I recently received a blu-ray copy of the 1984 horror/sci-fi film Night of the Comet not knowing what to expect; though I was aware it has a large cult following. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.
Here’s the general plot of the movie: For the first time in 65 million years a comet will be passing earth. The last time this happened also happened to be when the dinosaurs mysteriously died out. Instead of fear, everyone seems to be celebrating its imminent arrival. Except Regina and her younger sister Samantha who happened to be in protected locations entirely by accident. When the girls wake up they discover that they’re the only residents of Los Angeles that the comet hasn’t vaporized and quickly discover that many people have been turned into zombie-like creatures. After meeting another lone survivor the girls must learn how to live in this new world of zombies and scientists trying to harvest their blood for a cure.
While watching I was very aware that I was watching an 80’s movie; from the look and feel and mostly to the music of that year. The color palette of the film is like a live action comic book in many ways. The good and bad characters are clearly defined by their contrasting color palettes (which are served very well in blu-ray). There are also zombies, but they are not the traditional zombies we have come to think of. They are better described as humans that are slowing devolving and decaying. They can speak, use weapons, and think things through.
This movie does lack a little in pacing and it does have times when it slows down, but it’s still a lot of fun and never really takes itself too seriously. It is a great movie for general audiences, too. With a PG-13 rating it never veers too far into adult situations and there really isn’t any gore so it would be a fun watch for everybody. Also, when you consider this film was made in 1984 you really see how it may have influenced films made afterwards. The make-up is very well-done by David B. Miller, who has also worked on the entire Nightmare on Elm Street series. Stylistically, the facial zombie make-up is still seen today. Also, a very interesting factor of this movie is that the zombies are not the primary threat. Fans of shows like The Walking Dead will enjoy how this film shows the biggest threats coming from other people. And perhaps one of the most interesting aspects was the music choice. Much of the music throughout the movie comes from a source within the story; the car radio, the radio station they find, or the speakers in the mall.
The blu-ray transfer of Night of the Comet brings a cleaner and better picture, but doesn’t lose the grainy feel we all instantly identify for the 80’s decade. It’s in 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1) and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Mono and the sound blend is very smooth.
The Night of the Comet Collector’s Edition is another great release from Scream Factory for fans of cult classics or for those that, like me, used to rent 80’s horror movies every weekend. It will be a great upgrade for existing fans and will also give new people the opportunity to see it for the first time at optimal levels.
- Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Thom Eberhardt
- Audio Commentary with Stars Kelli Maroney and Catherine Mary Stewart
- Audio Commentary with Production Designer John Muto
- Valley Gi
- The Last Man On Earth? – An Interview with Actor Robert Beltran
- Curse of the Comet – An Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Creator David B. Miller
- Still Galleries (Behind the Scenes and Official Stills)
- Theatrical Trailer
rls At The End Of The World – Interviews with Stars Kelli Maroney and Catherine Mary Stewart
Night of the Comet is available from Scream Factory on November 19th.