Global warming, increased occurrences of earthquakes, tsunamis, large numbers of birds randomly dropping dead mid-flight and falling out of the sky. These all might be signs of the end of the world as we know it. Zombie invasions always prove to be an interesting topic of apocalyptic speculation. Threats from outer space haven’t really been at the top of the list in terms of potential sources of doom lately though. Enter Night of the Comet. This fine specimen from 1984 opens with the global population eagerly awaiting a meteor sighting with behavior akin to New Year’s Eve – crowds in Times Square, raucous parties, TVs tuned to live broadcasts to capture reactions from regions where the comet has already passed.
Reg (Catherine Mary Stewart) forgoes watching the comet live to spend the night with her co-worker Larry (Michael Bowen) in the windowless steel projection booth at the movie theater. Though she won’t be able to see the glorious cosmic event or help shield her younger sister from their awful stepmother, ‘making it’ and avoiding being home during the stepmother’s comet party is a sufficient trade-off.
However, Reg emerges to a very different world. Red dust and clothes litter the streets. Larry leaves the theater, only to disappear. Zombie-like creatures emerge from time to time. Reg races home to find her sister Samantha (Kelli Maroney) dressed for cheerleading practice and trying unsuccessfully to get some of her friends to answer the phone.
It seems at first they are the only survivors, but then they encounter the handsome truck driver Hector (Robert Beltran). The movie also departs from the main arc to reveal that a group of scientists have also tried to avoid the comet in an underground lair. Will the scientists help the survivors navigate this post-comet world, or do they have a sinister agenda of their own?
Ryan thought the movie started off a little slow, but I enjoyed it far more than I expected. If you:
- Are intrigued by the idea of and having free reign to play with all the ‘toys’ you never could afford before (such as the furs/shoes/jewelry/makeup the girls try on at the local mall).
- Would not mind a meteor or other natural disaster taking out the majority of the population.
- Like a light dose of zombies in your sci-fi movies.
Put it in the queue!
However, if you
- Prefer lots of action or exciting monsters in your nearly-deserted world (i.e. I Am Legend).
- Aren’t a fan of cheesy and/or low-budget 80s sci-fi
Don’t put it in the queue.
Written by Jennifer Venson