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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "John Carpenter's The Fog" )

 

directed by John Carpenter
USA 1980

 

Following the phenomenal box-office success of his seminal horror classic Halloween, director John Carpenter teamed up with producer Debra Hill for a second independent horror project, this time in the mode of an old-fashioned ghost story. The end result was The Fog, a spooky romp about a dark secret that returns to haunt the Pacific fishing community of Antonio Bay on the 100th anniversary of the town's charter. Carpenter sets the mood in the film's prologue, which features grizzled old sea salt Mr. Machen (John Houseman) spinning ghost stories for a group of local children. For his final tale, he recounts the legend of the Elizabeth Dane -- a ship which crashed 100 years ago against the very rocks upon which the children are sitting. Meanwhile, as the clock strikes midnight on the fateful anniversary of that disaster, eerie phenomena begin to plague the town as a dense fog bank creeps toward the bay. Seeming to appear from nowhere and emitting a ghostly glow, the fog surrounds a small trawler filled with drunken fishermen, who glimpse the vague outline of a decrepit sailing vessel before being brutally killed by shadowy figures brandishing hooks and swords. That morning, news of their disappearance is relayed to the town by Stevie Wayne (Adrienne Barbeau), owner and operator of the local radio station. The news reaches the wife of one of the fishermen, city councilwoman Kathy Williams (Janet Leigh) and local boy Nick Castle (Tom Atkins), who takes a trip out to the abandoned boat to investigate, accompanied by teenage drifter Elizabeth Solley (Jamie Lee Curtis). As the day progresses, a grim series of events paints a decidedly unpleasant picture of Antonio Bay's founders, and foreshadows the ghostly retribution that awaits the town's present-day residents. When Mrs. Williams visits local priest Fr. Malone (Hal Holbrook) about a benediction for that night's centennial ceremony, he relates a ghastly tale discovered in his grandfather's journal, which details the town fathers' decision to murder a group of lepers who had planned to build a commune outside of Antonio Bay. Just as the night's proceedings are haunted by the horrors of the past, the ghosts of the murdered dead have returned to seek symbolic revenge by claiming the lives of six townspeople, arriving amid the ominous fog bank which has completely engulfed Antonio Bay. Carpenter reportedly shot and inserted additional gory scenes after the original 'PG' cut failed to impress preview audiences.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 18 May 1955 (USA)

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Comparison:

Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Shout! Factory "Collector's Edition" Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  LEFT vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

Box Cover

 

Distribution Optimum Releasing- Region FREE - Blu-ray Shout! Factory Collector's Edition- Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:29:34.410 1:29:37.246 
Video

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 17,275,089,796 bytes

Feature: 16,715,114,496 bytes

Codec: VC-1 Video

Total Video Bitrate: 16.84 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,715,470,964 bytes

Feature: 27,380,023,296 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate UK Blu-ray

Bitrate US Blu-ray

Audio DTS-HD Master Audio English 1980 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1980 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD High-Res Audio German 2046 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2046 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD High-Res Audio French 2046 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2046 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3072 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3072 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1698 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1698 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1594 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1594 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1624 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1624 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, Danish, German, French, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Finnish, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Optimum Releasing

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 17,275,089,796 bytes

Feature: 16,715,114,496 bytes

Codec: VC-1 Video

Total Video Bitrate: 16.84 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• Video Configuration
• Audio Configuration

Blu-ray Release Date: August 4th, 2008
Standard (UK) Thick
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Shout! Factory

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,715,470,964 bytes

Feature: 27,380,023,296 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary with John Carpenter and Producer Debra Hill
• Audio Commentary with Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, and production designer Tommy Lee Wallace
• My Time With Terror - Interview with Jamie Lee Curtis (21:46)
• Dean of Darkness with Dean Cundey (18:41)
• Fear on Film: Inside the Fog (7:42)
• Tales From The Mist: Inside The Fog (27:58)
• The Fog: Storyboard to Film (1:27)
• Horror's Hallowed Ground - A Look at the Film's Locations (20:22)

Outtakes (4:10)

Special Effects Tests (2:39)

• Theatrical Trailers (4:34)

• TV Spots (3:05)

• Photo Gallery (8:02)

Storyboards (2:18)

Blu-ray Release Date: July 30th, 2013
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 15

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

It's hard to believe that the Optimum Releasing Blu-ray (as Studio Canal licensor) is already almost 5 years old. It looks significantly boosted in comparison to the new Shout! Factory "Collector's Edition" Blu-ray. Both are 1080P but the European edition utilizes the VC-1 encode where the US package uses the AVC. The boosting looks quite flagrant when seen beside the sharper "Collector's Edition" Blu-ray transfer. the UK release also has information cropped in the right edge (and less noticeable on the top, bottom sand left edges of the frame.) At almost double the bitrate - it is not much of a competition. The region 'A'-locked disc is darker without noise and has vastly layered contrast by comparison. Colors also look superior on the Shout! Factory disc - richer and more true (ex. Barbeau's maroon sweater).

NOTE: The Optimum - while labeled 'Region B' is actually a region FREE Blu-ray.

The Optimum has a lossless 5.1 score with two foreign language DUBs as options and a host of European subtitles including English. The US disc also offers the original 2.0 channel stereo - also in DTS-HD Master. There are optional English only subtitles and the Blu-ray disc from Shout! Factory is coded for region 'A'. John Carpenter did the score himself and it plays very well beside the film - accentuating tension and suspense or infrequent small town mystery of Antonio Bay. It is transferred on the Shout! Factory in a more robust surround which has some crisper separations and deeper bass.

Optimum has only an audio + video configuration extra feature where the Shout! Factory supply two audio commentaries - the first with John Carpenter and Producer Debra Hill and the second with Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, and production designer Tommy Lee Wallace. There are also newly produced featurettes - My Time With Terror is a 21-minute interview with Jamie Lee Curtis reflecting on the start of her career with the horror genre and Carpenter. The 'Dean of Darkness' has Dean Cundey - the Director of Photography for The Fog. It runs an educational 19-minutes. Fear on Film: Inside the Fog is an 8-minute piece but more revealing is the 1/2 hour Tales From The Mist: Inside The Fog with many of the participants giving input. The Fog: Storyboard to Film briefly shows some of the storyboarding while Horror's Hallowed Ground revisits the Film's Locations for more then 20-minutes. There are also 4-minutes of Outtakes, some Special Effects Tests, Trailers, TV Spots, a Photo Gallery and another look at the Storyboards.

It's a pretty obvious choice and being so stacked and with a solid a/v transfer the Shout! Factory is the definitive edition. Carpenter fans will be very pleased with the Blu-ray. A fabulously crafted horror that we can finally recommend on Blu-ray. Cheers to Shout! Factory.

 - Gary Tooze

 


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Screen Captures

 

Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 



Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Optimum Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP vs. Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Box Cover

 

Distribution Optimum Releasing- Region FREE - Blu-ray Shout! Factory Collector's Edition- Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


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