Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Things I Learned from Watching John Carpenter's "The Fog"

So the wifely friend and I were out hiking this weekend. It was a beautiful day and we hiked about 5 miles, up a mountain ridge to the San Francisco Bay Area Discovery Site, where hundreds of years ago, intrepid explorers looked down on the San Francisco Bay and said to themselves "I think the real estate here is going to be very, very expensive."

And of course, as so often happens when surrounded by Nature's rich pageant, we were seized with the urge to stop off at the mall, buy horror movies, and eat popcorn. This was perhaps a byproduct of our discussion that Pacifica is a pretty likely place to find some fishpeople.

I selected The Fog, a movie I remembered as being truly frightening. Of course, I hadn't seen the film in some twenty years, but I felt confident it must be good. I remembered undead shambling and...well, that's about it. Having watched The Fog, I was astonished at how poor my memory can be.

And what did I learn from John Carpenter's The Fog?

If zombie leper pirates show up at your house after midnight, and start banging on the door with their giant zombie leper pirate fish hooks, don't let them in. You should probably think for just a minute before letting them in, at least. You could think, for example, "Did I invite the zombie leper pirates over?" and maybe "Even if I did invite the zombie leper pirates over, it's frankly a little rude for them to show up after midnight. And what's with the banging on the door? Zombie leper pirates should knock politely, especially at this late hour. I have half a mind to never invite the zombie leper pirates over again."

That's about all I learned, honestly. Except that, again, my memory had made The Fog much better than it really was. I remembered a great sequence in which some luckless drunken fisherman gets his throat ripped out by one of the aforementioned giant zombie leper pirate fish hooks. This did not happen. Maybe it was in Escape from Witch Mountain? I can't be sure.

The Fog, incidentally, goes against my theory that seventies horror movies are as a rule very good. Because it's not.


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