Tag Archives: The Fog

Reads For A Scary (Post) Halloween Part 3: The Chills Continue

Halloween is upon us and soon shall pass like a fine mist rolling across a pale cemetery. An army of jack o lanterns flicker dimly in the silent autumn night as whispers of the haunting season linger on well into our unsettled dreams. We may grieve the parting of our favorite holiday but there’s no need for woe. With any of these marvelously malignant reads, the spooky season need not vanish entirely.  

The Living Dead – by George Romero and Daniel Kraus

That’s right, my oozing Nasties. We’re starting this list right off right with a George Romero gem. Papal Romero planned this book to be a pay-per-chapter online read and had already completed chapters to upload. Unfortunately, we lost Papal Romero (way too soon) before the web series was finished and many projects he was working on were lost with him. 

This book, thankfully, is not one of them. Luckily his notes and chapters were picked up by Daniel Kraus and what could be considered the very last of Romero’s Dead projects was brought to life. That’s right, this book comes to us from beyond the grave which in of itself gives it Halloween credit. 

As with all of his Dead projects this book covers some of the political tension and cultural paranoia of its time, which was honestly just a few years back. The book is rich with relatable characters and glows with some very nicely detailed gory moments. 

This book is a treat to horror fans. I remember reading about this book a year – or maybe two years – before its publication. Then there was nothing more said of it. I kept it in mind however but began wondering if it would ever get published or be another lost project. That mystery made me want to read the thing so much more. 

I finally found it at a Barnes and Nobles last October (2020) and kinda fucked out right there. I was shocked to finally see it. And to be frank I want more (really good) zombie novels. In a world of World War Z and The Walking Dead graphic novels, it’s great to have a fresh new vision by the man who made zombies what they are today. This is one horror fans will want to own. 

The Fog – James Herbert

This book has nothing in common with the John Carpenter movie save name alone. It’s much, much better. Before any assumptions are made let me assure you I do like Carpenter’s The Fog. Very cool atmospheric ghost story. But this book has nothing to do with specters out for revenge.

The Fog begins with a street caving in causing lots of stress and injuries to those caught on the road. But rest assured this is only the beginning of their woes as a yellow mist rises out from the cavernous expenditure. Anyone caught in the sickly fog start indulging in their most violent fantasies. Anyone familiar with the Crossed comics will have an idea of what I mean. Honestly, after reading this book I wondered if Garth Ennis might have been inspired by it when writing up Crossed. 

Oh yes, there is blood and beatings, and brains splattered about on walls a plenty. This is a meaty good one for the gore fiends among us. There are some incredible (and quite graphic) death scenes in this book. You could call this a sticky book for all the slaughter found in it. My personal favorite is when the Fog hits a cow pasture and the herd proceeds to eat the farmer alive. Absolute genius. Another scene that caused readers some genuine anxiety was the slow torture of a gym teacher at the hands of his Fog-poisoned students. 

But like his grotesque The Rats don’t think this is all splatter without substance. Herbert weaves a believable group of unfortunate survivors trapped in a world where the Fog causes carnage wherever it’s seen. The book manages some epic tense moments and plenty of chills as you follow the heroes in their apocalyptic search to defeat this bizarre intelligent veil of death.  

Said it before that it’s a shame, not more people know who James Herbert is today. So I want to change that. 

Zombie, Gates of Hell, House By the Cemetery – Eibon Press. 

Our long-time readers will be very familiar with these guys. I can’t shut up about them, but that’s only because they are so fucking good! This is where you’ll find the perfect blend of cult-horror and comic books stitched together with some of the best visual art you’ll see this side of Hell. 

Building upon the cult cinematic imagination seen in Lucio Fulci’s most beloved films, Eibon Press takes readers back to the dark side where pain is god and there is no escaping the approaching maul of doom. Any title these guys released is a great read, but for first-timers curious to try out the material of Eibon Press would be doing themselves a favor by starting out with Zombie, Gates of Hell, or House by the Cemetery

Faithfully adapting Fulci’s movies EP adds their own incredible talents of striking art and narrative to flesh out a broader lore found out of the source material. Luckily these guys are current and, unlike plenty of other horror comic publishers I could mention, are not out of print. You can log on to their website (click here I dare you) and find all these titles plus way more. They do not pay me to plug their stuff either. I pay them in fact. I’ve ordered comics, T-shirts, movies, and just everything from these guys. Honestly, they are the best horror comics out there. 

Tomie – Junji Ito

I’ve been wanting to talk about this guy for a while now. When I’ve re-read everything from Eibon Press I turn to Ito’s macabre manga. Again, this is someone I cannot get enough of. Every time I see a new Junji Ito title I can’t help myself and pick it up. His library is growing and it may feel daunting to know which title to start with though. 

I recommend Tomie, a weird story about a woman so damningly beautiful that men cannot stop themselves from falling in love with her. And the men who do fall in love with this enigmatic beauty are soon given over to an inexplicable need to murder her. And Tomie comes back again, and again, and again to ruin more lives and shatter more souls. 

I suppose one could call it a succubus story for how her beauty lures in lover’s hearts but it’s herself who lies in sawn-off pieces by the men whose hearts she’s captivated. The manga is phantasmal, eerie, and shocking. Considering how Tomie constantly is slain in many different ways you’ll find yourself sympathizing more with her killers who oddly seem to be the true victims of her wiles.

Now knowing this will not ruin the story for you though. There’s plenty of suspense and anxiety awaiting readers daring enough to pick this title up. I personally found myself dreading to turn the page because I knew something really, really unpleasant was waiting for me on the other side.

 If you find this your cup of tea you’ll want to try out even more of Junji Ito’s works. Not a one of them is bad and each broadens the writer/artist’s influence over modern horror. 

Junji Ito’s been a rising star for a while now.

Hope you all have a Happy Halloween!

Gators, Maniacs, and Cannibals: Top Ten Horror Movies From 1980

I’m straying from usual go-to form of doing these lists in milestone anniversary manner as last year’s shit show threw a machete in the machine; and I’m sure as hell not going to wait ten years to write it so here we go nuggets- Let’s talk about the year of our Horror Lord, 1980.

1980 begat the decade that brought us some of the most beloved horror classics and birthed an entirely new generation of fans with the Slasher enterprise. Although, many can argue over which horror franchise exactly started the slasher fiasco. Was it Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or Black Christmas? Technically I’d say all are right. However, I want to say Friday the 13th, which of course debuted in 1980, did really kick off the slasher sequel phenonium the best and set the gold standard for what a good, classic 80s’ cheesy-gorefest should look like; and keep you coming back for more.

1980 was also the grand year of Jamie Lee Curtis with who clocks in with a solid three films on this list. After her massive success in her debut with Halloween, she was a definitely a hot commodity in the genre bizz. And for some reason or another, cannibals seem to be the popular go-to this year with more than handful of films at our disposal in this ONE year alone that include Cannibal Holocaust, Eaten Alive!, and Long Island Cannibal Massacre.

I don’t know man, those are all great, but it’s all about the man-eating oversized alligator for this horror girl over here that gets me excited to write this up.

So let’s plundge into those delightful, swampy waters of horror’s best from 1980!

10. Motel Hell

Motel Hell doesn’t get a lot of credit for being one of the great satirical, dark horrors of it’s kind. So let’s rectify that bullshit right now. It’s my goofy, guilty pleasure of this list and by judging from the above image, why question it?

Motel Hell is like the Scary Stories books, bridging your way into that gateway of horror with enough gore while having a chuckle at the same time. Hell, even the entry from the books “Wonderful Sausage” kind of reminds me of this movie. Which might be why I love it so much. Now, if you are familiar with “Wonderful Sausage” that’s really all you need to know, but for those who need a little context: A pair of siblings run a motel attached to a farm, and specialize in selling some of the world’s finest sausages… I’m fairly certain you get it now.

9. Terror Train

Ahh, here we go. The first of the Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis 1980 trilogy begins with Terror Train. The premise is simple enough and formulaic as far as teenage slasher pictures are concerned. A gang of fraternity guys and sorority gals charter a train to party yet a revenge, seeking murderer that is traumatized by past events is on board waiting to cut them down one-by-one. So what makes this one so special?

Well, it’s on a train for one. Which is pretty cool in itself as there’s really no where to go but so it really prepares the victim to either fight, or throw yourself to your death off a 100 mph moving train. I mean, that’s pretty terrifying. Also it’s Jamie Lee vs another Masked Maniac. It’s pretty cool for what it is.

8. Maniac

Before there was Buffalo Bill, we had Frank Zito. And man, he knew how to induce the skivvies all too well.

Coming out of one of the most vicious decades of prolific crimes against women (Ted Bundy, Ed Kemper), MANIAC flies on those fears in a very grotesque yet satisfyingly manner. With Joe Spinall writing and starring in the title role as a madman serial killer who does unspeakable things to his women victims, most notably taking their scalps and parading it on some of his mannequin heads with his buddy, horror icon Tom Savani behind the special effects, Maniac is a tried and true entry not just for this decade; but for the entire genre alone as a stand-alone WTF-fest that will forever haunt us.

7. Cannibal Holocaust

Not for the faint of heart, Cannibal Holocaust ranks right up there as one of the most fucked up films of all time. People had no idea that what they were looking at was real or just fake. The power of found footage-style horror movies all began here folks. And it came in with a BANG.

Love it or hate it, the message is clear. It is undoubtedly, one of the most highly gruesome and shocking films of the twentieth century. But the catch is, it’s well written too with a purpose. If you can get past all the gore, rape, and death (and if you’ve never went down this film’s rabbit hole, I can’t stress this enough to proceed with caution as it could trigger some anxiety in some), especially the animal killing scenes as they killed REAL ANIMALS on the set. Which I want to also stress, do NOT condone and have never watched the film since learning it. However, it does have it place in the ranks for being a breakthrough movie in its own by placing the point on the viewers themselves. Hey if you haven’t seen it and you’re curious, watch at your own risk.

6. Alligator

Sometimes all we want in a horror film is giant, oversized homicidal animal wreaking havoc. Films like JAWS and King Kong have shown us the way and now enter a cult favorite: ALLIGATOR. While it may not be seen on an OSCAR level as the former mentioned, ( and I goddamn could care less) it packs a punch, erm, chomp as one of the great horror films of the decade that is severely under-appreciated.

A tale as old as time: The star here, Ramon the alligator, is bought for a little girl by her mother as a new pet. But the fuckhead father doesn’t want it around so poor Ramon is flushed down the toilet as a baby and this just breaks my heart. He survives in the sewers by eating dead rats leftover by a lab who were experimented on with growth hormones by some dickwad scientists. And hey, you guessed it: he gets good and goddamn HUGE and people start disappearing. And you know what I say? Screw ’em. Poor Ramon could have had a great life and this little guy gets flushed down a toilet no less and then mutates into a freak reptile. Bad humans. CHOMP, CHOMP.

5. Prom Night

The Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis is disco-dancing her way into the top five spot with the classic teen slasher, Prom Night. Much like in Terror Train above, the antagonist is fueled by revenge with the death of a girl bullied by her classmates. The kids responsible are now dancing the Bungalow at the Senior Prom by being picked off one by one. Also worth noting the late, great Leslie Neilson plays the High School Principal and throws a bit of mystery in the mix of this “who dunnit” mystery slasher epic.

The film is exactly what it’s supposed to be but so much more fun that it should be. Sort of like Sleepaway Camp– you just gotta love it and if you don’t, I don’t want to know you.

4. The Changeling

I might get some blowback for putting this one high above others. But eh, it’s my list so I’ll have my moment. The Changeling starring the forever fantastic George C. Scott is by far, one of the most beautifully done haunted house films done in the genre and I’ll proudly die on this hill,

Scott may have been the reason this movie is so good, and that’s ok. He plays a widowed man suffering from the loss of his family. He moves into a new home that is obviously got some spooky shit going on it; like the ghost of a boy who died in the home. He enlists the assistance of his realtor (Trish Van Devere, Scott’s real-life wife), and things go WOO-SAW from there. It’s tension driven and a real nail-biter. Again, probably one of the best haunted house movies ever done but hey, that’s just the humble opinion of a horror-retro fan blogger.

3. The Fog

And now we’ve come to the end of our JLC holy trinity with John Carpenter’s The Fog. Beyond the Halloween star’s presence, the film plays host to mega horror stars like Adrianne Barbeau, Hal Holbrook, Janet Leigh, and the man, the myth, the mustache, Tom Atkins. And to boot, is the most atmospheric, visionally appeasing piece done by Carpenter even ’till today along with its colorful cast.

A California coastal town prepares to commemorate its centenary when a host of supernatural shit starts to happen. Inanimate objects spring to life. We stumble upon a dark secret about the town’s founding. Then a mysterious iridescent fog descends upon the village, and more people start to die. It’s a real wild ride once it gets going and a fun one at that towards the end.

2. Friday the 13th

And for those wondering, Jason’s birthday is June 13th, 1946. Although it’s common knowledge now, I gloat in the fact I’ve known forever because Jason is my birthday twin, (don’t get it twisted though- I was born 40 years later). As a woman, I gotta hit that one home. Anyways, the first Friday the 13th began in 1980 and had a sequel every goddamn year in the decade- with each and every one charming us into a Voorhees hypnosis clamoring for more until the steam finally let out in the early 90s’ with that really weird Jason Goes To Hell flick. Yeah I know, some of you really probably love it and that’s totally ok. But it’s also fair to say the films lost their way and it was time for zombie Jason to take a breather.

As the Jason saga unfolded throughout the 80s’, the first movie in the beloved series is a stand-alone masterpiece. The only entry in the films to NOT have Jason as the maniac, but instead his mother. Sorry if I just spoiled it for any of you who haven’t seen it but at this point in the game, I don’t even know what to say to those that haven’t except WHAT IN THE FUCK and just click the link below to remedy that please. Sheesh.

1.The Shining

And to the surprise of no one, Stephen King’s The Shining adapted by Stanley Kubrick is of course going to be number one! And why not? It’s just about the perfect damn, film to just about everyone- well except Stephen King but goddammit it’s good enough for me.

Inspired by his stay at the Stanley Hotel, King wrote one of the scariest stories of his career about a severely haunted inn at the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Rocked by numerous ghouls and poltergeists, Jack (Nicholson) and family are selected to tend to the Overlook in the downtime winter months. This doesn’t bode well with Jack’s highly intuitive son, as he senses danger before they even get there. From creepy hacked up twin girls hanging out in hallways to blood-soaked elevators, The Shining is an experience and a rite of passage for every horror fan. You just haven’t peaked until it hits you in your eyeballs and gives you multiple panic attacks.

As always, sound off below and let me hear your favorite from this list or tell me what a loser I am and add your own! Pick your poison!

4K Restoration of “The Fog” Coming to Theaters For Halloween!

Merry early Halloween folks! A fully restored version of John Carpenter’s landmark horror gem, The Fog, is hitting theaters this October!

4K Restoration of "The Fog" Coming to Theaters For Halloween!

In its first-ever major restoration, John Carpenter’s THE FOG is back in a full 4K restoration from Studiocanal and opens October 26 for a limited run at the Metrograph in New York, Landmark’s Nuart in Los Angeles, and The Music Box Theatre in Chicago. Additional screenings will occur during the week of Halloween throughout the Alamo Drafthouse circuit and other specialty theaters.

Carpenter’s first post-Halloween venture into the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired, apocalyptic vein that he would continue to mine in films like The Thing (1982) and Prince of Darkness (1987), THE FOG depicts the seaside California town of Antonio Bay in the grips of an ancient curse and a creeping mist. Drenched in malevolent atmosphere and packing an ensemble cast that includes Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Hal Holbrook and the mother-daughter duo of Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis, this is the director at his ingenious, chilling best, servicing a contemporary taste for gore while simultaneously evoking the spirit of Val Lewton.   

Out of theatrical release for years due to faded, unplayable prints, THE FOG can now be viewed again as it was intended, with the restoration of its breathtaking color cinematography by Dean Cundey (Escape From New York, Back To The Future (I-III), Apollo 13, Romancing The Stone), who deftly captured both the daylight beauty of the Point Reyes shore and the ghostly goings-on in the dark, eerie night.

The Fog has been our most requested title for as long as we have handled the Studiocanal library here,” according to Eric Di Bernardo, Rialto’s director of sales. “It is Carpenter’s most visually alluring film and we think it’s been worth the wait.”

Founded in 1997 by Bruce Goldstein, Rialto Pictures brings the finest of world cinema to screens across North America. From new restorations of enduring classics such as Carol Reed’s The Third Man, Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion, and Akira Kurosawa’s Ran to genre mainstays like John Carpenter’s Escape From New York and Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2, Rialto Pictures offers an eclectic range of cinematic adventures appealing to any audience. Since 2012, Rialto Pictures has been the U.S. theatrical and non-theatrical representative of the Studiocanal library of over 2,000 international classics. Often featuring updated subtitles and renewed marketing materials, Rialto Pictures aims to engage moviegoers with cinematic history, preserve film culture, and highlight the continued relevance of classic stories through high-quality theatrical presentations.