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  Night of the Comet Carrying On
Year: 1984
Director: Thom Eberhardt
Stars: Robert Beltran, Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, Sharon Farrell, Mary Woronov, Geoffrey Lewis, Peter Fox, John Achorn, Michael Bowen, Devon Ericson, Lissa Layng, Ivan E. Roth, Janice Kawaye, Chance Boyer, Andrew Boyer, Stanley Brock, Marc Poppel
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart) works as a cinema usher, but it's such a boring job that she has to find ways of keeping her mind occupied such as making sure that her name is on every high score on the cinema's resident video game machine. Her insensitive boyfriend works as the projectionist, and tonight he has an evening of passion planned with her in the booth, which means they will miss the comet as it passes overhead. Yes, there's a comet due tonight, one that last appeared around about the time that the dinosaurs became extinct - which really should be a cause of concern, if you think about it...

It's safe to say that Night of the Comet was the definitive Kelli Maroney film, but she wasn't the only eighties fixture that caught the attention of cult movie fans. This is an end of the world flick that was shot through with Valley Girl worries as for a while it looks as if they will be the only two left on Earth, with Maroney playing Stewart's sister Samantha and avoiding any comet influence by being in the huff and not joining her stepmother's party after she hits her in the face over an argument over their absent on business dad. So it is that when they wake up in the morning after, the city has grown oddly quiet and where there were people are now patches of red dust.

That comet has done what it did to the dinosaurs and nearly wiped out mankind, so after Regina's idiot boyfriend gets killed by a stray zombie, she is left to wander the streets alone. If you haven't been turned into a zombie, you should be all right, but as there are a massive two undead about - count 'em - encountering them turns out to be less of an issue than it might have been. In fact the living are more of a problem, as Regina finds out when she and Samantha (in a cheerleading outfit for half the movie) track down the radio broadcast that is still going on.

They expect to meet the D.J., but he's actually on tape, leading one to question who on Earth is keeping the electricity going as it continues right to the end without any of the characters questioning it: the last scene even includes a traffic light as part of its humour. Anyway, they do meet someone there, and it's none other than Star Trek Voyager's Chakotay himself, Robert Beltran playing trucker Hector. They quickly make friends, but Hector feels he must check back with his family to see if any have survived; considering he is top-billed, Beltran spends a lot of this film missing from the story, so it's Catherine and Kelli who emerge as the true stars.

The sequence where the girls react to the disaster by going shopping to the strains of Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" (though not the Cyndi version) is perhaps the quintessential moment of Night of the Comet. It's far less satisfactory when it attempts to get serious with sentiment, or cheese as you will most likely identify it as. So bring on the bad guys, who are either the misfits who have taken over the department store's security (Samantha responds to their machine gun fire by throwing shoes at them), or the group of military types (including Mary Woronov) who have saved themselves in a secret bunker but are now in danger of turning zombie. The girls get their own weapons, and get to save the day for the five or so remaining good guys, as here is a film where the lack of characters is built into the script, which must have saved cash. It's a frothy confection, never convincing when it turns earnest, but ideal for nostalgia. Music by David Richard Campbell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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