At the end of this blog entry, I will post a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director Thom Eberhardt’s 1984 low-budget science-fiction horror comedy Night of the Comet. My readers can read Cox’s transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 9, 1989 (read here). While by no means a great or even very good film, Night of the Comet is throughly enjoyable. I do agree with Cox though that it’s attempts at humor backfires. Nevertheless, the film’s two appealing lead heroines (played here by Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney) serve as the glue that holds everything together. For those who have seen this film, try spotting early Cox regular Dick Rude as a mutant Stock Boy. Of similar interest, film director/writer (not to mention comic book writer) Joss Whedon cited this film as an influence (particularly concerning Maroney’s character) regarding the creation of the Buffy Summers character from his own Buffy the Vampire Slayer (both the 1992 film and the 1997-2003 television series). For more information on this, read this 2003 interview from IGN’s UK site (read here).
Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Night of the Comet
Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer
9 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: Night of the Comet (1984)”
I do like the look of this film – all neon and a smoggy post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. Night of the Comet is an 80s movie that almost transcends becoming dated because it is so perfectly 80s. It captures the time period beautifully. I tend to agree that the humour falls flat, although I did like the line “Daddy would have got us Uzis.”
“Daddy would have got us Uziz.”
That line was truly funny 🙂 The look of the film perfectly evokes the neon rage (i.e. fad) of the 1980’s as you imply above as well. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂
You picked a great film this week…..but what did you personally like or dislike about it?
The one thing that always bothered me was that Kelli Maroney was so badly typecast between “Chopping Mall” and “Comet” that no one would use her properly in Hollywood. She is a fine actress and as we all know,very pretty. She sort of got “Adam West” and that wasn’t fair.
I didn’t know this film, so thanks for the introduction. I fear it is so solidly set in that time as to be little more than an oddity. 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.
Well I never said it was a bad film – in fact, quite the contrary – it is a good one as opposed to a very good one. It is a fun film to watch If one happens to catch it on television (cable or otherwise), the Internet or If a friend has a DVD copy of it and wants to watch it with somebody. Now I do not know If Night of the Comet’s intent was to give off the vibe of it being Dawn of the Dead played out as a teen comedy, but If that was the case, it only achieved 50% of it’s aim. The satire and social commentary is there (evoking fiscal aspects of the Reagan era), but for some odd reason, it never seems to go anywhere with it. Though made a few years before Reagan became president, Romero was able to offer a subte satire and social commentary on unbridled consumerism while simultaneously delighting us with as much gore and on-target humor as possible. Whether the mood was dark or light, he took the film’s satire and social commentary somewhere and If that was not enough, he miraculously managed to go beyond that. What made it even more impressive was that his take on consumerism in general proved to be prophetic and this was 1978 – Carter was still president and at that time, nobody knew If Reagan was going to become President or not. Full disclosure: do not worry, I am a proud supporter of capitalism as a nation’s choice for economic success (which in our case would be America). 🙂
What I do personally like about the film is it’s neon-drenched cinematography (that must have been a real fad back in the 1980’s). As Paul S implied above, it captures the period perfectly. Also, the two female leads are appealing and yes, it is a shame that Maroney was forever typecast. I mean she did a great job playing those roles, but yes, she should have been able to branch out too. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂
That seems to be the overall consensus for the film even with it’s considerable cult status. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂
I agree it’s enjoyable. I almost picked Night of the Comet for my so-bad-it’s-good post the other day. I love the reddish/neon colors and entertaining how the girls treat the end of the world as a playground of fun. Sort of their way of dealing with a harsh reality. To me the story is better off without getting bogged down in psychological trauma.
It is undeniably entertaining. I just wish that it had gone somewhere with it’s social commentary on consumerism during the Reagan-era 1980’s. I know it is unfair to compare it to George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (which I love), but in that film, Romero not only went deep with his social commentary on consumerism, he also uncannily predicted what it would come to during the Reagan era and beyond. In Night of the Comet, the social commentary is there, but it never really goes anywhere. Having said that, I agree with you on what you love about the film and it is undoubtedly fun to watch. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂