FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Nov 4, 2019

BLOODvember Day 4: THE FOG (1980)

I know I've talked about John Carpenter's The Fog before, how I love it endlessly and dream of living a Stevie Wayne life. Heck, I bet I've even talked about this specific moment before...but I'm not gonna spool up the microfiche and dig through the Final Girl archives to find out. That's the past and I live in the now, baby, the 100% now where I wanna talk about poor Mrs. Kobritz. Because poor Mrs, Kobritz, amirite?

What a great shot from a great, scary scene from a great, great, scary movie. They wouldn't kill a gramma, would they? Fuck yeah, they would! Those ghosts snatch that nice old lady and her nice old cardigan and they beat her to death. It's wisely kept out of frame, but we know what's happening and poor little Andy knows what's happening and it's brutal. That sweater and that Q-Tip hair and those glasses have always reminded me of my gramma and phew! I admire the moxie of a movie where no potential victim is off the table even while it bums me out.

The Fog is a quick wisp of a film, so small and simple, just a bunch of terrific, moody set pieces all stitched together. Many of the characters don't meet face to face, or maybe they cluster together at the last minute as they seek shelter from the eerie, mysterious fog and the deadly ghosts lurking within it. The characters aren't overly well developed but it doesn't much matter. We know enough to feel like we know them, and we get invested in their well-being. Adrienne Barbeau is, of course, perfect and completely sells "helpless terror" as she watches the fog roll in from her radio station atop the lighthouse. In fact, you couldn't ask for a better cast for this yarn–it's jam-packed with Carpenter mainstays like Charles Cyphers, Tom Atkins, Nancy Loomis, and Jamie Lee Curtis, and rounded out with talent like Hal Holbrook, John Houseman, and Janet Leigh.

And what a yarn it is. Mr. Machen sets us up with a ghost story at the top of it and then we watch it all play out. And best of all, we learn some important life lessons: be nice to lepers, and do not steal!

Man, The Fog fuckin' rules!


AE said...

Mrs. Kobritz! She is so brave and she does her best. I wish she wouldn't open that door, but who really believes there are zombie leper pirate ghosts in the fog until it's too late? (I know they aren't zombies or pirates but they act like it.) Mrs. Kobritz, my hero.

Astroboymn said...

I will always have the feels for Mrs. Kobritz. She deserved a much nicer retirement than the one served up by those rotting ghosts.