Night of the Comet (1984)

10 Apr


Smith’s Verdict: ***1/2

Reviewed by Tanner Smith

“Night of the Comet” is a B-movie about the end of the world. Sure, logic is thrown out the window. Yes, there are many silly moments in the story. But in the end, “Night of the Comet” is just a good-natured, highly-enjoyable B-movie. I could call it a guilty pleasure, but I hold no guilt on this. I had fun, and chances are other viewers will have fun too.

The film’s hokey narration explains that a comet is hurtling toward Earth around Christmastime—this is the same comet that wiped out the dinosaurs and caused their extinction. In Southern California, we see that people are throwing a midnight comet-party, expecting a light show to bring jolliness to this holiday. But it winds up disintegrating almost the entire Earth population.

Why does the electricity stay on? Why do the cars still work? Why do survivors evolve into zombie-like monsters to eat the other survivors? Your guess is as good as mine. Through the course of the movie, we follow two valley girls—sisters Reggie (Catherine Mary Stuart) and Sam (Kelli Maroney)—as they realize that they’re one of very few people still around after the comet has struck. There’s one good guy named Hector (Robert Beltran), whom the sisters rival over, but everyone else is either a violent zombie or a sadistic looter. There are other people, who are part of a think tank to figure out what to do with the survivors and find a cure for the “infected,” but are they to be trusted?

This movie, like most B-movies, doesn’t care about logic or even humanity at large. But like the appealing ones, it simple takes joy in sharing the adventure of the heroes with us. I liked these protagonists and I liked the way they speak; it’s the typical valley-girl speak spoken with pluck. An example is when Sam is being attacked by gunmen in a supposedly-abandoned shopping mall, mocking these “wimps” saying they can’t shoot anything.

“Night of the Comet” has a nice comic touch that makes it enjoyable. The actors are fun, the dialogue is suitably corny and funny, and I appreciate the fact that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Even its final climax in which the characters race to thwart the think tank’s plans has its good moments. It’s an entertaining B-movie.

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