Night of the Comet (1984)
Horror, Comedy, Zombies
Robert Beltran, Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney
Night of the Comet blends zombies, sci-fi, and comedy for a cheesy 80’s zombie trip. Thom E. Eberhardt (Sole Survivor) directs this story of the end of the world. When a comet wipes out (almost) everyone on the planet, a pair of sisters try to survive in the (mostly) barren world. They find two types of survivors after the incident: 1) fellow living human beings who were apparently also shielded by a steel shelter from the comet’s effect, and 2) plenty of cognitive, well-spoken zombies. So when they aren’t busy shopping or dancing, they’re kicking zombie ass (or shooting at cars in the preparation to kick zombie ass). Unfortunately, there are several other groups of survivors, and they may or may not be more trouble than the zombies. The story is highlighted with a few subtle twists, but nothing about this film takes itself too seriously. It’s just too bad R.E.M. didn’t produce ‘It’s the End of the World As We Know It’ until three years after Night of the Comet‘s release.
Notice, if you will, the picture below. Written ever-so-conveniently on the wall is the statement ‘Entertainment or Death’. That’s the best place to start in looking at this movie, because it is obviously an attempt to entertain and nothing more. It’s a lighthearted and original approach to a zombie film. Not only do the zombies talk, but they use an excessive amount of reason (and apparently have a sense of humor to match). The horror-comedy mix is certainly not revolutionary, especially in the 80’s, but this is an entertaining addition to the genre.
All effects are well done, and the zombie makeup is unique. The action is big, and the hair is bigger. In fact, everything about Night of the Comet screams 1980’s, from the scientist jumpsuits to the one-liners (from the classic “bitchin'” to the ever popular “Daddy would have gotten us Uzis”). So if you’re a fan of 80’s horror, or 80’s comedies, you will most certainly appreciate this one. It’s not one of the greatest zombie films of all time, and to be honest the zombies don’t get a ton of screen time, but it is a fun end-of-the-world flick. So don’t be an airhead, just check out this radical film.