Friday, March 29, 2013

The Fog

Rumor has it that, in the late 70's/early 80's, John Carpenter made good movies. In an effort to test this theory, The Progressive Cinema Scorecard looked through his back catalog and discovered this "gem" on Netflix. (Gem: Defined as a stone that has been buried for a reason) What is The Fog, you ask? Who knows! But if the movie poster tells us anything, it's that swords matter. So do your patriotic duty and print up your Scorecard, and help us determine who would win in a fight, old John Carpenter or new John Carpenter.
  • For thinking a movie based on scary fog would be a good idea. = -13pts.
  • For being directed by John Carpenter. (Back when "directed by John Carpenter" actually meant something other than eliciting a feeling of bemused, nostalgic disappointment) = +37pts
  • For casting Alfred Hitchcock and dressing him like the sailor guy from The Simpsons. = +18pts
  • Wait, that's not Alfred Hitchcock that's (a drunk) John Houseman talking to what looks like a couple of Native American kids. = -21pts
  • For reminding us who John Houseman was and how many movies he was in that we forgot about. = +6pts
  • Wait, those are white kids from the 70's, not Native Americans? Where are their parents? = A wash.
  • A drunk priest! Played by Hal Holbrook! Before he married a Designing Woman! = +3pts
  • Ringing pay phones as a device of terror. = -3pts
  • Holy shit! Lights turned on! = -5pts
  • We thought the title of this movie was The Fog, not Maximum Overdrive. = -5pts
  • De-li-laaaaaah. = +3pts
  • Casting the dude who played the dad of that chick who killed herself at the beginning of the first Lethal Weapon. = +7pts
  • Jaime Lee Curtis! (Weird, she looks both really young and really old for her age.) = +11pts
  • Operating a radio show in a lighthouse? Best job ever! = +3pts
  • A fucking Pirate Ship? = -5pts
  • Man, those pirates sure are meaner than the ones from the Caribbean. = +7pts
  • Ah, the '70s... Back when you could pick up a strange woman on the side of the road around midnight, have some crazy nothing blow out your rear windshield, and be back at your place boning within the hour. We miss you '70s! Call us! = +9pts
  • Shame on you John Carpenter. I know you like to score your own movies, but recycling the Halloween music only in a different key and played backwards? That's weak sauce, even for you. = -15pts
  • The set for the Antonio Bay celebration. = -8pts (Toddler B-day parties have better set-ups.)
  • Janet Leigh! Film geeks from the '70s must have shot their wads. = +5pts
  • Do women even use curling irons any more? = +2pts
  • Hal Holbrook reading a book...badly. Terrifying! = -8pts
  • Polite ghost leper pirates?! Why not! = +12pts
  • If another character stops the movie to tell a personal anecdote, we're going something that will require us to tell you all about it at an inoppoutune time and place. = -7pts
  • That leaking plank of wood scene and the creepy voice. First legitimately scary thing all movie. = +10pts
  • (Potential scoring opportunity. If Andy dies?  Limitless. If he lives? Missed opportunity.)
  • Presumably dead body(s) moving underneath a white sheets.= +8pts
  • Horror movie writing 101. Having a character begin any explanation with the phrase, "This is going to sound a little strange..." (Horror set-up: Check. Exposition: Check)= +3pts
  • Killing Andy's babsitter, thus inching us one person closer to killing Andy. = +5pts.
  • Andy lives. = -12pts
  • Delilah whining about Andy over the radio for what seems like HOURS. = -5pts
  • Calling yourself a horror movie when nobody of real import dies. = -29pts
Total Score = +13pts.
Available On: Netflix, DVD, The bottom of the video drawer in the Mendocino Dinner Theater Players tour bus (currently touring throughout the Pacific Northwest in a traveling production of The Pirates of Penzance).

Pretty close to a goose egg here. Not one of John Carpenter's finest movies. Kind of boring and a bit ridiculous (and not in a good way). In fact, had this film not "allegedly" been directed by John Carpenter it may have been Paranormal Activity bad. Instead, it was only Monkey Shines bad. Still, the scorecard makes all things bearable.

Score Technician: Sean McConnell

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