22nd Sep2014

‘Night of the Comet’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, Robert Beltran, Sharon Farrell, Mary Woronov, Geoffrey Lewis, Peter Fox, John Achorn, Michael Bowen, Devon Ericson, Lissa Layng | Written and Directed by Thom Eberhardt

night-of-the-comet

It’s no surprise really that the Eighties are so fondly remembered for horror and science fiction, that was the time that VHS was growing allowing easier viewing of movies, and of course a time when a lot of people of my generation were growing up.  Night of the Comet is one of those sci-fi horrors that never took itself too seriously and came to be known as a film that symbolised everything about the eighties.  Yet another classic picked up by Arrow Video it epitomises everything we come to expect from a B-movie.

When a comet which hasn’t flown past this earth since the extinction of the dinosaurs pays a return visit most of the population of Earth are either turned to red dust or start to decompose, becoming walking zombies.  Sisters Reggie (Catherine Mary Stewart) and Sam (Kelli Maroney) survive the being caught in the comet’s gaze and search for other survivors.  When they find Hector (Robert Beltran) it’s not long that the three of them are targeted by a shadowy group of scientists who have less than humane ideas of how to treat people unaffected by the comet.

If Night of the Comet had taken itself too seriously it is more than likely it would have failed.  What Thom Eberhardt does instead is push more towards comedy and a light-heartedness and go for cheesy fun instead, which makes it perfect for gaining a cult following.  With two strong female roles, including a cheerleader that was said to have influenced a certain Joss Whedon when he was creating a vampire slayer, there is a more human feeling to the action and it’s refreshing to see girls who aren’t running away, but kicking butt instead.  With big hair, bad dress sense (including leg warmers) and even a trip to the mall Night of the Comet really grabs what it is to be an eighties movie and never lets go, this is why people tend to remember it fondly, and quite rightly so.

The Arrow Video treatment (as I like to call it) has given plenty of treats to the fans with this release.  The quality of the movie itself is as good as expected, especially when most will remember it either from standard television quality or on VHS and the special features provide an in-depth look into the making of the film mainly through interviews and commentaries tracks featuring the actors, director and product designer.  The actor commentary features Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney and it’s interesting listening to their memories of making the film, and their memories of making movies at that time.

My personal memories of Night of the Comet were catching it on late night television as part of a cult season when I was young and it always stuck in my head as an enjoyable movie that I wanted to watch again but I never really had the chance (or time).  Netflix came along and that gave me a second chance to watch the movie, and it was nice with more mature eyes to have it confirmed that the movie still holds up even now.  With this Arrow Video release Blu-ray it’s nice to learn more about the film and its stars.  Yes, some of the acting can be a little cheesy (the mall scenes are an example of this) and the story is just plain dorky but that is part of its charm.

Night of the Comet is another Arrow Video release that fans will love, especially those fond of the eighties.  Although it was originally going to be called Teenage Mutant Comet Zombies there aren’t really that many zombies in it, but that is not the point really.  As with other apocalypse themed movies, once again this film shows that the true evils are made by human beings, even when hardly any are around to cause them.  Luckily we humans create some good things too, like Night of the Comet.

**** 4/5

Night of the Comet is available on dual format Blu-ray now, courtesy of Arrow Video.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

 

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