141st Anniversary, Adrienne Barbeau, Alfred Hitchcock, Antonio Bay, April 21, April 21st, Father Malone, Ghost Story, Ghosts, Hal Holbrook, Halloween, horror films, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, John Carpenter, John Houseman, Psycho, Seagrass, Stevie Wayne, The 21st of April, The Fog, Tom Atkins, vengeful ghosts
Eleven fifty-five, almost midnight, enough time for one more story…one more story before twelve, just to keep us warm. In five minutes, it will be the 21st of April…
These chilling words are the opening lines of dialogue from a horror film that shares this important date with us today.
Below is a slightly edited repost of a post I did a few years ago about today’s date and its significance in the realm of horror films.
Original post (edited):
Oddly, I’m not a big horror movie fan. Even though I enjoy writing in the horror and mystery genres, when it comes to film my personal movie collection is heavy with science fiction, fantasy, adventure, and comedy rather than horror. The Fog is one of my all time favorite horror movies (the original 1980 film directed by John Carpenter). The plot is simple yet effective and harkens back to a nostalgic time of storytelling when ghost stories didn’t have to be gory or excessively violent to be frightening. Sure, there is some violence in the film, but it isn’t very bloody or overt like many of the horror films and TV shows of today, although, the film is loaded with lots of shocks and stingers that definitely get your attention. They are the kind of scares that happen really quick, make you scream or jump, and then make you laugh at yourself afterward. I won’t go into detail about the story because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who has never seen the film before. The Fog inspires and encourages me to write scary stories that emphasize the old cliché, “Less is more.”
The Fog is pretty tame by current standards. After all, it’s over forty years old! If you prefer your horror served up with gratuitous amounts of blood, gore, and sex, then The Fog may not be for you. However, if you enjoy clever, old school, spooky, sit-around-the-campfire ghost stories, then you might find it entertaining. It’s a fun film to watch while curled up on the sofa with your favorite snack or main squeeze.
There are also a couple of personal reasons why I like The Fog. I was a radio DJ/announcer for a few years when I lived in Louisiana, and briefly when I later lived in Florida. The “Stevie Wayne” connection is something I can relate to. Stevie Wayne is basically the main character of the film. She is portrayed by Adrienne Barbeau. She’s a single mom raising her son in a sleepy, yet somewhat charming little seaside town (Antonio Bay, California). Stevie recently bought a radio station atop the town lighthouse that overlooks the Pacific. A good portion of the film takes place in and around the lighthouse/radio station. I can relate to the tasks and responsibilities that Stevie has to contend with like the ever watchful and unforgiving demands of the clock, and time, that dictate a DJ’s every move and word while on the air.