Yes, you guessed it – more mini reviews of scary movies for the month of October. As always Halloween is a big deal at the Virtual Hot Tub; we’ve started watching horror films already. And why not? Seeing as there’s already Christmas stuff in the shops, I want to (in the words of Alice Cooper) keep Halloween alive…
The Fog (1980)
The town of Antonio Bay is about to celebrate the one hundred year anniversary of its founding. Yet the towns folk don’t know that their home was built with gold stolen from a ship that was deliberately wrecked. The fog rolls in and the ghostly crew return, to seek revenge against those who conspired against them all those years ago.
John Carpenter created another horror classic with this film. Although knocking on a bit, this movie still has some jumps, some gore and oodles of atmosphere. The concept itself is great, and executed superbly as the fog – and the gruesome undead – take over the small town.
There’s not much character development or background, but decent performances from Jamie Lee Curtis and her mum, Janet Leigh. Not to mention Adrienne Barbeau as honey voiced DJ Stevie; watching helplessly from a lighthouse as the mist creeps in towards her home in the distance, her young son waiting…
I hadn’t seen this film for a few years, and forgotten a lot of the detail. It was refreshing to view it again and appreciate just how good it is. Not quite up there with The Thing or Halloween, but definitely another cracker from Carpenter. The Fog is worth your time.
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Universal unleashed their last classic monster on the silver screen with this gem. Originally filmed as a 3D feature, Creature from the Black Lagoon gives us the first appearance of the iconic Gill Man. This genuine old school monochrome piece of art has it all – adventure, mystery, murder and mayhem.
A team of scientists in the Amazon discover some strange fossils, and explore a remote lagoon to learn more. There they encounter the Creature of the title, a long lost evolutionary throw back – a fish man from another time. The expedition’s encounter leads to an attempt to capture the Gill Man, who has developed a crush on the sole female in their team (Julie Adams). The scientific interlopers are bumped off one by one, the tables are turned and the Gill Man claims his prize…
This movie really is a blast from the past. The story is gripping and retains the viewers attention throughout. Some of the sequences are still very creepy, in particular when the Creature is gliding through the water, observing but unseen by the swimming girl above. It’s these scenes where the humans are out of their natural element, and in the domain of their nemesis, that still hold the most power.
If you’re a fan of monster movies, like me, then you must see this film (if you haven’t already). The Creature from the Black Lagoon has cool photography, is well written, and has that brilliant creature design. It’s B-movie heaven.