This week in 1980, we have killer sailors, blood-thirsty cannibals, and some good old-fashioned body horror. First up, John Carpenter’s The Fog. It’s a seaside tale about the vengeful ghosts from a sunken ship, who come back in a glowing fog and claim the lives of townspeople. Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Loomis and John Carpenter reunite for this movie, along with Carpenter’s ex Adrienne Barbeau, who plays town dj and ultimate ghost-fighter Stevie Wayne. Janet Leigh also stars.
Cannibal Holocaust is a hilarious musical romp set in the Amazon. Kidding. But the Ruggero Deodato-directed Cannibal Holocaust is actually the original found footage film. The movie tells the story of a documentary crew sent to the rain forest to study and document indigenous tribes. The crew goes missing and all that’s recovered is their “anthropological” footage documenting highly-graphic scenes of death, dismemberment, sex, and cannibalism. All the good stuff. The film is notorious, and was banned in Italy after Deodato was accused of making a snuff film.
Finally, Videodrome. More body horror from Canada’s David Cronenberg. Videodrome has an interesting overlap with Cannibal Holocaust in that it deals with questions of morality, and the blurred lines of fact and fiction, in the context of film. James Woods plays the head of a small cable station that becomes obsessed with a channel featuring violence and torture. Soon he can’t tell whether he is watching snuff, or staged execution, and whether his hallucinations are in fact happening. Corporate control, the influence of mass-media, censorship, brain washing, and early-‘80s technological trends are all at play in the film.
Title: The Fog
Released: February 8, 1980
Tagline: What you can't see won't hurt you... it'll kill you!
Title: Cannibal Holocaust
Released: February 7, 1980
Tagline: Ripout! Barbeque! Devour! How long can you take it?
Released: February 4, 1983
Tagline: First it controlled her mind, then it destroyed her body... Long live the new flesh!