OCTOBER 8, 2008
Being a fan of zombie films who lives in the “valley” of Los Angeles, I’m not sure how I never got around to seeing Night of the Comet, a zombie film about valley girls, but if I had seen it a while ago, I think I’d feel pretty much the same way about it.
It’s not a bad film, but Christ, where the hell are the goddamn zombies? Zombie scenes make up less than 10 minutes of the film, and they’re all pretty brief. I wasn’t aware that the film was PG-13 until halfway through, so I was also pretty confused as to why the zombie scenes were so tame as well. If you’re looking for some mid 80s zombie splatter, this is probably the last film I would recommend.
So if the zombies aren’t really a problem, what is? Yep, you guessed it: MAD SCIENTISTS (aka EVIL HUMANS). Led by Geoffrey Lewis (was that guy always old?), they are the real threat here, doing usual mad scientist type things. Needless to say, these scenes weren’t as exciting as the earlier ones, when the girls first figure out their predicament and spend some time living as the only people in Los Angeles.
And that’s where the movie really shines. The “desolate” LA area is well done (even though I know how they did it!), and since our heroines are teenagers, their actions are believable. Also, I can’t help but love Catherine Mary Stewart’s character; one of her most prominent character traits is that she is determined to retain her top score on Tempest (never one of my favorites, but to each her own). Also, she fucks a dude in a movie theater, which pretty much makes her the greatest woman alive.
The dude she fucks is the great Michael Bowen, in one of his earliest roles. I wish his character didn’t disappear after 10 minutes, but since he plays a guy who trades horror film prints, I will take what I get. It’s also nice to see him in a non psychotic/antagonistic role. I like that dude.
The movie’s also got a lot of great little comedic touches. A lot of it is spoof/homaging the old 50s-60s scifi/horror movies, and the idea of two valley girls being mankind’s savior is kind of amazing. There’s also a lot of nice sight gags; my favorite is when one of them is buying shoes and lays her Uzi down on the table. It’s just a ridiculous sight.
The DVD just finally came out, but it’s entirely devoid of features. Would have been nice to have a little retrospective piece (or a new commentary), especially since a lot of the movie is so steeped in 80s music and fashion – it would be hilarious. Oh well. Movie’s still kind of fun, and it’s nice to have a cinematic relic of a specific time/place.
What say you?