Every once in a while, you come across a movie that has a little bit of everything — zombies, evil scientists, teenage girls firing automatic weapons, 80’s hair and well, the end of humankind as we know it. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. In fact, Thom Eberhardt gave us just that with his 1984 masterpiece, Night of the Comet.
Like a weird dream where Valley Girl meets 28 Days Later on acid, you can’t really put Night of the Comet into any particular category. The film makes a point to pay homage to many iconic horror and science fiction movies of the past, all while paving its own path to B-movie greatness.
Much of the film’s success undoubtedly comes from its likeable cast, starring Catherine Mary Stewart (Weekend at Bernie’s), Kelli Maroney and Robert Beltran (Star Trek: Voyager) to name a few.
Everyone on screen seems to have a unique chemistry, and I still find it hard to believe that the two main girls aren’t really sisters.
Night of the Comet is co-produced by Andrew Lane and Wayne Crawford, the crack team behind Valley Girl, so expect to see some similarities there. In fact, writer/director Thom Eberhardt attributes much of his film’s success to very existence of Valley Girl. But don’t be discouraged if you weren’t a fan. Even while taking influence from a stack of films over multiple genres, Night of the Comet ends up being its own blend of awesomeness that isn’t inspired by any one thing.
The Breakdown:Like any good end of the world film, Night of the Comet starts off with a bang. No, really. There’s a comet passing by Earth that hasn’t been this close to our planet since the dinosaurs were wiped out. So what does everyone do? Go outside and watch, of course.
Believe it or not, this turns out to be not such a good idea and humankind vanishes overnight. All that’s left are 80’s clothes everywhere and a pile of red dust where each person once was. There’s a few lucky survivors, but the story mainly focuses on two sisters Reggie (Stewart) and Samantha (Maroney). They aren’t your average teenage post-apocalyptic survivors, though. Despite still being in high school, these girls know how to shoot a wide array of automatic weapons…which actually comes in handy, because everyone and their brother seems to be after them (including zombies, evil scientists and a street gang of shopping mall employees).
But it’s not all running and gunning for Reggie and Samantha. They manage to meet up with a few other survivors and have a pretty good time in the now empty Los Angeles. The film also boasts a very 80’s appropriate soundtrack, which never really seems to turn off — even when the bullets are flying and zombies are tearing people apart limb by limb.
The Conclusion:It’s easy to see why Night of the Comet went on to be a cult classic and genre favorite. Even with its lack of gore and special effects, this film delivers consistently and depicts a pretty groovy post-apocalyptic L.A. The clothes, the hair, the music, the style…everything screams the 1980’s, but it’s that same 80’s charm which ultimately makes it a film worth going back to time and time again.
At the end of the day, few other filmmakers seem to capture cinema greatness quite like Eberhardt does in this film. It’s not your typical end of the world or zombie movie, but rather, it’s a B-movie with a good sense of humor that doesn’t lay anything on too thick. If you’re a fan of horror and sci-fi films, or even just girls with guns and a few good laughs, you’re going to love this one. I know I definitely did.
Watch Night of the Comet (1984) below:
|Buy the film at Amazon.com|
|Buy the film at Amazon.co.uk|
Written by: Joe Tallman