[ post 2 of 2 today ]
Following is my original review from my book on Post Apocalypse movies ( in the book BBBno7 ). After that, I'll update that review as I just watched this movie again twelve years later ( it is on Amazon Prime ).
NIGHT OF THE COMET
Rated NR, 1984
Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney
I wasn’t sure about watching this, but they did promise widespread death and Eighties hair and music. I didn’t expect too much but I still walked away disappointed. This was simply too bad of a movie. Oh, it wasn’t bad compared to TV movies. But not up to theatre movie quality, even considering a lot of low budget competition. Nothing really happened, and what did had “low quality” stamped all over it. The acting was mediocre, the music was crap, the story was marginal and the pacing was nap inspiring. It looked like everybody tried pretty hard, but nothing really meshed. What should have been a bad story saved by a sense of fun was just a bad story. It was a good idea. A comet only seen once before 65 million years ago when it wiped out the dinosaurs comes to Earth.
The tail end of it kills everyone ( we are assuming magic space dust here ) except those in metal structures ( semi trailer, garden shed, movie projector room ). Those partially exposed turned into zombies instead of dying outright. Then, evil scientist dudes need to round up the survivors and drain their blood to keep themselves alive.
Now, few zombie flicks make much sense scientifically because they are, after all, about zombies. You do need to suspend disbelief about certain aspects of it. Yet, even in the zombie film universe, this story made no sense. How is it that the scientists in their underground lair are exposed to zombie dust? They are in a steel structure so the comet rays don’t effect them, just like the three civilian survivors that the story focuses on. But they are slowly turning into zombies because they left the ventilation system on without filtering the air. Yet, why didn’t the civilians have the same problems? They only had metal structures shielding them, with free air flow. See what I mean? And the rest of the story was pretty slow moving. Essentially, comet hits, they figure out they are alone.
They go to the mall to shop ( yeah, we get it, consumerism is bad as pointed out in Dawn Of The Dead ), fight off stock boy zombies, scientists find them to drain their blood. A Mexican Cowboy they are both drooling over as the last non zombie man alive comes to the rescue ( even though the non cheerleader character is portrayed as super-fem ). The end. But even though the movie was a mere hour and a half it seemed to take forever to get there. A campy cult classic, they say. I say, another turd to avoid.
*Genre Rating-terrible. The electricity stayed on, very few hungry zombies tried to eat them, no sense of disaster, no panic.
*Nudity Rating-bad. Only a few cleavage shots.
*Overall Rating-not bad if judged as a made-for-television movie, avoid otherwise.
Okay, I was REALLY too harsh on this the first time around. Yes, it was one of the worst apocalypse movies. BUT. As a regular movie, with zero expectations of a PA genre film, it was actually not too bad at all. If viewed as simply an '80's movie, it has charm and nostalgia. The music isn't as bad as I remember. Neither was the acting. Obviously, I allowed myself to view the entire thing with hostility once I found out it wasn't an apocalypse film. I overreacted, slightly. I wasn't in a good mood viewing this the first time and missed the fact the thing wasn't trying to be serious at all. Watching it a second time I got the carefree fun. I hadn't realized how low budget this thing actually was, and viewed in that light it was very well crafted for the results you see. So, my apologies.
( .Y. )