Don't swindle a leper colony. They'll win in the end, if not now, a hundred years from now. That's the lesson I took from 1980's The Fog, an entertainingly ghoulish and fairly atmospheric horror film.
I think this is the first movie I've seen starring Tom Atkins and more than anything I was impressed by the size of his face. He has a really big face.
He plays Nick Castle, a fisherman who leads the investigation into the mysterious glowing fog rolling in off the sea in a fictional northern Californian town called Antonio. It claims the lives of three of Nick's colleagues who, getting drunk in their trawler one night, are surprised by an old clipper with ragged sails. Men shrouded by bandages come aboard to slaughter them with sabres.
I liked some of the more mysterious aspects of the story, like Adrienne Barbeau's kid finding an old gold coin on the beach that turns into a piece of driftwood with the word "Dane" written on it.
Barbeau and Jamie Lee Curtis get top billing so it's a little frustrating that Tom Atkins seems to be in charge of everyone. Jamie Lee Curtis seems to just be there to be held by him. Barbeau plays a DJ who works at the top of a lighthouse and she uses the airwaves to warn people of the fog.
Also in the film is Janet Leigh, organiser of an increasingly ironic centennial celebration. A film with three female stars, it would have been nice if they were calling the shots.