the movie in anamorphic widescreen Panavision. This gave the film a much larger look and feel so that the viewer didn’t think that they were watching a low budget horror film. The locations are amazing, and that is not even taking into account the amazing cast and crew that he had. There are many horror film references inside of this film, including The Abominable Dr. Phibes, The Crawling Eye and The Birds (see if you can find them all!). As a funny bit of casting trivia for the film, the role of Father Malone was originally offered to Christopher Lee, who believed the character to be the ‘father of the community’. However, Lee was not unavailable and Hal Holbrook was eventually cast and Kurt Russell was offered a role in the film as well!
It is the town of Antonio Bay’s 100th birthday, and an old sailor sits on the beach at a campfire surrounded by little children, telling them a ghost story about the origins of their town. As we sweep through the town and see people doing their everyday things, a brick falls from the wall in the local church office and the priest finds a journal with a warning that the dead own the night from midnight till 1. All around town, strange things like horns blowing and bells ringing begin to happen. Through it all, we hear Stevie Wayne (Adrienne Barbeau) as a voice on the local radio station, playing music and sounding sultry. Elizabeth (Jamie Lee Curtis) is hitchhiking and Nick (Tom Atkins) stops to pick her up. As they drive along, all of the windows in the car shatter mysteriously, all while a mysterious fog is making its way towards the town…
Not long afterwards, a ship rolls through the fog and ghostly pirates make their way through the town slaughtering anyone in their way with swords and other various objects. As we catch up with Nick and Elizabeth after sleeping with one another, a mysterious knock at Nick’s door almost ends his life, but the clock strikes 1 and no one is there. The next day, a little boy finds a piece of driftwood on the beach and takes it home, not knowing it’s link to the events of the night before. The town is preparing for it’s birthday party with no idea what is about to happen. The priest digs into the towns past and reveals the treachery of the towns founders and the horrible crimes they committed against the ghostly pirates. Nick and Elizabeth discover a dead body on the Seagrass, owned by one of Nick’s friends. Night begins to creep in as the town celebrates, and the fog comes with it, knocking out the power and the phones…
As the fog rolls over the town, more and more people are massacred by the ghost pirates, with some of the highlights being the weatherman getting a hook through the side of his throat and an old lady that is babysitting is dragged into the fog and gutted with hooks. Stevie Wayne figures out the threat that the fog carries, and begs for someone to save her son over the airwaves. Nick and Elizabeth rush off to save him in the nick of time. The only refuge for the towns people is the old church, but even there things look grim. Do they escape from the wrath of the ghostly pirates, or do they exact their bloody revenge upon the town? Watch to find out!
Audio Commentary: Audio 1: Writer/Director John Carpenter and Writer/Producer Debra Hill (Ported from MGM 2002 DVD Release)
Audio 2: Actress Adrienne Barbeau, Actor Tom Atkins and Production Designer Tommy Lee Wallace (New for this release!)
My Time With Terror – (Run time of 22 minutes) A detailed interview with Jamie Lee Curtis. An awesome interview highlighting her early career, how her roles after Halloween were Charlies Angels a Love Boat episode with her mother. She also discusses the relationship of John, Adrienne and Debra during filming and also discusses Prom Night and Terror Train. She does mention in the interview that she is grateful to John for the role but is not a fan of the film. She also mentions she feels the term “Scream Queen” was coined for her. Really credits John and the horror genre for getting her where she is today. (New for this release!)
Dean of Darkness – (Run time of 19 minutes) An interview with Director of Photography Dean Cundey. Very nice interview discussing technical aspects of the films he worked on with John Carpenter. Films discussed include Halloween, The Fog, Escape From New York, Halloween III, The Thing and Big Trouble in Little China (New for this release!)
Fear on Film: Inside the Fog – (Run time of 8 minutes) Behind the scenes featurette interviews with John Carpenter, Debra Hill, Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh. (Ported from MGM 2002 DVD Release)
Tales From The Mist: Inside The Fog – (Run time of 28 minutes) MGM DVD featurette with cast and crew. (Ported from MGM 2002 DVD Release)
The Fog: Storyboard to Film – (Run time of 2 minutes) MGM DVD featurette showing storyboard to film comparisons. (Ported from MGM 2002 DVD Release)
Horror’s Hallowed Grounds – (Run time of 20 minutes) A look at the film’s locations with Sean Clark. (New for this Release!)
Special Effects Test (Ported from MGM 2002 DVD Release)
Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots (Ported from MGM 2002 DVD Release)
Outtakes (Ported from MGM 2002 DVD Release)
Photo Gallery and Storyboards (Ported from MGM 2002 DVD Release)
Aspect Ratio: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1)
Shout!/Scream Factory once again should be applauded for bringing yet another genre classic to Blu-Ray DVD! One of my biggest concerns was whether the lighting and color would hold up to the digital transfer, and man did it ever! The film looked good on the MGM release in 2002, but the color and sound on this edition by far may be the best of any release yet. The additional commentary by Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins and Tommy Lee Wallace was a welcome addition, and it was also nice to get the transferred over audio commentary by Writer/Director John Carpenter and Writer/Producer Debra Hill from the MGM release. The Horror’s Hallowed Ground segment was highly entertaining and informative, but I feel the real crowning jewel of this Blu-Ray is the Jamie Lee Curtis interview. With a mix of new interviews and all of the special features from the MGM 2002 release (including the Theatrical Trailer, a Make-Up Effects Still Gallery and the Poster & Still Gallery), Shout!/Scream Factory is once again showing why it is becoming the standard bearer for Blu-Ray horror releases!
Movie Rating: 4.5 out of 5
DVD Rating: 10 out of 10