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Fog Island

Fog Island

UPC: 089218408297

Format: DVD

Release Date: Nov 19, 2002

Rating: NR

Regular price $13.95 USD
Regular price Sale price $13.95 USD
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This is one neat DVD. No, Terry Morse's Fog Island, made at PRC, isn't remotely in a league with any of Edgar G. Ulmer's work for the Poverty Row studio, but it is more than entertaining enough to justify purchasing this disc. The movie has a killer cast, led by George Zucco (in a very unusual role for him), Lionel Atwill, Jerome Cowan, and Veda Ann Borg, that gives it the veneer of a big studio production; that effect is further enhanced by some reasonably opulent sets, which make the picture good to look at, and the movie's tale of revenge is well worth the screen time it takes to tell it. The source for the disc is a good condition 16mm print, with about as much detail as those used for authorized television broadcasts back in the 1960's. Given that Fog Island never made it to laserdisc and hasn't been seen in an authorized version since its copyright lapsed in 1973, it's difficult to be harsh in judging the soft focus of the movie's few wide shots, and the rest of the picture -- all medium shots and close-ups -- generally looks fine, apart from a few stray vertical lines and the occasional damaged frame. A few already dark shots are a slight bit darker than they need have been under ideal conditions, but never so severely as to mar our viewing pleasure. And the sound is excellent, which is important in this movie, which uses about the densest background score (courtesy of Karl Hajos and a couple of classical composers) ever heard in a PRC production. The menu, simple as usual for Alpha Video, opens automatically on start-up, and the company has started gracing its DVDs with six chapters instead of the usual five. The actual running time here, incidentally, is 69 minutes, not the 72 minutes officially designated, but nothing is missing that this viewer can find -- and any intact PRC release to be had for under $10 on DVD is not to be ignored.
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