on 7 March 2010
Night of the Comet is a guilty pleasure of mine. If you have seen any of the Living Dead movies or any of the 1950s alien movies then you have seen the premise of this movie before. That is not meant as a criticism. The acting is pretty bad to the point of being funny and some of the lines are unbelievable!. However as a guilty pleasure, you can't do much better than night of the comet. This science fiction/horror film was set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where the only survivors are two teenage girls who are more concerned about shopping and boys then the end of the world or the zombies roaming the streets of L.A. The film was fun and also had some nice comedic moments as well, it's also typically 80's with the fashion and bad hair and cheesy 80's music, those who grew up during the 80's might remember that annoying Cindy Lauper song which gets played in this film. Anyway, the film was about these two sisters who wake up one morning to blood red skies and the realization that the human race has been wiped out. It becomes apparent that anyone who was not surrounded by steel when the Earth recently passed through the tail of Haley's comet has been reduced to a pile of red ash. They encounter a truck driver and take over the air waves at a local radio station in an attempt to get help but attract the attention of a group of scientists who knew of the comet and waiting to find survivors. They hid underground in a steel laboratory, but left the vents open. Now, as various survivors of the comet who were only partially surrounded by steel are decaying into flesh-hungry zombies, the scientists are attempting to create a vaccine made of the blood of people who were not infected by the comet while saving themselves at the same time. This film never takes itself seriously and was a fun low budget sci/fi film, there was no gore or blood but it still managed to be entertaining with an amusing plot, I highly recommend this.
I think night of the comet is a classic zombie film that doesn't take the genre or itself too seriously. Its the ultimate fantasy film asking the question most people have asked themselves, namely "what would it be like to be the last people alive on earth".
Reggie and Samantha are two bickering teenage sisters only united in the passionate hatred of their stepmother Doris, who has an equal hatred for the girls. The Comet is big news and everyone is getting ready for the big event, except for Reggie and Samantha who have other things on their mind... The next day comes, and mixed with all the revellers party hats is a mysterious sand. No one seems to be around....
The premise of the film is good and whilst the acting is not the best it is still perfect for this kind of film. The characters DO have development and aren't just cardboard sketches. The zombies aren't the biggest part of the film but when they make their appearance they do please.
This film is always missed off from the classical zombie flic list usually due to its 'hollywood teenager' aimed audience. Most zombie fans ignore it on the basis that it doesn't seem to be a zombie film whilst the non-zombie fans miss out because they don't like the science fiction element.
Don't expect a brilliant script or brilliant actors. I'd say this one is similar to the film 'dead heat' in terms of its zombie load (expect to jump once at least) and 'my best friend is a vampire' for its fantasy element.
on 29 June 2007
I think Mr. Dunn has lost the point about Night of the Comet. NOTC doesnt take itself seriously, it doesnt need too. It has presented a modern day take of all those B movies from the 50's with over the top monsters / villians / leads.
The two leads are superb in their roles, they seem to relish they are playing a couple of airheads, and act the part accordingly. How can you not love a Mac 10 toting cheerleader who is more concerned with the country music playing in the car, than the zombies about to mutilate her outside.
If the movie had taken a more serious note, this film wouldnt have been so much fun to watch, to see the zero budget special effects, to listen to the cheesy 80's songs, and as for the end, yes it all kind of neatly plays out, but sometimes you dont need a severed head in a box to make a film work. Plus isnt it nice to know that DMK was one of the survivors too.
Enjoy the film folks, since although it may not be 28 days later, it works just fine.
on 26 May 2014
‘Night of the Comet’ often gets hailed as a ‘classic eighties zombie film.’ And it is... even though it is a bit ‘light’ on the zombie side. In fact, I think I only saw about four of the undead (and two of them were in a dream!). However, if you can forgive the lack of blasting flesh-eaters’ brains out then you’ll find quite an enjoyable cult classic.
Yes, it was made in the eighties, therefore you have to put up with the obligatory big hair and bushy eyebrows. Basically... a freak comet turns 99% of the world’s population to piles of dust and clothes, leaving only two gun-totting (and yet slightly dappy) sisters to fend for themselves in a world (not very full of) zombie and rapists (or people who want to just simply do strange things with your precious blood).
Luckily for our two lycra-clad heroines, help is on hand by loveable trucker, played by Star Trek Voyager’s ‘Chakotay’ (probably his only other career-defining performance to date!). So... the three of them have to generally have to fight for their lives for the best part of the movie. And, for the record, the ‘best parts’ are the first and third acts. The middle segment is kind of taken up with the three of them hanging around a deserted radio station, which is a slight drop in pace when compared to the rest of the film.
This film is pure cheese. There will be plenty of people out there who will only see it as outdated and silly. And it is. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a fun watch at the same time! So, if you want to spend an hour and a half of your time with a couple of girls whose hobbies include playing arcades, casual sex and Uzis, then give this one a go. You may just spot a zombie in there somewhere.
on 7 December 2011
If you have not seen this film yet warning
Ok first off this movie is a really wonderful trip down memory lane.
The 80's will come flashing back to everyone who remembers.
The acting is in general very good for a movie that is considered a B one.
Though the movie is cheesy fun in many ways, it is actually quite a dark one.
For me the movie works mostly but I was annoyed by one scene.
The death of the blonde sister played by Kelli Maroney. I thought this scene worked
very well, it was even quite moving given that Maroney played the younger naive sister. However to have her really not be dead and come back and save the day, well for me it spoiled the movie, well only slightly.
Also I like fast paced movies, like this one, however we know in the first 10 mins the Earth's consequences. I think we would have been better served developing characters for the first 30 mins. Therefore that would have made the last part of the film more condensed.
Overall this is still an essential purchase, full of good natured fun but also quite dark and even eerie. Hell there is even a jump scene near the beginning.
All in all if you are a fan of the 80's, or Sci Fi you will not be disappointed and it should be applauded that this film has not been forgotten.
on 15 October 2014
While some were busy 'busting ghosts or whip-cracking their way through a Temple of Doom, two valley girls were facing up to something different: the end of the world.
Welcome to the eighties, 1984 to be precise, for Night of the Comet unashamedly wears its period right there on the screen. From the big hair to the loud clothing and music, it would be hard for this film to be any more 'of its period'. And once you accept this stylistic choice, the film is actually rather good.
Much of the actual plot stems from any number of fifties films, while the basic premise goes as far back as Day of the Triffids: a mysterious light (in this case a comet) leaves only a few survivors to cope with a new world order. In this world of low budget movies, the catastrophe turns the population to red dust, resulting in a main cast of only three: the two valley girls and a truck driver (played by a young Robert Beltran, years before he boarded Star Trek: Voyager), who quickly realises who is in charge. It's not really a big reveal to say that it definitely isn't him. Mix in a group of scientists who locked themselves away before the disaster struck and you have everything you need. Aside from the fifties elements, a good number of eighties tropes also make it into the movie, although one of the commentaries scotches some of the rumours about what was claimed to have been cut out!
The performances and script rise Night of the Comet above most of the apparent limitations that plot and budget bring, in some cases turning them into benefits: the zombies are kept to a minimum, meaning the one truly gross out moment really jumps out at you with much greater impact, while the deserted streets of Los Angeles, permanently filmed through a red filter, look particularly eerie and unsettling.
Catherine Mary Stewart and Kellie Maroney both manage to bring real warmth and tragedy to their characters and despite their apparent differences, you really begin to believe they're sisters. They are also gifted at the comedy that litters the script, bringing sometimes quite dark humour to what could have been a bleak film
There is also the game of 'spot the reference': it is an unexpected pleasure to realise just how much of Night of the Comet actually inspired those that followed. The mix of horror and humour is almost mirrored by Shaun of the Dead, while 28 Days later clearly borrowed a number of elements, including certain shots and plot points. There are a great many more connections that I could mention, but they are exhaustively detailed in the booklet that comes with the UK Blu-Ray release.
So what ultimately makes this film so appealing?
It has zombies, but is not a traditional horror film, it has a fantastical comet and weird science, but is not a traditional science fiction film and it has a real sense of humour, but is not a comedy. Instead, it takes all of these genres and mixes them almost to perfection, leaving you with 90 minutes of sheer entertainment that leaves you half wishing you could join them in their new, much quieter, world. Try to imagine a horror/science fiction film brought to you by the same people responsible for Mannequin; both have the same level of kitsch and charm that so defined films of this period.
So, as we mark the thirtieth anniversary of the film's first release, why not journey back to the Night of the Comet?
The Disc (UK Blu-Ray)
Arrow Video have licensed the film and much of the material directly from the US release. The film itself is in generally good quality, with balanced colour, contrast, shadow detail and most importantly, because of the extensive use of red filtering, very little colour bleed. Some work has been done to remaster the film to HD, with no major issues, but some manual de-blobbing would have helped remove the minor dirt and marks that detract from an otherwise excellent image. Minimal scrubbing means that the natural grain still provides a sense of grittiness, with no artifacing or compression evident. The sound is an original stereo mix that is clean and clear, with good punchiness to some of the songs. The lossless DTS track from the US release didn;t make it across the pond, but based on the soundtrack provided, it seems unlikely it makes much of a difference,
The extras are quite good for such a low budget film: multiple audio commentaries, including one with Catherine and Kellie, with the original trailer and short interviews with the three main cast and selected production crew rounding out the package. There is also a nice booklet amounting to what is essentially an overlong review of the film (which does go to extremes in making connections with other films), with production stills and a neat double-sided sleeve lets you choose from the original movie artwork and a newly commissioned cover done for this release.