Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Night of the Comet
Lo, the Comet did look upon the works of Man, and in its booming voice said "THAT IS JUST TOO MUCH HAIR PRODUCT, AND THOSE SHOULDER PADS ARE OUT OF CONTROL." And so the Comet smote the 80s wicked hard, turning all who saw it into Yucky Red Dust, even the Poodles.
I've had a thing for Lori Singer since Fame was a TV show, so imagine my surprise when it turned out the star of this movie was Catherine Mary Stewart instead. She's fine, of course, and I was instantly swept away on a tide of pure 80s anyway, watching Cathy Stew bust out all the high scores on Tempest.
In a tweak on the Light Show of Doom from Day of the Triffids, a comet not seen since the dinosaurs disappeared turns out to dissolve any and all animal matter not shielded inside a metal enclosure when it passes (because they didn't have the budget to get rid of all the plants). I would think that would be every single cell of animal matter 65 million years ago, but I'm nitpicking.
Fortunately for us, there's Regina and Samantha, a pair of sisters from the Valley both lucky enough to live through the Night to forge a bold new vision for post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. Of course I mean they go shopping, but let's all admit we would do the same thing.
The apocalypse isn't all fun and games however, as there are partially-dissolved quasi-zombies who don't really have plans exactly but make it up with bad attitudes. Chief among the miscreants are the members of a secret government think tank who hid in a sealed compound but accidentally left the vents open. Their quest is more directed: seek out the blood of the living!
If I sound like I mock, I don't. Night of the Comet is more comedy than horror, but it mixes the goofball with some intelligence. The cabal of scientists is particularly fun to watch; as the comet's effects take greater hold, they become more confused and forgetful. And I find the premise of those "in charge" screwing up so profoundly pretty irresistable. Good old Robert Beltran and Mary Woronov (both from Eating Raoul) bring some class to the cast.
And my god, this movie hits you with 80s style like George Costanza getting his face mashed into Elaine's boobs. I mean that in a good way. I saw Night of the Comet as a kid, and I've been meaning to see it again since it surfaced in a Johnny Sweatpants review almost ten freaking years ago. It did not disappoint. Or it did, but in ways I was expecting.