My “reviews” are pretty much me doing a scene by scene run through of the movie which is sometimes long and sometimes short depending on, well depending on if it’s a bag of shit, semi decent or good – you get the point. These “reviews” fall onto the page pretty much how the words would fall from my mouth. It’s not pretty but hopefully its entertaining and if it’s gets at least one chuckle of a smile then I’ve achieved what I set out to do here.
Ok, so this is my review of the 1984 movie Night of the Comet. Now this is a movie that still scares the shit out of me to this very day. As always SPOLIERS are ahead!! Now that you have been warned lets kick this review off with the opening speech from the narrator…..
Since before recorded time, it had swung through the universe in an elliptical orbit so large that its very existence remained a secret of time and space. But now, in the last few years of the twentieth century, the visitor was returning. The citizens of Earth would get an extra Christmas present this year as their planet orbited through the tail of the comet. Scientists predicted a light show of stellar proportions, something not seen on earth for sixty-five million years—indeed not since the time that the dinosaurs disappeared—virtually overnight. There were a few who saw this as more than just a coincidence, but most didn’t…Doesn’t get spookier than this, does it?
So our movie opens with the streets packed with folks out to enjoy this astral light show and cuts to the heroine of the movie, Regina played by Catherine Mary Stewart, she is rocking some classic 80’s hair and is packing a attitude and right now she is focused on getting a top score on the classic arcade game Tempest. Regina starts getting hassle from her boss the movie theatre manager Mel played by Stanley Brock who has credits as long as an elephants wang including the classic Segal movie Hard to kill! But I digress. I know what most of you are thinking – what the ever blue fuck is Tempest? Well it’s a classic of a video game and a right piss on to play in an arcade cabinet. Mel finally get Reg back to work but not before she notices her clean sweep of the Tempest leader board has been fucked up by someone douche called DMK – remember this, it’s gonna come up later.
Reg, finally back to work is warned to stay out of the projection booth but of course she ignores this to hook up with her prick of a boyfriend who “rents” out the cinema movie reels for a price. He is in the middle of a deal as Regie enters. He outlines the plan for both of them to stay the night in the cinema so he can get the reel back in the morning. What will this criminal mastermind make from this? $110! Oh yeah the crown prince of crime right there. Cut to Regina’s sister Samantha.
We have a brief conversation between the sisters with Regie getting Sam to cover for her over night stay at the cinema. The step mother is unimpressed and gives the sisters some shit about the potential trouble they might get into. Sam drops the classic line of “You were born with an asshole, Doris. You don’t need Chuck!”. Doris is a bit fucked off by this comment and slaps Sam. Sam being the brat she is slaps her back this causes Doris to smash Sam one right in the face making her tumble back into the TV. We cut to the pool party where a electrical light show in the sky starts heralding the comets arrival.
Back to Regie giving her boyfriend an education on Superman and dropping the bomb shell that the movie theatre has walls lined with lead – pretty she this wasn’t allowed even in the 80’s. They start to fool around as the film transitions into some of the worst effects even witnessed outside of a made for TV movie. Saying that the piss all over Birdemic and it’s fucked up NES Duck Hunt effects – don’t google that movie you have had fair warning! The sky flashes with colour and a orange mist descends on the pool party revellers who gaze up at the sky in wonder. Doris feels something on her skin and in her eyes……. dun, dun, dunnnnnn. Cut to morning.
The streets are as empty as Santa’s sack on boxing day morning. The sky has a orange hue. The camera cuts around the desolate streets showing piles of clothes scattered all around. Mixed in with the clothes are pile of orange dust!! What could have happened? I think we know – fucking comets, man! Never trusted them.
Back at the theatre Regie awakens to her boyfriend waiting by the door for the dude who is supposed to drop off the movie reel he copied. Pissed off the guy hasn’t arrived yet he let Regie know he is gonna take his bike to find out what the hell is keeping the guy. Shit doesn’t go well as he is smashed round the melon by some dude with a fucked up face as soon as he cracked the door open. While this happen Regina post high scores to get DMK off the leader board. Sick of this she pokes her nose outside. The door closes on her and super pissed off she ventures to the back alley to get in through the side door. I don’t know what was going through chicks minds in the 80’s but piles of clothing in the street doesn’t seem to phase our hero in the slightest.
Yep the side door is closed also. Kicking it in frustration Reg notices her BF’s bike keys and a wrench on the floor next to a smear of blood, not a splash of blood you would maybe expect from a wrench to the dome but a smear, like someone had stepped in dog shit and did that little slide – you know what I am talking about we have all been there. Inspecting the wrench she get some gunk on her hand. Gross. Drop the creepy music D.J! Seeing the bike at the end of the alley Reg set off to investigate but is stopped short by the sound of what can only be described as bones breaking. BOOM!! the creepy fucked dude leaps up from behind some stock cardboard boxes and growls “Come here!” at Reg – oh shit what will she do? Is she going to be the next victim? Come readers lets see……..
Reg warns the fella to back off because she has been “trained to take care of myself! You know what I’m saying?” but I’ll be fucked if this zombie dude just doesn’t get it. Que the right cross palm strike, kick to the zomb-nuts, knee combo! Our heroine escapes on the bike and heads full throttle down the empty streets. Stopping at a red light she notices the car next to her has the radio playing. She starts to suspect something is up. Racing through a montage of street shots she gets home a empty hose. Creeping down the halls she calls her sisters name. Sam springs from a door like nothing is happening. Sam lets Reg know she spent the night in a shed after Doris had decked her last nigh. Reg shakes Sam and drags her outside to find the same piles of clothes, yes folks, Doris got dusted! Reg pours what is left of Chuck out of his shoe. After a bit of a rant and some speculation the sisters decide to head to the radio station as the D.J still seems to be broadcasting live. They start to explore the studio but they are not alone, they are being watched from the shadows. The station turns out to be playing an automated recording! Shit balls!!
Out of the shadows leaps Chakotay waving a gun at our duo! He demands they step into the light so he can see their eyes. The sisters comply and Chakotay, seemingly appeased, tell them his story and tells Reg she was lucky to escape the zombie she encountered in the alley. Chakotay – wait, I’m gonna have to stop calling him by his Star Trek Voyager character, Robert Beltran plays Hector the truck driver.
Sam is dicking around in the D.J booth and tell Reg and Hector she got a call from some shady as fuck scientists telling her they are from some think tank in the desert. The scientists are in some kind of underground lab and argue about bringing survivors back to the bunker. They give us the exposition of why people are turning into zombies and ending up as piles of calcium dust. Sam then gives us some spooky monologue. We cut to Sam speeding down a road at night as she zoom-zooms by two motorcycle cops who give chase and pull her over one comes up to the driver window but oh shit he is a zombie and grabs Sam, struggling she grabs his hand which melts away into goo and bone!! Shit dude. Now these cops are part of what still freaks me out about this movie. Watch it and you will see what I mean! Anyway, startled Sam snaps awake – just a dream thank the baby Jesus for that – still feeling shocked Sam heads to the bathroom to clean up. Tap dripping she checks her face in the mirror and what 80’s movie wouldn’t be complete without a titular teen in underwear scene? Sam strips down only to be grabbed from behind by one of the cycle cops who lifts her off the ground, pulls a knife and stabs her!! Screaming Sam snaps awake again this time for real. Chakotay and Reg have a heart to heart. Hector says he is heading out in the morning to check if any of his family had made it. Sam fills in some back story about how she and her sister got raised on army bases and gun ranges. Yep daddy was Special Forces. Sam begins to scratch a itch.
The girls decide shooting the shit out of a parked car is just what you do before breakfast these days.
Hector gets home to find it deserted. Hearing the door rattle Hector is spooked and towards the noise opening the door he is confronted by the most fucked up kid I have every laid eyes on – a Looney Tunes type chase happens with Hector bailing out of a window and back to his truck.
Back to the Lab and the female scientist is noting down side effects, side effects that appear to be happening to her. She is told they – the group – have decided to bring survivors back to the facility. We see a child getting off a chopper and the two scientist arguing but we can not hear them over the rotor wash from the chopper.
Reg and Sam decide that what they need is some retail therapy to help deal with the post apocalyptic stress and we are treated to a dancing montage of our heroines trying on clothes in a department store with Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun plays in the background – classic. But wait, what is this? We have some weird fuck with shades watching them on camera – probs been teasing one out no doubt.
The girls are ambushed by this guy and his goons as they kill the lights and put the shit up the sister via the store P.A system. This keys up some classic 80’s gun poses and a cat and mouse shootout takes place and it is a joy to watch, it really is, comedy and action in bucket loads but wouldn’t you know it Sam gets captured and they force Reg to surrender. We cut to the science field trip who use their mighty minds to deduce what bored teen girls would do after shooting the shit out of a car just thirty minutes ago – chubby scientists wry smile tells us they figured it out! Cut back to Reg and Sam as we drop in on them, Willy the store creep has them chained up and is about to play a game he calls Scary Noises but not before he tells them the woes of working in retail. Why the fuck are they all wearing shades?? Well remember when those scientist guys got to talking about the effects of the comet? Well yeah seems Willy and his boys got them selves exposed. Will whips off the shades to reveal sunken eyes – HORROR!!! OH THE HORROR!!! But seriously it’s creepy as fuck. Science to the rescue and the eggheads rescue or stars from a fate worse than, well worse than a 90’s horror movie. Sam is getting some tests run on her by that one chick scientist while Reg is whisked off to the science bunker. She injects Sam and Sam falls asleep apparently dead- yeah they are up to no good but science chick is developing some kind of remorse she tells chunky science dude as much by telling him she isn’t taking anyone else back as the effects are accelerating and they maybe only have hours left before they too become zombie like or dust then she straight up shoots him!
Back to Hector who tips up at the radio station dressed as Santa – did I forget to say this movie is also a Christmas movie? No? Well it is! I know, right! Surprise motherfucker!!Anyway, science chick is waiting for him with her gun drawn. She fills Hector in on how they are using survivors blood to develop a serum and then kills herself with the injection intended for Sam. Cut to Reg being asked a series of medical questions. After a bit of back and forth the main science dude is called out and as he leaves he tells Reg that Sam is dead we cut away from a stunned Reg to kids being prepped to haver their blood drained. Back in the interrogation room Reg attacks a scientist taking him out with what could only be a cement filled keyboard.
Outside the compound gates Chakotay/Hector pulls up and proceeds to sucker punch the one guard. One fucking guard?? It’s a top secret facility and they have Jeff the gullible on duty – for fucks sake. With Reg on the loose inside and Hector working his way inside we see a bit more of the compound and those experiments. Horrified Reg stumbles on bodies hooked up and being drained of blood but she stuck around too long and is captured by head science dude.
Hector is busy wiring up TNT to the compound trucks and what is this? Who do these legs belong to? It’s only fucking Sam! The power is cut and the bodies already hooked up flatline. Reg recuses the two kids from moments ago and hooks up with Sam who she almost caps in the head. Escaping from the compound with the science team in chase they pile in to Hector’s sweet new ride. As the science guys get in to a truck to chase after them it’s revealed top science dude has gone full zombie and as he turns the keys he triggers Hectors booby trap – BOOM! A fire ball rises into the night as our heroes watch from afar.
As the rains wash away the dust and the sky clears to blue again we find our group taking family photos with Reg being all motherly and shit. Hector seeing no need for guns starts to bin them because why wouldn’t you need them? Seriously……. why? Someone needs to slap Hector for real. Sam is waiting across the street for the Reg, Hector and the kids to cross but deciding not to wait for the walk signal Sam steps out into the road and is almost flattened by a guy in a car! Jumping at the offer to go for a “ride” Sam jumps in with him. Reg tells them to be back by midnight. As the car pulls away it shows a it’s plate to be……..
Roll credits! And there we have it. As I have said to people before, it’s not a great movie but it puts the shits up me. I don’t know if its the music during those scenes or the whole though of intelligent zombies that freaks me out but I do suggest that people go and see it! I mean shit, it’s on Netflix right now. Ill drop some links to IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes too.
I give this movie a score of 6.5/10
A different take on the zombie style of movies this was refreshing especially back in the early 80’s. With a budget of $700,000 it managed to bring in a total of $14.4 million – which isn’t half bad if you ask me. The score has both modern hits for the time balanced with a good mix of orchestral tracks which do covey that sinister synth atmosphere that gave we the willies. I love the characters even if the dialogue is sometimes very wooden, I mean what the fuck was going on with those actors playing the scientists? The zombie dude at the beginning, zombie kid and Willy and his boys are way better characters. The sisters have good on screen chemistry which carries throughout the film. The movie has that good 80’s vibe and it may be one of the reasons I love it. The special effects are great not accounting for the dodgy comet lightning effects, the practical makeup is well done and not overbearing this is most likely down to money constraints. It was great re-watching this movie years after Star Trek Voyager and being blown away by seeing Robert Beltran in it – how young does he look btw lol Yeah the movie has it’s faults – what movie doesn’t but it is entertaining and funny at the right times which is why it has scored above average with me. Final words on this film –
“By Odin’s beard get this movie in your eyes!”
Well that’s me done for now. Thanks for taking the time to have a read. Later guys! Links below for the usual movie rating sites!