- Shadows and Fog review by Steve Mason
This slight horror film pastiche (loosely based on Woody's brief early one act play called Death) disappeared without much trace between two major Allen classic dramas in Crimes and Misdemeanours and Husbands and Wives.
It sets a Kafkaesque nightmare inside the look of German Expressionism, which is a good fit, but the film feels like an extended sketch, with all the superficiality of character that implies. Woody is woken up in the night time (in an unspecified location in about the 1920s) and coerced to join a vigilante group seeking out a serial killer, and becomes suspected himself for vague frivolous reasons.
The film looks great in inky, clinging black and white with the deep shadows swallowing up and releasing the searching townspeople. The music of Kurt Weill performed in a variety of styles deepens the atmosphere.
There is an amazing cast of actors playing supporting roles and cameos, including genre great Donald Pleasence. And it's a blast to see Woody back in his stand up persona. Shadows and Fog is fun over its brief running time, but it's not a film that lingers long in the memory.
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