Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Onward, Through the Fog

To make a short story long, I'd like to mention a podcast I've started listening to, The Projection Booth. Curt from Mountain View recommended it, because the hosts know what they are talking about, unlike so many other film podcasts. Of course, they favor trashy B-movies, which may or may not be what I'm in the mood for. They have a sponsor promo that goes, "Ahoy maties, this is KAB Antonio Bay... Stevie Wayne here...I still haven't heard from that weatherman..." And even though I've never seen The Fog (1980), I've heard enough about it to know where that is from.

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.

1 comment:

Mike White said...

Glad you're digging the show. Thanks for the kind words!