Tuesday Terror: The Fog (1980)
One hundred years ago, the founders of Antonio Bay did a horrible thing. On a foggy night, they purposely guided a ship, the Elizabeth Dane, into rocks. As the crew perished, they looted the wreck and used the gold to establish the town. Now, just as the town is gearing up to celebrate, the fog is back…and so is the crew of the Elizabeth Dane.
This movie is one of my faves. Let me tell you why.
The typical horror revenge flick has one killer who is targeting a group that has done him wrong. The targeted group almost always includes an “innocent” – usually a young woman who is nicer than the others. Maybe her heart wasn’t in the prank or she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Perhaps she tried to convince the others not to go through with it. Whatever the case, she agreed to keep silent after the deed was done. While the audience gets a thrill out of watching the obnoxious bad guys get haunted and hunted down, the killer going after the innocent is supposed to feel as if vengeance is going a step too far.
The Fog doesn’t really do this. The killers – the ghost of a captain and his crew – are looking to take six lives. Because anyone in Antonio Bay can get it, the movie doesn’t ask us to be overly invested in the wellbeing of anyone in particular. No one wants the fog to snatch up little Andy…but you understand why the ghosts don’t care.
At the same time, no individuals stand out as being extraordinarily bad or evil. They are normal people going about their everyday lives.
The townspeople know the story of the shipwreck but they don’t believe it. There’s even a sanitized version that suggests the tragedy was an accident; it’s a local legend to scare children around the campfire. Because the town has worked so hard to whitewash the tale, the argument for innocent/ignorance really isn’t here.
On top of everything else – it’s good, creepy fun.
*Ghosts shattering car windows? The fog does not care about your property. What a riot!
*In an alternate universe, Laurie Strode escaped from Haddonfield, changed her name and hitched her way to Antonio Bay…and more trouble.
*Hard to find sanctuary in a church built with blood money.