The Fog

A  bunch of  kids are sitting around a campfire enjoying stories from an old seamen, but as the witching hour closes in, Machen (Houseman) knows he has time for one last chilling tale.  The story tells of  tragedy that occurred 100 years ago to the day.  As a wayward ship was looking for a place to dock, a strange fog was settling in on the bay.  In the distance a flicker of light cut through the haze drawing the ship towards the shore, but this beacon only sent her crashing into the rocks below. As she and her crew lie at the bottom of the sea, the legend ends with a warning of her pending return.

Meanwhile, Antonio Bay's is preparing to celebrate it's centennial, but late the night before, a strange, glowing  fog begins to roll in, bringing with it a haunting presence.  Glass shatter, lights flash, and shadowy figures appear out of the mist seeking revenge. Up at the old church, Father Malone (Hal Halbrooke) discovers his grandfather's journal.  It details the betrayal of  "The Elizabeth Dane", a ship carrying a colony of lepers. 

The following night while doing her radio, the ever sexy Stevie Wayne  (Adrienne Barbeau) notices the same glowing fog heading back towards shore and the engulfing town.  She broadcasts out a chilling call for help about the fog telling everyone to head up to the old church. The final battle is to played out in the sanctity of this holy place. Wayne's last line, "...look for the fog...", echoes out a similar warning as heard in  "The Thing From Another World", "Watch the skies." Rent this classic.

The Fog


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1979

This was John Carpenter's follow-up feature film after the successful  "Halloween". Between "Halloween" and "The Fog", he had done the TV movie "Elvis" with Kurt Russell. The overall effectiveness of  this film flows from the creepy atmosphere achieved with the direction of  Carpenter and   the cinematography of Dean Cundey ("Halloween", "Escape from New York", "Halloween II" and "The Thing"). Carpenter's  eerie score, a trademark of many his films, propels the film even further in providing a good scare.  This is classic John Carpenter.

 

The Shining

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), a beleaguered writer and recovering alcoholic, has just secured a seasonal position as the caretaker for the Overlook Hotel. Seems like a cake job. You get to spend all winter snowed (cooped up) in a big hotel with all the food, space, and fun you can enjoy. No guests to fool with (yeah right) and just a little up keep of the grounds and building. There will be plenty of time to work on your book and of course, slaughter your family.

So along with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and their boy Danny (Danny Lloyd), the Torrances head off to enjoy a little family bonding at the old Overlook Hotel. Oh...I forget to mention that Danny is bringing along his imaginary friend

Tony, the little boy who lives in the back of his mouth and helps him to see things that aren't suppose to be there. "The Shining" allows Danny to see the past, present, and future digressions of the Overlook. It's haunting existence becomes quite evident as he witnesses the death and destruction that has come to called this place home. An evil that is looking to add three new guest...permanently. REDRUM REDRUM!!!!!

The Shining

 
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The Shining

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1980

Slowly this evil begins to wear down Jack's defenses as the winter snow falls driving him to the brink of insanity. It is so easy to hit a man when he is down as Jack is re-introduced to an old, dear friend..... booze. When Wendy stumbles upon Jack's next bestseller, "All work and no play...." she know that it is time to get Danny the hell out of there. But it seems that the Hotel won't make that easy. Directed by the ghostly apparition of Grady, the former caretaker who chopped up his family, Jack heads out to correct his little problem. Here's Johnny!!!!!  Axe blows and one liners fly as Jack chops his way towards the film's chilling conclusion. Will the Overlook be checking in three new guest or will the maze be the place for ultimate checkout??? Rent this classic.

 

The Changeling

The movie begins with a rather heartbreaking scene in which John (George C. Scott) watches his wife and child killed in a horrible car accident. Seeking solitude, and a place to compose his piano music, he contacts the Historical Society about renting an old furnished home. The house is magnificent, and reminded me of the Addam’s Family mansion in a way.

Almost immediately, John begins to notice things which he cannot account for. A horrible banging noise that permeates the household at precisely 6:00 AM. A child’s rubber ball which belonged to his daughter that goes bouncing down the stairway of it’s own accord. He happens upon a boarded-up room in the attic one day and finds a child’s schoolbook and wheelchair, and begins to formulate his own theories about what might be trying to contact him, and why. And as the events escalate and become more terrifying, John realizes his theories are not all that far off.

The Changeling

 
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1980

Nothing stirs the soul like a good old-fashioned ghost story, and that is precisely what “The Changeling” gives us. We have all the elements: the huge, deserted old house; the lonely old man; the things that go bump in the night. Those seeking non-stop excitement and splatter may want to look elsewhere, because as far as I could tell not one drop of gore is spilled throughout the whole movie. But therein lies the genius of this movie, that it does not need special effects and gore to tell the story of a heartbreaking, (somewhat) modern haunted house and a kind man who, rather than immediately trying to exorcise the tormented spirit, instead looks for ways that he can finally put it at rest. Guest Contributor....flynne sybylle throat.

 

House by the Cementery

A  professor (Paolo Marco), is joined by his wife ( Lucy...Catriona MacColl) and their  young son, as he heads up to an old New England house  to complete a project.  This old house has a sinister past. Mostly recently the good professor's colleague Dr. Peterson killed his mistress  and later committed suicide while doing research there.  All the while, young Bob (Giovanni Frezza) receives warnings from a little girl (Mae...Silvia Collatina) about their new home.

As the family settles into their new surroundings, Lucy starts to struggle with her sanity as strange things begin happening around her. A haunting noise, similar to that of crying child, can be heard emanating from the cellar, which mysteriously has been boarded shut. As Dr. Boyle continues to look deeper into Peterson's research, he finds evidence that point to an evil surgeon, a Dr. Freudstein, who inhabited the same house 150 years earlier. He had been condemned for bizarre surgical experiments in his time, but what does Freudstein have to do with Peterson's macabre demise???   

True evil is finally released as the babysitter (Ania Pieroni) removes the boards from the cellar door. The gore flows heavily and freely as Freudstein struggles to keep himself alive after 150 years in his search for human body parts. Will the cemetery by the house be getting fuller??? 

The House by the Cemetery

 
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1981

The film definitely borrows heavily from the theme of the "The Shining" : a house notorious for death, a young boy who can speak with ghosts, and a man whom everyone believes has been there before. But Lucio Fulci was able to add in enough of his  own style to deliver a chilling tale that we should all celebrate.  This film also marked  the end of the Fulci/ Fabrizio de Angelis collaboration ("Zombie", "City of the Living Dead" (aka "Gates of Hell"), "The Beyond", and "NY Ripper"). This period definitely marked the peak of Fulci's career, one unmatched by any other Italian director of his era. Lucio was and, in my mind, still is the "Italian King of Horror".

 

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