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  The Fog
John Carpenter, USA, 1979
Rating: 3.1

Posted: February 23, 2003

A scary movie needs atmosphere: Antonio Bay has atmosphere. A scary movie needs a creepy plot: Zombie lepers returning from watery graves is very creepy. And last but not least, a scary movie needs a diversion to lower your guard. In The Fog, Adrienne Barbeauís large breasts are said diversion. Letís get this out of the way now: Would you make a movie with zombies coming out of the fog to avenge their wrongful deaths and in that same movie, deny me a glimpse of a topless Adrienne Barbeau? Why not just bake me a cake and forget the icing, or extend the work week while youíre at it? What fiend, nay, monster would do such a thing? All right, Iíll allow my righteous indignation to subside...for now.

The little town of Antonio Bay has a horrible secret. A priest (Hal Holbrook) discovers a hidden journal describing how the townsfolk intentionally led a ship full of lepers to crash into the rocks off the shore. (Apparently the townsfolk objected to the establishment of a leper colony so close to their peaceful village.) So now, with karma being the bitch that it is, these zombie lepers have returned to take vengeance on the residents of Antonio Bay and to reclaim the gold that was stolen from them. You know, you light a fire on the shore to trick some lepers into believing that it's a lighthouse, then you watch as they crash into the rocks and drown, and on top of all this, you jack their gold? Youíre just asking for it!

Look for multiple hackings, stabbings, and a surprise beheading. Jamie Lee Curtis adds little to the proceedings, certainly not near enough to compensate for the cruel denial of Adrienne Barbeauís cleavage. That aside, The Fog is one of the better examples of late-'70s/early-'80s horror fare, and would be an excellent candidate for a remake project today, thanks largely to its abovementioned propensity for creepiness. So the film scores a respectable 3.1. It originally rated a 3.3, but .1 was deducted for each of Ms. Barbeauís breasts that John Carpenter saw fit to deny me.

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 Clemenza's Ratings Key:

 5.0: A drop of bliss

 4.0-4.9: Touchdown!
 3.0-3.9: Close, but...
 2.0-2.9: Box of Rocks
 1.1-1.9: Time bandit
 0.0-1.0: Soul scarring
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