For a very long period of time, I didn't have cable TV. Though this rendered me woefully behind the curve in all the shows everyone just luffs to talk about, it certainly freed me up for things I consider far more important than being...uh, in the midst of the curve: namely, making stuff and watching movies. I don't have anything against television itself, necessarily- I mean, we all know that Dallas and Melrose Place have made this world a better place in which to spend time. It's just that for me, I feel my time is better spent for the most part far away from TV's hypnotic glow (and yes, I suppose you could call me some sort of hypocrite because after all I do watch movies...but you get my point. Why must you always point out my foibles? Huh? What's with you, man?).
In the new Super Secret Final Girl HQ, however, my roommate (aka CoHabiTaTor 3000) has insisted upon having cable in the house. I'm trying so very hard to ignore it, but I've made a startling discovery: cable is much easier to ignore when you simply don't have it. Go figure. As I'm trying to use it as sparingly as possible, I'm still ignorant about all the shows the kids watch nowadays...but you know where cable shines sometimes? The late-night movie, oh my yes. Fuck sleep! By staying up until all hours I've caught a wide variety of cinema, from the Val Lewton/Jacques Tourneur classic The Leopard Man to Bloodfist IV, V, and VIII (starring Don "The Dragon" Wilson, 'natch) to a movie I recorded but haven't watched yet because in my mind it's almost the perfect movie, but I'm sure the reality of it just won't compare to what I've imagined: Mind Over Murder, starring Tori Spelling as a telepathic, crime-investigating prosecutor.
Anyway, my point is that remake of The Fog is on in a while and I'm going to watch it. Oh, yes I am. And you're kinda going to watch it with me, because I'm going to write about it while I watch it. Yes, it'll be exactly as if we're watching it together, except I won't have to share my snacks with you. Forgive me if the rest of this post is weird, but that may be the price we all pay for innovation. Oh, and there's bound to be spoilers, so ye be warned!
See, you should know by now that I love the original film. We all know that the remake was panned by everybody. I didn't pay to see it in a theatre, and I won't pay to rent it...but damn, this is what late-night TV is for, ain't it? It won't cost me any money to see The Fog '05, but it very well might cost me my soul...and I'm taking you all with me! I'll see you in hell!
Alright, people...let's get it on. I give you...The New Fog Which Everyone Hates.
Aww, man. This was one of the last films Debra Hill produced before she died. That sucks for many, many reasons.
Instead of the creepy campfire tale opening of the original (which really sets a tone, you know?), we get...some boats on fire and some dudes in a rowboat rowing away. Then a hand pops up out of the water and pulls one of the dudes out of the boat...are the guys in the boats lepers? They don't look like lepers, although I can't say I've ever actually seen a leper. I just assume they're missing body parts, such as noses and ears and maybe a chin. Or do the lepers in The Fog '05 live under the water? I sure hope all my questions are answered!
Oh good...a loud modern rock track as we pan past Antonio Island...wait, there's Selma Blair's voice as Stevie Wayne- ugh. Is KAB a rock station now? These damn kids and their loud music! It's all just noise! And I KNOW I can't simply keep comparing this film to the original, but for the record: Selma Blair's voice is no Adrienne Barbeau's voice. And now Stevie's related to a Founding Father? Must...not...compare...films...............
We're 6 minutes in. Why the fuck are the credits still rolling?
There's Tom Welling, who seems to be the captain of a boat. We'll call him Captain Smallville. And there's...a black guy? A BLACK GUY? Umm, there were no black guys in the original film, fer chrissakes! Everyone knows there are no black people in Antonio Bay! GAWD.
That was a joke. See? It's just like we're hanging out.
Ohhhh...Captain Smallville is the Tom Atkins character. And he's boinked Stevie Wayne this go-round. This movie is suddenly making me feel very old. These damn kids and their loud music!
Uh oh. Some long-haired dude with a metal detector has found a pocketwatch which washed up on the beach. The music is indicating that I should be scared...ahh! A slimy hand has also washed up on the beach! I think it was a hand. Yes, let's call it a hand.
Birds are leaving Antonio Bay in huge flocks, and dogs are barking madly! And there's a dead...something on the dock! What the hell is that? It looks like a baby bear. Is there a baby bear on the dock? Here comes someone...oh, he's crying over the dead thing, but he doesn't indicate whether or not it's actually a bear. I'm going to assume it is. Mayhaps the circus is in town.
Oh, here's New Jamie Lee Curtis. She and Captain Smallville already know each other in That Special Way, it seems. You know, Captain Smallville has such nicely manicured fingernails for an old Salt O' the Sea...I wonder how he does it. Must be Palmolive!
Stevie Wayne plays house music. I.................
Metal Detector Dude gives New Jamie Lee Curtis the pocketwatch he found. It ticks! It ticks! OH GOD HELP US ALL, IT STILL TICKS!
New Charles Cyphers is telling Stevie Wayne about the big fat fog bank headed their way. But what about the kids partying on The Sea Grass? They're drunk and horny! They care not for the fog! Their carefree ways will be their ultimate undoing...their folly, if you will. HERE IT COMES!
Wow, that's some terrible CGI.
See! The fog enter the ventilation shafts of the boat! Cut! Away to a boring conversation between Captain Smallville and New Jamie Lee Curtis! Well done. Now we meet Father New Hal Holbrook- he's really drunk and really greasy and really sweaty. Oh wait, back to The Sea Grass.
OK, so the fog shows up and there's a ghost ship but then the ghost ship vanishes. One of the party girls does some automatic writing on a fogged-up window...look out, it's the scales of justice. That's so much more frightening than a piece of wood that proclaims "6 must die". Wait, never mind, I'm not comparing the films. OK, so...uh, everyone on The Sea Grass dies, I guess. The party girls get thrown through windows, Unnamed Guy gets stabbed in the eye (but this is PG-13 so it's not explicit), and The Black Guy is enveloped in the fog and he screams. So long, Sea Grass. So long, Black Guy.
Aww, New Jamie Lee Curtis doesn't get along with her mom. For shame. Now there's a smooth jazz-flavored shower sex scene between NJLC and Captain Smallville. Uh oh...someone's pounding on the door in a menacing fashion...no wait, New Jamie Lee Curtis only dreamt it. And she's also having flashbacks to the burning boats from the beginning of the film. Oh brother.
AND NOW SHE'S ON GOOGLE.
Oh fucking brother. AND THE GHOSTS JUST MADE HER COMPUTER SCREEN GO ALL CUCKOO CRAZY. Wait, now there really is someone banging on the door in a menacing fashion...but nothing happens. New Jamie Lee Curtis goes out onto the beach and sees a single set of footprints disappearing into the sea, as if that poem about God that you find on wooden plaques at the Hallmark store is unfolding all around her. And...there's the worst jump scare EVAR. Seriously, it was a horn blat pulled straight from Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill" as Capt. Smallville grabs NJLC's shoulder. The fog retreats!
There's Stevie Wayne's kid, Andy. He finds something on the beach and brings it home- it's...it's...a barnacle-covered hairbrush. It's a hairbrush. That's gross! Gross, but not scary. How's it going to transform into a warning sign? Is it going to brush Stevie's hair into a big swirling ponytail that reads "6 must die"? I hope so.
NJLC and Capt Smallville just took a boat out and found The Sea Grass. Then they found all the dead bodies, and I found myself laughing at the horrendously bad acting. Wow. And why is NJLC wearing a coat that's right outta Sergeant Fucking Pepper? Oh, The Black Guy is frozen...but umm, still alive. And now he's being blamed for all the other deaths. But have no fear! Capt Smallville has stolen some evidence- a videocamera- which might prove The Black Guy's innocence! Good job, Smallville. It's certainly best to keep something like that out of the hands of the police. Wait, NJLC is watching the footage...yup, it sure proves his innocence! WHOOPS! NJLC fell in the water and the camera is ruined. Aw dang. And now she can't get out for some reason...but oh! She has found a book or something behind some bricks in the wall and this movie fucking sucks. If the contents of that waterlogged book are legible after 100 years or however long it's been, I swear I'm punching this movie in the neck.
OK, crazy stuff is happening over at KAB! There's weird windchime sounds and pounding and her computer screen is going nuts and god help me the fucking hairbrush caught on fire. I repeat: the hairbrush caught on fire. Then the wall caught on fire. Then Stevie put the fire out and...and...there are tiny scales of justice burnt into the wall everywhere.
Who thought that was a good idea? Or even a remotely frightening one?
NJLC brought the book to Father New Hal Holbrook and it's all totally legible. Excuse me for a moment.
OK, so someone is spray painting the scales of justice on tombstones. SPRAY PAINTING. I can't...
NJLC is wandering around the morgue (don't ask) and the guy who got a knife in the eye and is dead gets up from the gurney...and he's fully-clothed...and his eye looks fine. He says "Blood for blood" and collapses to the floor. Meh. This is getting really really bad.
The fog just pulled Metal Detector Dude out to sea. And now it's enveloping Mrs Kobritz's house. OK, it's also enveloped the weather station and now New Charles Cyphers is gonna get it. Hey, finally a black figure in the f- oh, now it's gone. New Charles Cyphers dropped his lantern and set himself on fire. Now, somehow, he's flying through the air...you know, I don't think it should have been hard to update Carpenter's film and make it...ummm...scary. This blows. And so does Selma Blair. This is the only thing I've seen her in- is she always this bad? Or is it that the material is so awful? There's absolutely no tension here, and the fog itself doesn't seem like a threat whatsoever. And it's also pretty ridiculous for Stevie Wayne to get on the radio and say "This is an emergency! There's a fire at the weather station and New Charles Cyphers has been killed! Someone go and check on my son!" Selfish much, there, Stevie?
Ah, flashback...now there's some lepers. I spotted a missing lip!
Umm...so, Mrs Kobritz...you know, that scene in the original was so great- when she answered the slow knocks at the door and Andy was all scared and all the ghosts appeared and killed her. Well, I know I said I wouldn't compare, but...in the new version...Mrs Kobritz was doing dishes and a hand reached out from the sink and touched her and she...I don't know, was suddenly charred to death. All that matters here is that a hand reached out of the kitchen sink.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Stevie Wayne has left the lighthouse! She's driving to get her kid...wow, Selma Blair is dreadful. Oh, now some CGI fog has crept in through her airvents...oh! And she just got hit by a truck...over a cliff...and into the drink she goes! Please...I never thought I'd say this, but please...kill Stevie Wayne. Yay! Go, stupid CGI ghosts! Hold her under water! Almost there! Almost-- dammit! She escaped.
And Andy escaped some more stupid CGI fog ghosts thanks to Captain Smallville.
I can't...I can't even describe how ridiculous this is getting.
Lengthy flashback to Captain Blake and Company getting screwed over by the Founding Fathers. Everyone is gathered together in the Not A Church, and I'm desperately hoping this final siege will be brief. The ghosts are...see-through CGI. And they talk. And they set people on fire. And omigod NJLC is making out with the ghost of Captain Blake what the fuuuuuuuck? She turned into a ghost? Her ancestor was one of the lepers and so she made out with the ghost of Captain Blake and she turned into a ghost and the fog disappeared and that's it? SHE MADE OUT WITH CAPTAIN BLAKE AND SHE TURNED INTO A GHOST.
I really can't believe what I just saw. Were I speaking and not typing, I'd be speechless. But since I'm typing, I'll say that everyone who claimed this movie was a total suckfest was absolutely correct- and that has nothing to do with the fact that it's a remake and everything to do with the fact that it sucks. Fuck The Fog '05. Now get out of my house, I'm going to bed!