Written by / 12/25/2016 / No comments / , , , , , ,

MOVIE REVIEW OF 'NIGHT OF THE COMET' AND THEN SOME

Cool Special Effects need no CGI back in 1984
It's that time again. You know because of the noise incessantly grinding inside coffee shops, restaurants and drugstores — music so bad it's only played once a year...

And it's been quite a year for Cult Film Freak, having discovered one particular "old movie" actor, Dana Andrews, and with him, cinematic gold was stuck as a barrage of directors, actresses and fellow actors, including his own personal Alfred Hitchcock in Otto Preminger, leading ladies such as Jeanne Crain, Anne Francis and Gene Tierney and a tight troupe of actors including Lloyd Bridges, Harry Morgan, Farley Granger, Hoagey Carmichael and... the list goes on and on, connecting classic films, whether popular (for that time) or hilarious clunkers that became beloved cult flicks (and would now surpass that era's popular ones)...

First released DVD signed by Kelli (and two others)
And so, on Christmas, 2016, this is not a review but a Holiday Post; a parenthetical glimpse into the 1984 cult movie NIGHT OF THE COMET despite the fact there's already a three actress interview retrospective haunting this site, including Catherine Mary Stewart, whose gorgeous tomboy, Regina, is a "Valley Girl" who kicks ass on video games and, it turns out, can hold her own battling the undead...

In our interview, Catherine wrote: "Even the producers weren’t sure exactly what to do with it. Thom Eberhardt, the writer/director, had always intended it to be tongue in cheek – a kind of salute to the old-fashioned horror genre with a twist of wry humor... The producers looked at it in terms of being a serious horror film, perhaps knowing that there was a more solid market for that sort of thing... Fortunately, it ended up the way Thom had envisioned."

Merry Mary CHRISTMAS to all!
Fortunate, indeed, for NIGHT OF THE COMET is very ahead of its time, and yet, back in The Day, even the TV ads didn't seem to grasp how to tease their own release. As a child of the 1980's, there's a slight recollection of the trailer, which failed to reveal much of anything that would attract an audience, making this science-fiction horror comedy seem more like an Ingmar Bergman arthouse bore. It would take years for the thirst to be quenched; and now it's a personal favorite. Story-wise, a lot is accomplished despite, and often because of, the low budget...

Robert Beltran out of his Santa suit
One scene smoothly follows the next as there's always another intriguing and suspenseful obstacle for the characters to overcome, including little sister cheerleader Kelli Maroney and future STAR TREK VOYAGER chief Robert Beltran's leading everyman, Hector, who played the title character in Paul Bartel's EATING RAOUL, which had co-starred a Roger Corman and before that, Andy Warhol quirky starlet, Mary Woronov: here as a sympathetic scientist as the overall comedy is built-in from the juxtaposed imagery having to do with these very "Unlikely Heroes" up against creatures that have grown extremely popular with time, and are currently peaking on the hit series, THE WALKING DEAD. But in COMET, the sinewy antagonists, instead of being contagious monsters creating more monsters with one bite, they're extremely hungry humans slowly dying from having been exposed by the comet, as the few lucky survivors were protected from steel walls. In fact, Regina and jerk "boyfriend" Michael Bowen were having sex in the El Rey theater's projection room, the place where iconic filmmaker Quentin Tarantino was practically raised.

EATING RAOUL Reunion in NIGHT OF THE COMET
And there's not much negative about NIGHT OF THE COMET, only that it's not a perfect film since it merely strives to be a really good one, and in that, totally succeeds. The entertainment value, from beginning to end of the world which is just the beginning, is out of this world, and beyond, and then some, too...

If every motion picture could and would strive to please an audience while keeping its own value intact, yours truly would be back at the Bella Terra theater in Huntington Beach, Ca., with all these new, often politically motivated, overblown, overpriced turkeys and, hell, either way, perhaps a New Year's Resolution is to return for a few New Release Reviews: Which did distinguish this "old movie" website, that will return to shorter, more concise writeups as opposed to essays, from many others out there, and, anyhow... Merry Christmas.
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