The Fog (1980) Movie Poster

Trivia for The Fog (1980)

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  • Kurt Russell was offered a role.
  • The character played by John Carpenter, Bennett, is named after Carpenter's friend Bennett Tramer. They went to USC (University of Southern California) together. Carpenter used the character name Ben Tramer in Halloween (1978) also, as a potential love interest for Laurie Strode.
  • The band mentioned on the radio near the movie's beginning is "The Coupe DeVilles", which features director John Carpenter.
  • At one point during this movie, Tom Atkins' character mentions Bodega Bay. That is the scene of another horror movie, The Birds (1963). When Tippi Hedren's character pulls into town, all hell breaks loose. In this movie, when Jamie Lee Curtis' character pulls into town, all hell breaks loose.
  • Father Malone's assistant at the movie's beginning, Bennett, was played by John Carpenter but was uncredited.
  • As Stevie calls out the progress of the fog through town over the radio, she mentions Russelville road and Smallhouse road. These are two prominent streets in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where John Carpenter spent time growing up.
  • Although this was essentially a low budget independent movie, John Carpenter chose to shoot the movie in anamorphic widescreen Panavision. This decision gave the movie a grander feel for the viewer so this didn't seem like a low budget horror movie.
  • Adrienne Barbeau and Jamie Lee Curtis, the leads, do not appear together in any scenes.
  • While driving to the lighthouse, Stevie flips around the radio dial, and a broadcast confirming a search for the ship the "Sea Grass" is heard. The voice mentions "a sweep south of Waitely Point and Arkham Reef". Both Arkham Reef and the surname "Waitely" are references to writer H.P. Lovecraft, as he used both repeatedly in his stories. Carpenter is an admitted huge fan of Lovecraft.
  • The lead ghost, Blake, was played by makeup specialist Rob Bottin. When Bottin asked for the job, John Carpenter asked him to "stand up". Bottin then expected Carpenter to say, "...and get out!" When Carpenter saw that Bottin was a very large man at 6' 5, which was needed for the character Blake, he was hired.
  • The name of the coroner played by Darwin Joston, Dr. Phibes, is an in-joke reference to Dr. Anton Phibes, the character played by Vincent Price in the horror movie The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) and its sequel Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972).
  • The movie's opening prologue was a quote from the final two lines of Edgar Allan Poe's poem "A Dream Within a Dream". It states: "Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream".
  • After a rough cut of this movie appeared to be much too short for a theatrical release (about 80 minutes), John Carpenter subsequently added more scenes. Among these was the prologue with the elderly captain telling ghost stories to fascinated children by a campfire.
  • Director Trademark: [names] Characters Nick Castle, Dan O'Bannon, Tommy Wallace are all named after Carpenter's real-life collaborators from his previous movies. Mrs. Kobritz was named after Richard Kobritz, Carpenter's producer on Someone's Watching Me! (1978).
  • The role of Father Malone was originally offered to Sir Christopher Lee who believed the character to be the 'father of the community'. However, Lee proved unavailable and Hal Holbrook was eventually cast.
  • John Carpenter has stated two inspirations for the film, both of which are related to Great Britain. The first was the British film The Crawling Eye (1958) which dealt with monsters hiding in the clouds. He also stated that he and his co-writer/producer, Debra Hill, were inspired by a trip to Stonehenge, the ancient monument in South West England, which was covered in fog during their visit.
  • John Houseman's opening monologue, which is supposed to transpire over a course of five minutes (from 11:55 to 12:00 midnight) is, in fact, only 2 minutes and 25 seconds long from the moment he mentions it is 11:55 to the moment the bells ring in the background, signaling midnight. It has been incorrectly noted in the past that this opening monologue is exactly five minutes long.
  • When Father Malone first discovers the journal he glances at the title page, then flips to an open page of text that is partially blocked, and seen only for a split second. The visible portion reads (with spelling errors): "[something something] my college education to work writing dumb shit in this fucking movies props, Being one. It's time to bring in the the words guide or the big tits, tatoos and shaved beavers. I know horny cked]s would go cked] some of that".
  • The sword that Blake carries is a Pattern 1796 Light Cavalry Sabre with an iron scabbard, produced between 1796 and 1821. Designed by Brigade Major John Le Marchant and Birmingham sword cutler Henry Osborn.
  • The journal's last page that Father Malone (Hal Holbrook) read when he finds it in the wall says: "April 30 - Midnight 'til one belong to the dead. Good Lord deliver us". It's a reference for Walpurgis Night, a pagan feast which happens in the night between April 30 and May 1.
  • The quote "like an albatross around the neck" can be heard on the record cassette in the lighthouse where Stevie Wayne (Adrienne Barbeau) works, just before that a wooden piece with the word "Dane" explodes when the quote "6 Must Die" appears magically written in it. The quote about the albatross belongs to "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", created by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and published in 1798.
  • John Houseman worked only for one day on this movie and was given a "special appearance" credit. His scene at the campfire was shot on a set rather than outside.
  • Adrienne Barbeau patterned her voice after Alison Steele, who was a female disc jockey from the 1960s who was known as the Nightbird.
  • Shot in thirty days in the anamorphic 2:35.1 format.
  • Jazz music was used for Stevie Wayne's radio station because this was more affordable than rock music.
  • The scene on the dock at Bodega Bay was filmed in a single day.
  • Debut cinema movie of actress Adrienne Barbeau.
  • The name of the old antique grandfather's diary found inside the wall of the church was the "Journal of Father Patrick Malone 1880".
  • Actresses Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis are real-life mother and daughter.
  • The name of the old clipper ship was the "Elizabeth Dane" whilst the names of other boats seen in the picture were the "Hyperio" the "Lady Laura" and partially obscured, but most-telling "Halloween".
  • Actors Tom Atkins, Hal Holbrook and Adrienne Barbeau all later acted in George Romero's Creepshow (1982) two years later.
  • Portraying Sandy Fadel was actress Nancy Kyes, who was known at the time (and billed in the movie) as Nancy Loomis, having the same last name as the psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), a regular character in the Halloween franchise, of which Carpenter directed the first movie in 1978. Nancy Loomis has appeared in five movies either directed or produced by Carpenter; Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), Halloween (1978), The Fog (1980), Halloween II (1981) and Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982).
  • The name of the radio station was KAB Radio 1340.
  • Actress Adrienne Barbeau and director John Carpenter were married at the time this movie was made and released. He wrote the role of Stevie Wayne for her specifically.
  • First of two ghost story horror movies that veteran actor John Houseman made in a two year period. The second movie was Universal Pictures' Ghost Story (1981). The two roles are quite similar.
  • A remake of this movie was released in 2005. It was produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, makers of the original movie.
  • Probably no coincidence given Carpenter's penchant for subtle references that the vehicle seen Stevie Wayne character driving with the radio call sign "KAB" on the side is a Volkswagen "Thing" - a vehicle Volkswagen produced from 1968 to 1983 (also known as a Type 181. but marketed in the U.S. under the "Thing" name.
  • John Houseman's character, Mr. Machen, could be a reference to Arthur Machen, Welsh author and mystic of the 1890s and early 20th century. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis and Tom Atkins, whose characters become romantically involved in this movie, both appeared in the Halloween movies but never together. Curtis appeared in four of the films including Halloween (1978), Halloween II (1981), and Atkins starred in Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982).
  • Although this movie cost just over $1 million to make, Avco Embassy spent three times that amount on advertising and promotion. This included TV ads, radio ads, print ads, and the studio even installed fog machines (at a cost of $350 each) in the lobbies of selected cinemas where the movie was showing.
  • The re-release in Barcelona (Phenomena) in 2016 was in subtitled version and 35 mm. copy. Was only projected 1 day.
  • When Stevie starts the generator, it is clearly a gas powered unit that should be run outside, not inside the lighthouse.
  • John Carpenter originally intended to secure this movie with a PG rating but ended up with an R rating instead.
  • When Nick and Elizabeth rescue the Stevie's son Andy from the fog, no one asks about or looks for his babysitter, Mrs. Kobritz.
  • When the opening credits roll just as Tom Atkins' credit appears, it plays over an eerie shot of Antonio Bay at night with a car head lights seen driving along a coastal road in the distance. At a Q&A session, director John Carpenter said that this is Tom Atkins' character driving along the road he later picks Jamie Lee Curtis up on.
  • Adrienne Barbeau and Tom Atkins' also co-starred in Carpenter's Escape from New York (1981). In both movies, their characters never meet.
  • Ty Mitchell's debut cinematic appearance.
  • Despite of this being a horror movie and having its share of violent moments, there's no blood or gore.
  • In the 1990s, John Carpenter mentioned during an interview with Fangoria magazine that he was interested in producing an anthology series based on The Fog. However, the proposed series would at first not have featured any of the characters from Antonio Bay. Instead, the titular fog itself would have served as a catalyst for other supernatural stories elsewhere. He also implied that as the series progressed, connective ties to his 1980 film would become more apparent. However, the series never materialized, and in 2005, a remake was produced instead.
  • The first-grossing and No. 1 foreign language film in Hong Kong since 1980.
  • In the DVD audio commentary for this movie, John Carpenter noted that the deliberate wrecking of the clipper ship and its subsequent plundering was based on an actual event that took place in the 19th century near Goleta, California.
  • When Janet Leigh is standing just outside the church door, there's an arc of fog at the top of the image. This was not intentional but was actual fog on the lens.
  • Tom Atkins' character's name is Nick Castle, which is the name of the original actor who played Michael Myers/The Shape in John Carpenter's classic Halloween (1978).
  • The lighthouse used is the Point Reyes Lighthouse in Marin County, California.
  • Tom Atkins, who plays Nick Castle, would later go on to star in the second sequel Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982).
  • Tom Atkins' character's name in Nick Castle. This is a reference to the actor who played Michael Myers in John Carpenter's classic Halloween (1978).

Spoilers

  • Adrienne Barbeau has one scene with her son, and a climactic showdown with two of the ghosts. Other than that, all of her scenes were by herself with no direct on-screen interaction with any other characters.
  • Extensive reshoots were done after the first screening when director and studio executives decided that the movie wasn't scary enough. Additional scenes shot include close-ups of death scenes (specifically stab wounds), the scene with Jamie Lee Curtis and the walking corpse in the morgue, and the finale with Adrienne Barbeau on top of the lighthouse.
  • In the last scene where Stevie is on top of the lighthouse and the fog slowly disappears, the crew realized they would not be able to get the fog to roll out, so they had Adrienne Barbeau do the scene in reverse.
  • Adrienne Barbeau's last line, "...look for the fog...", echoes the last line from The Thing from Another World (1951), "Watch the skies." John Carpenter later remade that movie as The Thing (1982).
  • In the final scene at the church, Nick has Andy stand back and hide. On the wall behind Andy is a brick inscribed "H. Hawks". This is undoubtedly a reference to John Carpenter's favorite director Howard Hawks.
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