|YMMV • Radar • Quotes • (Funny • Heartwarming • Awesome) • Fridge • Characters • Fanfic Recs • Nightmare Fuel • Shout Out • Plot • Tear Jerker • Headscratchers • Trivia • WMG • Recap • Ho Yay • Image Links • Memes • Haiku • Laconic|
Night of the Comet is a 1984 film directed by Thom Eberhardt and starring Catherine Mary Stewart, Robert Beltran, and Kelli Maroney. It has elements of such diverse genres as science fiction, horror, zombie apocalypse, comedy, and romance.
The plot centers around The Earth passing through the tail of a rogue comet -- an event which has not occurred in 65 million years, the last time coinciding with the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs. On the night of the comet's impending mid-December passage, large crowds gather to celebrate the event. The next morning, a reddish haze covers everything, and there are no people, animals or other signs of life, only small piles of red dust and empty clothes where people stood and watched the comet's passage. The people who "survived" are either dying, or turning into flesh eating zombies. Siblings Samantha and Regina Belmont are the film's main protagonists.
Despite the schlocky opening scenes, the movie seems to be an attempt at a Deconstruction of typical thriller movies of the era, in that both leads are capable Action Girls rather than just monster bait (in fact, they bear suspicious similarities to another Californian blonde who fought the undead in the next decade), the lead male is Hispanic, bridge-dropping is played with, and so on.
This film contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Samantha and Regina
- Apocalypse How: Class 3b.
- Artistic License Astronomy: Comets are visible long before and after they pass, so not wanting to "miss the comet" is a little silly.
- Axe Crazy: All the zombies, but especially the mall stockboys.
Willy: I'm not crazy. I just don't give a fuck.
- Brick Joke: At the beginning of the film, Reggie is playing a video game, and manages to place among the top scorers. There's another set of initials above hers. Annoyed, she wonders who they belong to. At the end of the movie (that is, post-end of the world!), another survivor is seen driving a car. The initials from the video-game scoreboard are on the license plate.
- Chekhov's Gunman: One of the scientists, Rogers, is mentioned as missing towards the end and Dr. Wilson says he has probably already regressed. This is waved off by Dr. Carter. Guess who shows up for one last scare to menace our heroes after Hector has blown up Carter and the others in their car?
- Comet of Doom
- Contrived Coincidence: So the only two female non-zombified survivors in the entire city happen to be sisters? How convenient for them that they both managed to adequately shield themselves in different places on the same night. There there's DMK.
- Cozy Catastrophe: Once the flesh-eating zombies are dealt with, the survivors actually don't have it too bad. The power stations and water/sewage just keep on chugging!
- Dawson Casting: Reggie says she is 18, but the actress Catherine Mary Stewart was 24. Samantha was in high school - safe to assume 15 or 16, but Kelli Maroney was 23.
- Depopulation Bomb
- Desolation Shot
- Distressed Damsel: Averted hard. As noted, these are Action Girls, aggressive, resourceful, and expert at handling weapons. Even when one of the girls is captured, her sister is a major part of the rescue plan.
- Dream Within a Dream: Sam has one (two?) of these involving zombie motorcycle cops.
- Eighties Hair: Oh dear Lord, yes.
- Elaborate Underground Base
- Empty Piles of Clothing: The only thing left of most of the world's inhabitants.
- Evil Stepmother: The girls consider their stepmother to be one of these.
- Fluffy Fashion Feathers: The white marabou jacket and boa Samantha wear in the (sort of) shopping spree scene.
- Groin Attack: Unleashed by Sam upon one of the zombie stockboys.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Hey, Uncle Harvey owns a theater!
- Hey, It's That Voice!: The little girl rescued at the end went on to voice Jenny "XJ-9" Wakeman in My Life as a Teenage Robot.
- Hoist By Their Own Petard: Minder and Davenport are "sent to see Santa" in the same manner as their victims.
- Improvised Weapon: A keyboard!
- Look Both Ways: Parodied and subverted.
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Carter.
- Mayor of a Ghost Town
- Military Brat: The girls.
- Old Shame: Robert Beltran doesn't much like to talk about this movie.
- Pretty in Mink: A blue fox jacket Regina wears in the (sort of) shopping spree scene.
- Promotion to Parent: Reggie for Sam, and Sam is not happy about it.
- Ragnarok Proofing: Short term version.
- Shown Their Work: The Mac-10 jams, and Sam says "Daddy would have gotten us Uzis." The Mac-10 is notoriously prone to jamming, and the Uzi is famously robust.
- Sigil Spam: The think tank's logo is on a few things you'd normally expect to see like the guards' uniforms, the helicopter, etc., but it starts getting silly when it's plastered on computers, tabletops and storage canisters.
- The Slacker: Regina 'Reggie' Belmont
- Slept Through the Apocalypse: True of Sam, Reggie and Hector.
- Sorry I Left the BGM On: During the scene at the mall, the background music is cut off when the boombox is destroyed.
- Technically Living Zombie: The "comet zombies" aren't so much undead as simply slowly decomposing people who must drink human blood to stave off their transformation into dust.
- Unintentional Period Piece
- Valley Girl: Samantha
- Vanity License Plate: The film's Brick Joke involves one.
- Visual Gag: There is a poster for the Clark Gable and Jean Harlow movie Red Dust on the theater door after everyone has been turned into a literal approximation of the film's title.
- Would Hurt a Child: The desperate scientists have no problem draining kids for their blood.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Hector, however, can't bring himself to shoot the zombie kid that chases him through his house.
Hector: Lucky for you I like kids!
- What an Idiot!: In-universe. Audrey basically says this about screwing up their survival plan.
- Wrench Whack
- X Meets Y: Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets The Omega Man.
- The X of Y