Movie Stars and Gossip
Can a flick with tasty ingredients like killer zombies, lethal scientists, insane stock boys and two rough and tumble Valley gals with a sense of style fill a memorable movie burrito? It can if you’re in the 80’s – welcome to…Forgotten Friday Flick. Today’s quirky selection has it all; from Uzi sporting cheerleaders to Tempest playing tough girls (with a little freebie shopping in between!) this one successfully uses everything in its cinematic arsenal to entertain. We’re flying back to the decade of high hair and pop music to witness first hand the…“Night of the Comet.”
It’s the 80’s on earth and a major event is underway. Seems that the planet is passing through the tail of an oncoming comet, an event that everyone is excited about seeing as it hasn’t happened in over 65 million years. Everyone has gathered outside to catch a glimpse with the exception of two spirited sisters. Both Regina, who finds herself spending the night with a boyfriend in the projection booth in the theatre she works in, and Samantha, who seeks solace in a metal storage shed after a fight with her stepmother, miss out on the evening’s spectacle and wake up the next morning unaware of their new situation. The passing comet has in fact turned most folks into calcium dust and the others in a state of decay have turned into vicious bitter zombies. So it’s up to the perky yet tough sisters to grab a weapon, head to the mall and survive in style.
If the above description sounds a tad on the quirky side it’s not far off. There’s a distinctive 80’s tone to “Night of the Comet” that comes off as B-movie cheese, but that’s a big part of the charm of the film. As written and directed by Thom Eberhardt, Night is a wondrous mish-mash of different genres that only a cult film could handle. There’s certainly action (nothing is better then our two heroines toting Sub-Machine guns!), comedy (tongue-in-cheek is Eberhardt’s specialty!), and horror (nothing says creepy like sunken eye sockets!), but there’s also at times a more somber tone and style that surprisingly adds layers. Using both red drenched skies and the sterile steel city of LA as his barren landscape, Eberhardt manages to conjure up some seriously arresting visuals that set the stage. And with his two very different but equally charismatic leading ladies, the independent Reggie played by Catherine Mary Stewart and the spirited Sam ala actress Kelli Maroney, he not only gets film fun but some decent dramatic moments as well. (Not an easy feat for a film about two Valley girls battling bad guys.) Eberhardt also employs some savory side characters to keep things interesting like Mary Woronov’s somber scientist (and she has never looking more stunning!) and especially Ivan E. Roth’s wacky stockboy gone wrong Willy, as well as some killer 80’s music worthy of LP gold.
But what impresses most about Night is how amidst having to adapt by becoming gun-toting gals, the lovely ladies of Night frankly never forget that they’re women. Meaning while shooting abandoned cars for target practice and fending off scary zombie attackers, both Stewart and Maroney’s characters still embrace their femininity (as evidenced in the classic ‘let’s go free clothes shopping’ 80’s montage!) and relish all aspects of being the last women on earth. In a cinematic world where tough women seemingly become like their male counterparts, it’s nice to see lethal ladies who aren’t afraid to express their feminine side.
Title: “Night of the Comet”
Genre: Horror / Comedy
Cast: Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, Mary Woronov
Director: Thom Eberhardt
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Company: Atlantic Releasing Corp.
Photo Credits: Photos Courtesy of Atlantic Releasing Corp.