Tracking down The Fog, John Carpenter (1980)

This is part of my California Road Trip (September – October 2010).

pacific-highway-near-santa-cruz

pacific-highway-near-santa-cruz

 

Back in our initial day or so in San Francisco area, with my good friend Adam, cruising around Marin and Point Reyes Station, and Bolinas, I’d had this eerie vibe of familiarity.

adz-and-british-sci-fi-dark-fantasy-author-david-j-rodger-in-reyes-point-station-california

Adz and Djr – we’ve known each other for nearly 30 years now

I then learned that the area had been used as locations for one of my all time favourite horror films, John Carpenter’s The Fog. I grew up with this film. This film was like a character / friend from my childhood. To have the chance to visit locations that were indellibly impressed upon the formative parts of my imagination, was like a dream come true! Back in Mammoth Lakes, in the Quality Inn, whilst using the Internet machine in the hotel lobby and checking over my shoulder for bears using the elevator to come up from the garage, I used IMDB and other websites to find out what locations I could visit without breaking the itinerary that had been so well planned (Salem’s Lot was already 4 hours beyond my reach, d’arrrrgh).

David J Rodger in Sonoma California

David J Rodger in Sonoma California

 

 

After leaving Calistoga, driving down the Napa Valley and back up through Sonoma Valley, we follow the Russian River to the coast. The temp drops from 104F to 56F in the space of 10 miles. It’s a bleak, surreal and spooky shift.

between-jenner-and-bodega-bay

between-jenner-and-bodega-bay photo David J Rodger

 

 

One of the most eerie things was the sound. This vast ocean, muffled by the dense fog, like some partially concealed beast that might abruptly decide to become less docile and, perhaps, something bad might happen to you. At any moment. That was the sensation. Of ever-present and impending danger.

bodega-bay-california-like-a-scene-from-john-carpenters-movie-the-fog-1980

bodega-bay-California photo David J Rodger

 

And like a scene from the film, the Fog came rolling in.

point-reyes-like-a-scene-from-john-carpenters-movie-the-fog-1980

Photo David J Rodger

 

So… this is a view you’ll see in the film. I know it well.

Scene from The Fog (1980)

 

point-reyes-lighthouse-like-a-scene-from-john-carpenters-movie-the-fog-1980

Steep steps leading down to Point Reyes Lighthouse – photo David J Rodger

It seemed to take for-fekking-ever to get here. After getting through Point Reyes Station, you loop onto Francis Drake Blvd for about 20 miles… through some of the most bleak and inhospitable looking moorland I’ve ever seen. It was really grim getting here. Then parking up… then walking the final 1/2 mile or so… and finally, finally turning a corner and being able to look down these steps with my own eyes, after knowing this view for 30 years merely as an iconic horror scene….

Scene from The Fog (1980)

 

 

Zombie doorway. This is where Stevie Wayne “Your Nightlight” would enter the lighthouse to start work in her little radio station, and, later, where a fog shrouded zombie would smash through….

Scene from The Fog (1980)

Scene from The Fog (1980)

 

Point Reyes Lighthouse used in John Carpenter's horror movie The Fog (1980) photo by David J Rodger

Point Reyes Lighthouse photo by David J Rodger

 

 

On Highway #1

The Fog, it seemed, didn’t want to let us go. It crept and seeped over the mountains after us. Surreal and beautiful.

on-highway-1-chased-by-the-fog

on-highway-1-chased-by-the-fog – photo David J Rodger

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Videos

First glimpse of the fog, at Jenner

Walking in the footsteps of Stevie Wayne, your nightlight on K.A.B Radio

Approaching the lighthouse

Walking towards the zombie door, and around lighthouse.

The Fog creeps across the road in front of me

That’s all folks. I hope you enjoyed these glimpses as much as I did having the experience of being there.  It’s a lot of effort to get out there but totally worth it. If you’re ever in San Francisco, give yourself five hours, head north and you can do it.

 


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8 thoughts on “Tracking down The Fog, John Carpenter (1980)

  1. @ Floyd – thanks for the compliment sir.
    @ Storm – hey you! *beams a smile* Fab experience all round. Great trip but yeah, to actually get to be there, at the lighthouse, wicked feeling.

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