Please welcome Derrick Kinnison to 2016’s Halloween Horrors!
Derrick contacted me out of the blue to claim John Carpenter’s “The Fog” as his project for this series. His excitement to join in and to discuss his love for this film was immediately evident even before his piece was actually submitted. That same level of excitement and devotion to his topic emanate from every word in the following piece. Derrick’s entry is a perfect example of what this series is all about. He gives a couple of examples of why this particular film means so much to him, as well as why it’s become a Halloween staple that he must revisit each year.
“It’s 11:55 . . . almost midnight. Enough time for one more story. One more story before twelve, just to keep us warm.”
And it was these very words that brightened my attention when first viewing what would become one of my favorite horror films. In fact, every time I watch this movie, no matter what time of the year it is, it always reminds me of the first time that I had watched it… being that the time was, in fact, on Halloween when I was just a kid.
I had actually finished up with my Trick r’ Treating early, which was actually quite normal for me as I would dedicate most of my Halloween night to a full-blown marathon of horror movies! And so, before I headed home, I went to our local grocery store. Inside, tucked way in the far back corner, they had a small rental. As long as the movies were not a “new release”, you could rent each choice for .99 cents and get a second for free!
It was among these movie selections that one in particular stood out to me. Knowing all too well that the woman, bracing herself at the door, holding back from whatever evil lurked from beyond, was again a Miss Jamie Lee Curtis from another well-known favorite . . . as we all know, the infamous Halloween. What attracted me more about the cover of this particular movie, was the ghastly hand that was reaching for the terrified heroine. At that instant, I knew that I had to have this movie for my yearly Halloween horror marathon. And so, I, this eager kid who was barely in his teens rushed to the counter and paid for my movies and, in an instant, rushed home!
I couldn’t get myself home quick enough for what was to be one of the best marathons I would have in store for myself. If I can remember right, that night I had actually acquired a total of six movies! I had my bucket full of candy, I had my Cokes, and yes, I even had a fresh pot of coffee as I was determined to watch every last one of those movies that I had rented for myself. The night was to be filled with terror, and by-god, I was going to make the best of it.
If I can remember correctly, the few titles that I can recall, naming at least three, were obviously: The Fog, Pumpkinhead, and of course . . . Halloween.
Never having seen The Fog, this was the obvious choice to begin with. From the beginning to the end, I was in complete fascination! Everything from the beginning of the tale to be told around the campfire, leading me to question, wondering if this was just a ghost story told around a campfire. The story lead me in so many different ways, I had the option to choose however I pleased.
I think, at the time, when I was young, it had been Tom Atkins that became one of my most treasured Horror Movie Heroes. Just to name a few films: Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Night of the Creeps, (another Halloween movie favorite) Maniac Cop, Creepshow, and so on. It was Tom (“Nick Castle”) that I watched with great awe as I had wished that one day that I could be like him and have the same nightmarish adventures that he had played so well in his horror films. And yet to this day, being a father, I feel that I have managed that goal as I have shared The Fog and many other titles from Tom Atkins with my son and have had those adventures, just as I had hoped.
On a specific note, I have an actual experience of role-playing to a certain scene in this film, one that matches almost identical. In my teen years, I used to wax the floors at a local gas station around midnight, obviously after closing. I can remember one night as I was sweeping the floors that I had just-so-happened to pass the cooler section that contained various drinks. One of those drinks in particular was . . . yep, you guessed it… a small bottle of orange juice! It was so nostalgic that I could not pass up the grand opportunity to live out a scene from this favorite of mine. Just like in the movie, I took it from the shelf of the cooler, took a drink, and sure enough, put the bottle back on the shelf and continued with my sweeping and waxing of the floors.
Every Halloween, (and obviously April 21st) or whenever the mood strikes me, which it usually does… this film has never lost its charm with me. And as I can safely say to everyone, The Fog is definitely our kick-start movie to our Halloween Horror Marathon! The subtle scares, to the complete innocence of this golden classic. Watching this film unfold before my eyes every time, it’s like it’s the first time watching it all over again.
In order to end this piece, I only feel that it’s proper to leave everyone with a subtle treat… a quote from our heroine, Stevie Wayne:
“I don’t know what happened to Antonio Bay tonight. Something came out of the fog and tried to destroy us. In one moment, it vanished. But if this has been anything but a nightmare, and if we don’t wake up to find ourselves safe in our beds, it could come again. To the ships at sea who can hear my voice, look across the water, into the darkness . . . look for the fog.”