Director John Carpenter squeezed off a couple of TV projects straight after Halloween
in 1978, but this was the first return to the cinema. Today, nobody would tempt the creative
pigeonholing of doing another horror movie. Most would agree Carpenter nearly sank himself
off the coast of the film's lighthouse by doing so even back then. Thank goodness a few
better scripts subsequently came his way.
Even if the back-to-back of the film's genre doesn't rankle, the inevitable similarities
in his score must. "The Fog Theme" opens on a big keyboard crashes that should
have been a church organ, before an inverted "Halloween Theme" loops round and
around. And after the completely hokey "Prologue" narration from John Houseman,
neither the film nor the album is off to a particularly engaging start.
The music really didn't help the movie, as far this reviewer is concerned. Even if there
wasn't any specific intellectual or intuitive process behind the application of Carpenter's
(and Howarth's) style in Halloween, the repetitive electronics nonetheless suited it perfectly.
Being stalked in suburbia hadn't been done before, and therefore was open to musical definition.
Carpenter locked onto it straight away with what happened to be all he knew anyway.
The Fog on the other hand, was intended as an homage to the writer H.P. Lovecraft.
The film is at pains to depict itself as gothic horror. So tinkling, cyclic keyboards
really don't suit. As an example, track 6 ("The Fog") is essentially a variant
on Halloween's stalking theme, and by no means an improvement.
The thinking behind an expanded release of this album eludes me, but has one redeeming
curiosity value factor. An out-of-his-depth radio presenter interviews Jamie Lee Curtis,
and her wise-beyond-her-years answers are most illuminating.
Ian Lace says:-
I would just add though that synth scores are usually anathema for me but this one
is a lot better than most and it is certainly atmospheric and suggestive of cold swirling fogs.
John Houseman's opening narrative might be somewhat hokey but those mellifluous Houseman
tones are always a pleasure to listen to and my goodness how mature and sure of herself
the young Jamie Lee Curtis sounds in her interview. For me these two spoken tracks are
the stand-out items on this release.