John Carpenter's The Fog starts with old timer John Housman and a bunch of kids sitting around a beach campfire late at night. He is telling them a ghost story, the story of the town of Antonio Bay, where they are celebrating their centennial. One hundred years ago, a ship lost in the fog spotted a campfire on the beach (just like the one the kids are gathered around) and ran aground. And there hasn't been a fog like that ever since.
We meet a few more Antonio Bayites: Tom Atkins who picks up hitchhiker Jamie Lee Curtis. The crew of a fishing boat out for a drinking party. Uptight politician Janet Leigh (JLC's mom!). Drunken priest Hal Holbrook, who finds a sinister hundred year old document. And commenting on it all over the airwaves, nightbird DJ Stevie Wayne, played by John Carpenter's then-wife Adrienne Barbeau.
A few notes:
- This isn't really all that scary. There's some good tension, and few shocks, some screams from the scream queens, but nothing to insult my sensitive nature.
- Also, there was a lot of Carpenter's humor, which I like.
- It was pretty cheaply made, but looks great due largely to the beautiful locations around Inverness and Point Reyes CA - not far from where The Birds was made.
But the main reason I liked this is for Stevie Wayne, the DJ. She has a great late-night DJ voice, smooth, dark and sultry, as she introduces smooth jazz or reports on the strange fog bank. I think I've mentioned how much I enjoy having a DJ in a movie to act as Greek chorus, like in Cleavon Little in Vanishing Point or Shari Belafonte-Harper in Being from Another Planet (MST3K reference). Which we watched right after The Fog.