Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Fog (VHS, 1980/87)

Horror master John Carpenter offers up a triple treat with The Fog: Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau and Janet Leigh all in the same movie. As if that weren't enough, both John Houseman and Hal Holbrook make appearances, each clearly enjoying the novelty of being in a horror flick. Carpenter wrote the script with producer Debra Hill, his collaborator on Halloween (1978), and the two know their craft. It's a creepy story and a tight script, as in their previous effort, the audience gets to know the main characters a bit before they're put in danger. The movie also has a sly sense of humor: "Things seem to happen to me," says slasher vet Jamie Lee. "I'm bad luck." Barbeau is also obviously having a great time, sinking her teeth into her role as a frightened disc jockey watching the fog roll in from a lighthouse. The Fog offers a few shocks and plenty of good old-fashioned clammy chills. You'll never look at weather systems the same way again.

The Fog opens just before the centennial celebration of the seaside town of Antonio Bay, California. One hundred years ago, the wealthy leper Blake bought the clipper ship Elizabeth Dane and sailed with his people to form a leper colony. However, while sailing through a thick fog, they were deliberately misguided by a campfire onshore, steering the course of the ship toward the light and crashing her against the rocks. While the townsfolk prepare to celebrate, the victims of this heinous crime that the town's founding fathers committed rise from the sea to claim retribution. Under cover of the fog, they carry out their vicious attacks, searching for what is rightly theirs. Although this was essentially a low budget independent film, John Carpenter chose to shoot the movie in anamorphic widescreen Panavision. This decision gave the film a grander feel for the viewer so it didn't seem like a low budget horror film. The Fog was filmed in only 30 days.

The original American VHS release by Embassy Home Entertainment for video rental in 1987 featured a hi-fi/MONO version of the film and was packaged in a paper cover which featured the poster artwork. This release was subsequently followed by a copy which sported the Nelson Entertainment logo on the top front cover. Later, several bargain VHS copies was released. This is the VHS distributed by Nelson Entertainment. What makes this particular VHS sought for is, it is still sealed. That's right... brand new. It's hard to believe that this VHS has been sealed for nearly 30 years. However, there is some rattling when you shake the VHS. It could be only a loose screw or VHS tape could be broke. I wanted to keep it sealed for collectible purposes. On the side of the VHS, New Line Home Video logo is stamped/watermarked on the plastic. So, if you are like me... a diehard VHS collector looking to replace that old worn out rental. Look no further. Rare!

Ebay: The Fog (VHS, 1980/87) Nelson/Embassy Home Entertainment - $24.99 (NEW)

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