Night of the Comet (1984 Film)

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Probably on the list of guilty pleasure of every horror movie enthusiast in the world.  Night of the Comet is a 1984 disaster film written and directed by Thom Eberhardt.  It’s considered one of the bloodiest movies in the genre of doomsday horror.  However, some how, it retains a PG-13 rating despite the violence and gruesome special effects. 

Like all end of the world films there is usually some menacing reason why the world ended.  Night of the Comet is different from other disaster films in the sense that there isn’t a nuclear apocalypse, hell doesn’t run out of room, a plague doesn’t ravage the continents, and there is no catastrophic climate change.  Simple, the Earth passes through the tail of a comet that had passed through our solar system some 65 million years prior, possibly causing the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart) and her sister Sam (Kelli Maroney) survive the event as the very next morning they awake to the entire planet is covered in a strange red haze.  There is no life and all the people have turned into piles of red dust surrounded by their clothing.  Those people that did not turn into red dust are turned into zombies.  And of course, the zombies aren’t the real terror of the film.  The sisters must survive a road warrior type scenario.

Night of the Comet was one of the first few films to use a female protagonist.  For inspiration Eberhardt questioned teen girls about their view on an apocalyptic event. Eberhardt withheld his scripts plot and asked them how they would fair in such an event.  He found that the girls thought the idea was exciting and adventurous except when it came to dating.

With his script finished Eberhardt set out to get the film funded.  Having a hard time selling the script he finally fell upon Atlantic Releasing Corporation who invested $700,000.  The produces from ARC tried to replace Eberhardt as the director.  Eberhardt thought they did not understand the film and the producers did not appeal to the idea of working on such a low-budget movie.  Eberhardt would praise those producers later on.

Despite it’s cult B movie status, Night of the Comet raise many interesting questions.  Namely, how would a modern day teen age girl cope with such a dire scenario.  Through bits of comedy, sarcasm, sex, and violence we are entreated to such a guilty thrill ride.  Night of the Comet is definitely a movie that we all like but are almost ashamed to say.  If Hollywood weren’t so full of morons I would want them to try and remake the film but I’d rather take this original.

Get undressed, lock your metal doors, and don’t let the projector run out of film!  Night of the Comet is here!  Enjoy!

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