The movie I saw last night wasn’t too scary. It wasn’t unscary either but it was pretty funny. I’m talking about the 1984 horror-comedy Night of the Comet.
Regina “Reggie” Belmont is the older, sensible sister. You know this because she’s a brunette. She’s also an usher at a local movie theater so she gets to wear an outfit very close to Bea Arthur’s bellhop outfit from The Golden Girls.
Samantha is the frivolous, Valley Girl sister. You can tell because she’s blonde.
On this night, a “NIght of a Comet,” if you will, earth will be going through the tail of a rogue comet, something that hasn’t happened since the dinosaurs went extinct. In your face, Dr. Grant.
Reggie spends the night in the steel film vault with her boyfriend, Larry, mostly having sex and being annoyed that someone took her high score on the video game she was playing. Samantha dukes it out with her stepmother Dorris and spends the night in a yard shed. When they wake up, the streets are empty except for piles of red dust where people used to be. Oh, and very angry, talkative zombies that use tools. Larry gets eaten when he leaves the theater and Reggie fights the zombie who at him. Turns out that Reggie and Sam are military brats and their dad taught them how to fight.
Reggie finds Sam at home and they hear a broadcast on the radio. They go to the station but it turns out it was prerecorded. But they do meet Cute Hector, played by Commander Chakotay from Star Trek. He’s safe because he spent the night in the back of his semi truck.
Sam does exactly what I would do in the situation–she plays with the controls and starts to broadcast, declaring herself 1/3rd owner of the L.A. basin. A secret government group hears this and contacts the, but the line goes dead.
Hector goes to see if his family is safe, while Reggie and Sam shoot guns and run amok in a mall. This is my favorite part of zombie movies, the inevitably fun looting. Until they get captured by zombie stock boys who dress like they’re straight out of Williamsburg.
They’re rescued by agents from the government but some nefarious shit is going on. The government’s looking for uninfected survivors so they can use their blood to make a serum to cure themselves. Yeah, they left the vents in their super secret hideaway open. Way to prepare for the apocalypse, jerkwads.
They take Reggie to the base because she seems to be uninfected and Audrey, one of the infected scientists, pretends to kill Sam but really just gives her a sleeping drug. Audrey meets Hector back at the radio station and tells him where to save Reggie. Him and Sam show up in his sweet ride while they’re preparing to use Reggie for her sweet sweet blood.
Reggie escapes and takes some children with her that the Evil Scientists were planning to use for their blood. And Hector turns the scientist’s car into a bomb and they explode. They become a sort of family but Sam feels left out. Until a guy with 23 cars shows up and she goes out on a date.
In case you can’t tell, this film is totally frivolous and there aren’t a lot fo scares. But I liked it a lot, as an homage to apocalyptic sci-fi and horror movies. The heroines are actually plucky and likeable, although I could have done with about 15% more valley-girlisms. So just ignore your questions like “Why is the power on for so long?” and enjoy this cheesy 80’s flick.
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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