Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Fog

Mind you, by that I mean the John Carpenter film. My mate Jeff just lent it to me, and for some reason I thought I'd be all buff and prepared and laugh at the old cheesiness... but I found myself sitting in the lounge (by myself! In the dark!), crouching behind a pillow, close to shitting myself.
I have seen this film before, but that was when I was a cocky teenager, when I couldn't have enough gore and shared a pizza while watching the controversial Faces of Death with my friend Christina, whose dad had a reputation for having a huge video collection of dreadful films (in a day and age when having a VCR was close to a biblical miracle in my corner of the world).
But there was also another time, much earlier than that, when I saw the previews to a TV airing of The Fog for the first time. I must have been about 8, and my grandma was there to visit. She always stayed in my room, so I got to sleep on a cot in my parent's bedroom, which, to me, was like mini-camping, I just loved it. But that night, seeing the MTV-style snapshot images of creeping fog, ghostlike, shredded figures that tore apart a little boy's bedroom door with meat hooks and crept closer and closer to a car stuck in the mud, camping was the last thing I had on my mind. I lay on my cot, the covers pulled up to my eyes, which stared through the dark, wide and terrified, to the window - outside which fog drifted about in ghostly wafts.
Whoever put together the TV programme in those years had a sick and twisted humour. They always seemed to watch the weather report, to put in matching films to scare the shit out of us kids. That wasn't the first time, you know? Because I vividly remember, when I was about the same age, that they showed a film about the bombing of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, which was dreadfully graphic (god knows why my parents let me watch it)... and after I went to bed, with awful images of charred and burning bodies tattooed on my brain, a fuckin thunderstorm started outside. There was a massive flash of lightning, and I nearly screamed, dead-certain that it was the BOMB. Wasn't even too far off a speculation, because it was the mid-80s, after all, and nuclear extinction was a real threat, and the horrific effects of radiation poisoning was clear as day to all of us, with the story of the 1,000-crane-folding Japanese martyr girl Sadako Sasaki circulating in every school and on every bookshelf.

Anyways, back to foggy goodness. The eeriness of that film is spectacular, so if you want some wicked entertainment for a foggy night, totally go for it.

What I can't believe is that they actually dared to do a remake. I mean, there are certain Hollywood icons you should just leave alone, you know? We're talking sacred ground here. To be fair, I haven't seen the new version yet (and I adamantly refuse to do so), but if you go by the rule of thumb these days, namely that the previews already show the best scenes, then the whole film is doomed for failure. Just the poster is utterly ridiculous. What the fuck is this? The Mummy Returns???

Ah well, what can ya expect. Hollywood has run out of ideas. And when the world talked about the benefits of recycling, they totally got it the wrong way.

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