As far as hor­ror fans are con­cerned, there is always room for more extras on a spe­cial edi­tion. Scream Factory sub­scribes to that cre­do and has done well with their reis­sues of titles that already had spe­cial edi­tions, being care­ful to pre­serve the famil­iar extras from those sets while adding new ones to fur­ther enhance their val­ue. Their ver­sions of From Beyond and The Howling reflect this — and they’ve done it again with their new blu-ray of The Fog, which pre­serves the strong extras from the old MGM DVD while adding plen­ty of worth­while new extras and excel­lent A/V qual­i­ty.

For starters, this set boasts a new HD trans­fer that was super­vised by the film’s cin­e­matog­ra­pher, Dean Cundey. The Fog is a dif­fi­cult film to present on video for a num­ber of rea­sons: there’s a lot of stark­ly-lit night pho­tog­ra­phy, exten­sive use of fog and sce­nes shot through soft fil­ters. This new trans­fer man­ages to rise to all the chal­lenges, deliv­er­ing a vivid lev­el of detail and rich yet nat­u­ral col­ors. Black lev­els also look quite good dur­ing the night­time shots. Overall image qual­i­ty is very impres­sive and eas­i­ly the best this film has ever looked on home video.

In terms of audio, both 2.0 mono and 5.1 stereo remix options are offered, both loss­less. The stereo option was lis­tened to for this review and it opens up the sound in a nice, nat­u­ral way: sur­round effects are sub­tle and spar­ing but very effec­tive and the analog syn­th score gets a new depth as its tex­tures are spread out to fill the sound­scape. The results are immer­sive with­out feel­ing syn­thet­ic.

The extras begin with a vin­tage com­men­tary track fea­tur­ing co-writer/director John Carpenter and co-writer/producer Debra Hill. Fans will be hap­py that it was car­ried over because it is an excel­lent, high­ly infor­ma­tive track. Carpenter and Hill estab­lish a few themes ear­ly on — name­ly, that they improved the film by doing reshoots and it was a project that was “made” in the edit­ing room — and then do a scene-by-scene analy­sis that backs those argu­ments up.

Filmmakers will be pleased with the high lev­el of tech­ni­cal detail: they cov­er the elab­o­rate mix­ture of loca­tions and sets (sev­er­al sce­nes requir­ing the use of both) as well as the moti­va­tion behind par­tic­u­lar choic­es in cam­er­a­work and edit­ing. There is also mate­ri­al on the chal­lenges of doing such an ambi­tious film on just over a mil­lion dol­lars, includ­ing how the shoot was sched­uled around the avail­abil­i­ty of par­tic­u­lar actors and how the film­mak­ers did most the film’s visu­al effects them­selves. The result­ing track is as edu­ca­tion­al as it is enter­tain­ing.

Scream Factory has also includ­ed a new com­men­tary track: this one fea­tur­ing actors Tom Atkins and Adrienne Barbeau, editor/production design­er Tommy Lee Wallace and Sean Clark from Horror’s Hallowed Grounds as mod­er­a­tor. Wallace is the MVP here, offer­ing exten­sive infor­ma­tion on the par­tic­u­lars behind the var­i­ous reshot sce­nes. Barbeau and Atkins offer some anec­dotes from the actor’s per­spec­tive, with Barbeau also adding some unique per­spec­tive on her roman­tic rela­tion­ship with Carpenter. Clark is gen­tle in his mod­er­at­ing, just ask­ing the occa­sion­al ques­tion to direct the con­ver­sa­tion and also offer­ing some fac­toids about the loca­tions. All in all, a solid track and a nice sup­ple­ment to the Carpenter/Hill com­men­tary.

There are no less than five fea­turettes about the film on this disc, includ­ing both fea­turettes that appeared on the MGM DVD plus three new items cre­at­ed for this disc. “Fear On Film” is a vin­tage EPK, around 8 min­utes in length, that includes Carpenter, Hill and sev­er­al actors dis­cussing the film. Both Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis pop up here and it’s fun to hear them voic­ing their thoughts on the appeals of hor­ror and sus­pense.

Tales From The Mist” is a half-hour ret­ro­spec­tive fea­turet­te orig­i­nal­ly done for the MGM DVD. It’s a clas­sic DVD-era fea­turet­te that inter­views mul­ti­ple peo­ple involved in the film — Carpenter, Hill, Wallace, Dean Cundey, Leigh, Barbeau, etc. — and cov­ers all phas­es of the film’s his­to­ry. As in their com­men­tary, Carpenter and Hill reveal how the film became an impor­tant learn­ing expe­ri­ence about sto­ry­telling when they had to “make” it twice. There is also a lot of excel­lent info about how Cundey used the cam­era to enhance both sus­pense and pro­duc­tion val­ue as well as dis­cus­sion of the sim­ple but effec­tive meth­ods used for the film’s many spe­cial visu­al effects. This piece was direct­ed by Jeffrey Schwarz of Spine Tingler fame and offers a slick, enter­tain­ing text­book exam­ple of how such a ret­ro­spec­tive fea­turet­te should be done.

The three new fea­turettes do a nice job of either fill­ing in gaps from “Tales From The Mist” or enhanc­ing it in inter­est­ing ways. “My Time With Terror” is a sit-down chat with Jamie Lee Curtis, who not only dis­cuss­es The Fog but also her short yet event­ful his­to­ry as a scream queen. She is wit­ty and forth­right as she dish­es about all her slash­er flicks, how it took a while for Halloween to impact her career and how her per­sonal friend­ship with Carpenter and Hill impact­ed her work on The Fog. If you’ve been wait­ing to hear her talk can­did­ly about this era, your wish will come true.

The new fea­turettes con­tin­ue with “Dean Of Darkness,” a solo inter­view with Cundey that finds him dis­cussing his cin­e­matog­ra­phy work with Carpenter. He offers a lot of tech­ni­cal insight, par­tic­u­lar­ly on the chal­lenges he faced with Escape From New York and The Thing, and reflects in a hum­ble but insight­ful way about the­se films made his career as a top-shelf D.P. The trio is round­ed by a new seg­ment of Horror’s Hallowed Grounds, with Sean Clark tak­ing the view­er on a tour of The Fog’s loca­tions. The beach loca­tions remain as gor­geous as ever, some build­ings have changed in inter­est­ing ways and you’ll learn some neat stuff about how the win­dow-break­ing gags in the film were done. Also, Clark does a fun John Houseman impres­sion and you get anoth­er in a grow­ing series of cameos from a cer­tain cast mem­ber of Nightmare On Elm Street 2.

Elsewhere, a vari­ety of pro­duc­tion-ori­ent­ed extras shed light on what the pro­duc­tion was like. There is a sto­ry­board-to-film com­par­ison that shows some inter­est­ing dif­fer­ences in how one shock scene was planned and how it end­ed up being shot and edit­ed. On a sim­i­lar note, there is a brief mon­tage of spe­cial effects test footage that show how they tack­led the effects chal­lenges in prac­ti­cal ways (it also includes a brief bit of opti­cal FX done for a pow­er plant scene that wasn’t used in the film). For laughs, there is a skill­ful­ly edit­ed bloop­er reel of “out­takes” that show off a vari­ety of flubbed lines, behind-the-sce­nes goof­ing and a mon­tage of a sil­ly face that Barbeau would pull after bad takes.

The pack­age is round­ed out by an exten­sive amount of pro­mo­tion­al mate­ri­als. For starters, you get three the­atri­cal trail­ers and six (!) t.v. spots for the film. The the­atri­cal ads include an inter­est­ing teaser with no actu­al footage from the film and the t.v. spots include a vari­ety of effec­tive vari­a­tions, includ­ing two spots for the dou­ble bill that paired The Fog with Phantasm. There is also an exten­sive, ani­mat­ed image gallery that starts with a vari­ety of col­or and B&W stills, includ­ing some nice behind-the-sce­nes shots, before mov­ing on to two dif­fer­ent sets of lob­by cards and final­ly clos­ing with a sev­er­al dif­fer­ent exam­ples of poster art.

In short, fans of The Fog get the best of both worlds here: all of the great old extras and plen­ty of wor­thy new ones — plus a killer trans­fer. If you have any inter­est in this film, this is home video ver­sion to get.