The Fog (Special Edition)
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116 of 121 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 9, 2002
Finally! The Fog comes to DVD! The Fog is one of my favorite horror films, and it's great to see it get the full DVD treatment!
The plot is simple: On her 100th anniversary, the small hamlet of Antonio Bay is beseiged by a strange fog, cloaking the vengeful ghosts of a murdered leper colony, whose deaths provided the wealth necessary to start the town. Writer/Director John Carpenter gets right to the point, and there isn't a wasted frame of film in this tightly paced chiller. The scene where the men on the fishing boat see the ghost-ship is one of the classic movie creep-outs, and the ending is great. This film really harks back to the old ghost story films of the 40's.
The DVD is full-frame on one side, and the widescreen side of the disc has all of the extras, including commentary by Carpenter and co-writer/producer Debra Hill, an old documentary and a made-for-the-DVD documentary, trailers and commercials, posters and print ads, and lots more. (I would have liked to have seen more about the makeup effects for Blake and his crew, but that's just me...) The film transfer is GREAT- The Fog has never looked better, and the colors are lovely and vibrant. I even managed to find an easter egg! On the "Special features" screen, tab up until a pair of glowing eyes appear in the fog- press enter and you'll see a brief (a little under three minutes) music video of behind-the-scenes-footage from the making of the film.
Overall, The Fog is a must-have for fans of Ghost stories or John Carpenter. Now lets see Escape From New York and Prince of Darkness get the deluxe treatment.....
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73 of 81 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 26, 2000
I am so glad this got a re-release on video! I have been searching for this movie for years. Okay, so this one is not the classic that Halloween was but look at the cast... Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Adrianne Barbeau, Hal Holbrook, and Nancy Loomis. It's a mood piece (not too much happens quickly)...pure and simply put it's just a creepy movie. But the scenes with Adrianne Barbeau as a deejay pleading for anybody who can hear her to help her son "get out of the fog" are worth the price of the video alone. It's a wonderfully fun film that any John Carpenter fan will enjoy! The signature music is there, and the cinematography is great too! It's not your typical "slasher" movie. THE FOG aspires to be something more...or maybe something less depending on how you see it. It opens with a man telling a ghost story around a campfire about a ship of un-dead lepers exacting their revenge on the inhabitants of a small coastal town. Well, that's what this is! It's a ghost story that you might hear around a campfire. Primal and scary, and not really all that gory or violent. It's a wise purchase for any horror fans out there!
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88 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2006
Here is the lowdown on the re-release of this Special Edition. The original S.E (Green cover art) was put out by MGM in late 2002 with the Hi-Def transfer, 5.1 audio, featurettes - all the bells and whistles. When Sony acquired MGM in 2005, they discontinued this version. Taking the existing DLT, they slapped on a trailer for their new re-make (as well as the prerequisite umpteen cross-promotional trailers) and altered the cover art (Blue!) for no other reason than to drive ticket sales for what turned out to be one of the worst horror re-makes of this truly ugly cycle American cinema seems to be going through now. So unless you're hungry for advertising, go with whichever one you can find for the least amount of money - it's all the same thing.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2002
Let's just cut to the chase right now and say THIS is THE version of The Fog to own. If you're a fan of the movie, or of John Carpenter (before he turned into a pod person and became incapable of releasing anything but dreck), buy this disc now! The transfer is beautiful: the contrast is high, the detail incredible, the colour rich, and the sound well-balanced. In fact, the overall image quality is better than that of the laserdisc version, with almost no noticeable flecks or scratches, and is almost entirely free of compression artifacting (the only spot I noticed it was after the attack on The Seagrass, when the fog completely covers the screen, and even then I really had to look to notice it). Even the menu screens get the professional touch, with artfully composed looping clips from the movie as well as art and sounds created specifically for the DVD.
As far as sound, I'm no expert, but this disc really seemed to clean up all the problems found on previous versions. The levels seem balanced: no playing remote jockey to lower or raise the volume. And MGM even fixed faulty dialogue cues (for example, on the laserdisc version, during the attack on the church, when Father Malone makes his way out of the study to take the gold cross to Blake, and Andy warns him not to, the line "Don't go out there" plays, and then about five seconds later you see Andy's lips move. On the DVD, the cue and action are perfectly synched).
The extras are decent, but nothing to write home about. The storyboard-to-film comparison "feature," in particular, is especially disappointing, in that it only shows a very brief segment of the film (the murder of Al and Tom on The Seagrass, about 140 seconds' worth of footage), and even cheats at that (the same art is shown for several shots, although this may have been how the storyboards were actually used). Also, the quality of the film portion of the comparison screen is inexplicably awful. The section is so short and so plainly presented that it seems a cheat to put "Storyboard to Film Comparison" on the packaging. Instead, it feels like an afterthought, something included because today's DVD consumer expects it, but with as little effort as possible, and no attention or focus at all on how the storyboards were conceived, designed, or used specifically for this film.
The outtakes section also dissatisfies, as it is exactly the same as that on the laserdisc, comprising a bunch of unused (and unexplained) special effects and lighting test shots, followed by a scant 2 ½ minutes of actual bloopers (half of which consist of Adrienne Barbeau making post-take faces at the awfulness of her performance, although it is worth the price of admission to see the legendary John Houseman say "sh*t" after blowing a line), followed by shots of the crew at work. All with very poor sound, or smothered by overbearing music cues. But for those who haven't seen the laserdisc version, it makes a fair addition, in that it also shows many behind-the-scenes activities which are either missing or inadequately described in the voice-over commentary and documentaries
Finally, the audio commentary by Carpenter and Hill is also a letdown; while it is fun to hear these two old friends chat away (and it should be noted their synergy is phenomenal), they often fall into a sort of verbal shorthand, leaving any of us without a film degree or fanatical zealot's insider info completely in the dark. Hill's commentary begins to annoy after a while, sounding like a high school TA puffing up her involvement in the film ("Those are my hands!" "That's my quilt!" "There I am!" "That's me!"), and frequently the contextual information she gives is wrong (at the point in the movie where Janet Leigh's character encourages the townsfolk to stick around and take a look at the statue, for example, Hill claims "Here Janet is telling everyone to go home, lock their windows, and be safe"). Carpenter tries to give some technical background, but I really don't need to know what town EVERY SINGLE SCENE was shot in, and one can only hear "That's Tommy Lee Wallace playing the part of the ghost" so many times without wanting to shoot...something. The few times he actually begins to describe interesting or revealing filmmaking footnotes, he either loses his train of thought, or uses abbreviated jargon which leaves the viewer scratching his head in bewilderment.
If the disc shines at all in the area of extras, it is for the new documentary made specifically for the DVD. While "Fear on Film," made concurrently with the movie, is an abysmally jarring, low-low-budget pastiche of the various people involved blathering on about whatever interested them (Janet Leigh provides such stellar insights as "suspense is the fear of what's going to happen," then babbles on about Psycho and Alfred Hitchcock for the rest of her segment) intercut with overlong movie clips that have nothing to do with what the talking heads are talking about, "Tales from the Mist" presents the entire moviemaking process in a logical, chronological fashion, with movie clips whose content and brevity fully complement the script. Although nowhere near as in-depth or complete as the documentary made for the Halloween DVD, "Tales from the Mist" is an intelligent, beautifully edited, well-thought-out expose covering all aspects of the production. All in all, its only fault is that it ends much too soon.
To sum up, this is a beautiful print which does great justice to a great movie; it deserves a place in your collection on the basis of audio and video quality alone. The presentation is so clean and rich that it looks as if the movie were filmed yesterday. Nor is it a bare-bones edition, with audio commentary, outtakes, storyboard comparisons, and two documentaries...just don't buy it solely for the extras, or you may be disappointed.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2002
I remember the release of John Carpenter's "The Fog" back in 1980. The expectations were so high for this film after the stunning box office/critical success of his now-legendary "Halloween." I recall, somewhat hazily, of critics being disappointed and the film performing below expectations financially. But I remembered thinking after seeing the movie that in many ways it was superior to "Halloween." Today, "The Fog" has a nice cult following and deservedly so. It is an old-fashioned ghost story with extraordinary atmosphere. It is blessed with a cast of veterans including Hal Holbrook, Janet Leigh and John Houseman. And it contains one of Carpenter's finest musical scores (as good, if not better than his peak work on "Halloween" and "Escape From New York").
The coastal town of Antonio Bay is celebrating its centennial, but a dark secret is discovered about the town's historic origins. An eerie fog soon rolls in and within its glowing depths are ghosts bent on revenge. Carpenter regulars Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins and Nancy Loomis eventually are fighting for their lives, with the final confrontation taking place within the confines of a historic church.
The word "creepy" comes to mind often when discussing "The Fog." The opening scene, taking place around a campfire, will send chills up your spine. The isolation of Barbeau's lighthouse/radio station is a near-brilliant location. The multiple H. P. Lovecraft touches including hidden diaries with terrifying secrets are great set-ups. The eyeless dead body rising from the stretcher is a perfectly directed scene. The gold coin turning into a piece of ship wreckage is a nice touch. And the ghosts, complete with moldy clothes and clanking swords, red eyes staring through the green fog, are about as nightmarish a portrait as one could imagine.
I have some problems with several of the characters in "The Fog," most notably that of Jamie Lee Curtis. Hers is essentially a throwaway role, seemingly added so that she could co-star with her mother (Janet Leigh). A hitchhiker in the wrong place at the wrong time, she ends up in bed with Tom Atkins about an hour after meeting him. I suppose any good old horror film needs a little sex thrown in for good measure, but it seems rather B-Movie fabricated.
But "The Fog" is a perfect example of John Carpenter at the peak of his once notable creative powers. After suffering through his recent work including "Escape From LA" and the uninspired "Ghost of Mars," I return to this terrific 1980 ghost story. I enjoy the chills with great fondness, like one does when putting on a childhood Halloween mask. This will always be one of my favorite Carpenter films, a better tradition for Halloween in many ways, than the film "Halloween" itself.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2002
A dark and eerie night. A group of children sitting around a campfire. A grizzled old man telling a ghost story at the stroke of midnight. So begins John Carpenter's "The Fog", an old fashioned ghost story about the dead returning from a watery grave to seek revenge against the living.
The basic plot of the film concerns a group of sailors who were lured to their death when their ship crashed against the rocky coastline and sank to the bottom of the sea 100 years earlier. The ghosts return, enshrouded in a glowing fog, seeking out revenge and wreak havoc on the tiny coastal town of Antonio Bay. As horror films go, this is just an okay film. Carpenter does provide plenty of atmosphere and a couple of good jolts, but the movie does tend to stretch credibility to it's limit, such as the scene in which Adrienne Barbeau (who plays a disc jockey, stationed in a lighthouse)tells her listeners the movement of the fog STREET BY STREET! Does she have a bionic eye??
The real reason to watch this DVD is the extras. In addition to "voice over" commentary by Carpenter and screenwriter Debra Hill (who makes it very clear every time she, or one of her body parts, appears on the screen), the DVD has two "making of" documentaries. (one origionally made at the time of the film's release and another made specifically for the DVD). There are also outtakes, the original trailer and TV spots included in the extras. All DVDs should provide such bonuses. So whether you're a fan of horror, ghost stories, or Jamie Lee Curtis, this is definitely worth a look.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
When The Fog was originally released, I was not old enough to see it in the theater, so I had to satisfy my curiosity by reading the book that accompanied it. I would later get to actually see it on network TV in an edited form, but it was so exciting to see on screen what had only been in my mind from reading the book. Many years later, I was able to obtain a DVD, and that remained my touchstone for this film up until the recent High Definition release of The Fog on Blu Ray by Scream Factory.

First of all, let me get it straight for anyone who has never seen this film. This is NOT a slasher film at all, rather it is a classic creepy ghost story of revenge for a wrong committed by the predecessors of Antonio Bay. Watching this in high def for the first time would provide many surprises for me. Most of all, is the cinematography in this film. Honestly, I had never noticed just how beautiful this film is until I saw it in high definition for the first time. Some of the shots of the bay and the countryside just took my breath away at how fantastically they were framed. The picture is so crisp and colorful, I couldn't believe I had never noticed this before. If you own any previous versions of this film, throw them out, because this is the definitive version!! The video and sound are presented in a quality that I have never experienced before in its other versions.

If you're new to anything produced by Scream Factory, let me tell you that these guys know what they are doing, and they present these films in a way like they've never been before. Not only do you get all of the extra features from the previous DVD, you also get some new extras like an interview with Jamie Lee Curtis and one by Dean Cundey. Another new feature that has shown up on other ScIream Factory titles is the Horror's Hallowed Grounds featurette where we are taken to many of the current places where this film was shot. You also get a new commentary from Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Tommy Lee Wallace. This commentary is very enjoyable, and these people have many interesting tidbits to share about the making of The Fog. There is also a cool Easter Egg that really brings back memories for me. Go to the special features menu and click "more" to get to the second screen of extras. Arrow down to the word "back" and click right arrow. You will notice a little cross on the tombstone light up. Click it and you'll be presented to the way this was presented on its network TV premiere, which is the first way I saw this film. This little extra really brought back memories for me.

Bottom Line: If you love this creepy ghost story, then you owe it to yourself to get this beautiful new transfer from Scream Factory.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2005
I give the film 5 stars, this so called new edition 0 stars. Whats new about it? Doesn't even list all the specs. The other version, (green cover), is remastered, and has a ton of extras and 5.1 dolby digital sound. If the only difference is that the cover is now blue and the ghosts now have eyeholes, I'm repulsed. Are they reissuing this now because the remake will be released at the same time? One of the worst marketing ripoffs, I have ever heard of. What next, a red cover in six months? They cannot even get the cover right, the original has Jamie Lee pressed up against a door. Save your money on this greedy reissue.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2002
"The Fog" is one of those films that gets creepier with every showing. The plot is a classic ghost story of unrelenting suspense. Antonio Bay is a seaside coast that harbors a deadly past. Centuries earlier, a leopard colony wanted to settle in Antoinio Bay to make a new lives for themselves. A group of people decide to double-cross the group by forcing the ship they were on to crash into the bay and sink with all hands on board. Now the crew have returned from their watery graves to seek gruesome vengeance on the their ancestors. Carpenter's flare for atmosphere goes well and the creepiness is very effective. I recommend "The Fog" to anyone who loves a good ghost story.
Note: "The Fog" is coming soon in a "Special Edition" with these features
1. Widscreen and Full-Versions of the film with John Carpenter and Debra Hill commentary and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound
2.New Documentary on the making of the film with new interviews.
3.Deleted Scenes
4.Lobby Cards, Posters, Theatrical trailer and T.V. spots and hidden features.
5.1980 Featurette
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This vintage John Carpenter film was made in collaboration with Debra Hill, who with Carpenter was responsible for the runaway success of "Halloween". When "The Fog" was first released some twenty-five years ago, it was met with a fairly lukewarm reception. It has since gone on to achieve some acclaim, though it has never reached the heights of commercial success touched upon by "Halloween", though, then again, few films have.

"The Fog" is a highly atmospheric ghost story. The ghosts manifest themselves on the stroke of midnight, as the fishing village of Antonio Bay gets ready to celebrate its centennial. As the midnight hour rolls in, so does an unearthly fog that begins to engulf the whole town. It is a fog that enshrouds of the ghosts of those whose ship was lured to the rocky coast, only to find itself dashed to bits on the rocks, causing all aboard to plummet to the nether regions of Davy Jones' locker. These ghosts are now hell bent on seeking revenge for their fate on the inhabitants of Antonio bay.

The special effects in the film are excellent, as is the musical score composed by none other than John Carpenter himself. This is for the most part a subtle, creepy film, highlighted by a stellar cast. If you are looking for a blood and gore slasher film, this is not the film for you. If, however, you enjoy a terse, tightly written script, as well as a pulse pounding musical score, then you will enjoy this highly atmospheric, ghost story.

I originally saw this film in the theatre when it was first released and still remember the effectiveness of the fog rolling across the huge silver screen and the pulse pounding, musical score, which was such an excellent accompaniment to the film. Time has not diminished its power.
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