“Eleven fifty-five, almost midnight. Just enough time for one more story.”
So begins The Fog, John Carpenter’s supernatural tale of revenge from beyond the grave. But while it’s commonly seen as a sublime ghost story today, things were a lot different back in 1980. Carpenter was following up one of the scariest and most successful horror movies ever made and, to make matters worse, had to re-shoot, re-edit, and re-score the film after declaring the original version a disaster. And we thank him for these efforts.
The Fog itself is set in Antonio Bay, a coastal California town whose centenary celebration is interrupted by a band of spirited but marauding pirates who appear from within the fog to wreak bloody revenge. You see, one hundred years ago the pirate ship was approaching the bay, but unfortunately it had been exposed to a leper colony. So the townspeople got together and lit a fire on the beach; the ship’s occupants believed that the fire was meant to be a guide, but instead it was led onto the nearby rocks, where it was wrecked. The town folk, including a priest, ransacked the wreck and stole all the gold it was carrying, using it to incorporate Antonio Bay, which is why, one hundred years later, the pirates are back to give the town what it deserves: a whole lotta murder.