A comet wipes out most of life on Earth, leaving two Valley Girls to fight the evil types who survive.
I’m a child of the 80’s. I spent the majority of my teen years in that time period and my love for horror films was spurned by it as well. I remember seeing many of these films in the theaters as well as staying up till all hours of the night watching them on HBO or Cinemax. Those are years and times that I miss. So when I heard that we would be revisiting some of these films for review, I became excited. I was looking forward to re-watching some of the films I grew up on or, better yet, watching films that I had always wanted to watch, but for one reason or another, just never got around to. I lucked out and one of the films thats been at the top of my list was given to me to watch. “Night of the Comet” (released in 1984) was just one of those films I had always wanted watch and, well, didn’t. It has even become a bit of a cult classic, and after having watched it, I can see why.
It is Christmas time but it seems that everyone on Earth is preoccupied with seeing the comet that is about to swoop by. What they don’t realize is that the comet ends up wiping out the planets population (turns them into red dust), only a few select humans that were protected by steal walls remain. Sisters Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart) and Samantha (Kelli Maroney) are two of the lucky ones. These teenage valley girls are among the lone survivors. It is hard for them to comprehend at first, but once they realize they can shop for free, things start looking up. Not only is there a group of scientists that have different plans for them, some survivors were infected and have become zombie-like. So it’s a tough world out there, can these two girls (whose father was a soldier) survive in a world on the brink of extinction.
“Night of the Comet” is most definitely dated. As soon as you put the film on you know that it was made in the early 80’s. I’m not saying that as a negative, it’s just apparent. What I never realized before was how intentionally funny the film was. I always thought that it was a serious sci-fi/horror film but was pleasantly surprised at the humor. Regina and Samantha are such unlikely heroes, that the humor arises from the situations in just the right amounts. It plays like an above average B-movie with a tiny production budget, but damn, they really did a fine job at making L.A. look like a ghost town. Not an easy task but they pull it off. The film was PG-13 so there was an F-bomb or two, as well as some nice prosthetics and a tiny pinch of gore.
The cast was solid and the acting was above average. Our two leads are believable sisters and have great on-screen chemistry and carry the silliness with grace. The supporting cast was terrific as well, featuring such genre greats as Mary Woronov, Geoffrey Lewis, and Robert Beltran as the love interest to Stewart. Writer and Director Thom Eberhardt did a fine job at blending humor, horror, and science fiction. A shame that it was a genre he never really continued to explore.
“Night of the Comet” wasn’t perfect but it’s certainly loads fun. **** out of 5 stars from me. There may be a few plot points that could have been clearer, still much better than many of the films that arose during that time frame and would play terrifically on a double feature bill with “Night of the Creeps”. For sure a fun filled ride through an 80’s wasteland of high hair, legwarmers, and pop music with way too much keyboards. If you have never seen it, go back and have fun. If you have, then you don’t need me, you know what to do.
Night of the Comet (1984)