Night of the Comet is currently available on instant Netflix.
Night of the Comet (1984) – Rated PG-13
“Earth has been ripped to shreds after a run-in with a killer comet, and those who have survived are in a fight for their lives in this campy cult classic. Valley girl Reg (Catherine Mary Stewart) and her sister (Kelli Maroney) discover they’re two of the lucky few. But scientists are after them, and now they must run. Why? Because the researchers believe they need the blood of survivors to concoct a drug that can save them all from further ruin.”
“Don’t be an overachiever. You’ll fit in better with your age group.”
Okay serious apocalypticos need not apply. Night of the Comet is more in the nature of a comic zombie movie and predates Shaun of the Dead by two decades. It even arrives a full year before Return of the Living Dead would turn zombies into a figure of fun, although Return would popularize the zombie need for brains.
Night of the Comet is all over the map – science fiction, romance, horror, comedy, buddy picture, female empowerment and it ties all of them up in a nice zombie romp package. Thom Eberhardt is both writer and director here and his sole credit before this was the not bad low-budget shocker Sole Survivor (1983).
Yes it is cheesy but Night of the Comet is funny, intelligent, charming and has strong female characters. As always, seeing a city without people moving around is quite eerie. There is great use made of a Tempest arcade machine and Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun that set the tone for the movie.
Robert Beltran receives top-billing here as Hector. While he is fine, I am not sure why the top-billing as he is not the star and had only been in a few movies before this, though he was Raoul in Eating Raoul. He would go on to television fame as Chakotay on Star Trek: Voyager.
The stars here are clearly Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney as sisters Regina and Samantha. Never mind that the 25-year-old and 24-year-old play high school students, they are still wonderful together. They have a real bond with Regina being the serious older sister and Samantha the young flighty one.
Cult actress Mary Woronov had previously worked with Beltran in Eating Raoul. Here she plays a mysterious scientist named Audrey. Veteran character actor Geoffrey Lewis (Maverick, Salem’s Lot) shows up as another scientist, Carter. The much despised Buck from Kill Bill, Michael Bowen, plays Larry.
The film opens with a 1950s-style science fiction narration about the upcoming comet. Speaking of which, we are getting our own comet, the newly discovered comet 2012 S1 (catchy name isn’t it?). If the sun doesn’t do much damage to it, we could see the end of the world, I mean the comet late next year. Meanwhile have some fun with Night of the Comet.