Thom Eberhardt’s Fun “Night Of The Comet” Proves The Apocalypse Isn’t All Doom & Gloom
It’s the end of the world as we know it, there’s just a pair of beautiful sisters remaining to repopulate civilisation with undoubtedly the luckiest man left alive. That man turns out to be trucker Hector Gomez (Robert Beltran) who has to literally fend off the attentions of both girls in writer-director Thom Eberhardt’s tongue-in-cheek post-apocalypse adventure which successfully mixes satire and humour with zombie-infused horror.
The delightful teenagers — played by 80s golden girl Catherine Mary Stewart and soap opera starlet Kelli Maroney — are able to drop their angst-ridden high school existence in favour of an alternative type of adolescent coming-of-age. With no parents to issue curfews, the girls can just about do whatever they want including playing their choice of music at the local radio station and enjoying a shopping spree at the local mall without the distraction of other customers or even the need for money.
But they’ve got to be careful. Fellow survivors whose intentions appear somewhat unethical populate an underground, scientific research facility. Meanwhile those only partly affected by the comet that wiped out the rest of existence have turned into flesh-chewing “undeads” who wander the vacant city streets eager to feast on human flesh. The girls have to rely on their cunning and a handful of automatic machine guns to survive.
Eberhardt’s pastiche of genres — there’s equal elements of The Omega Man and Dawn of the Dead here — is revitalised by a sense of the absurd that’s driven by tongue firmly being placed in cheek. Stewart and Maroney are likeable leads, and each enjoy taking on the role of hero, usually reserved for a macho, bicep-pumping leading man. Certainly, the decade’s hairstyles, clothes and pop music give Night of the Comet a sense of time and place; dated for some, nostalgic for others. But for me, it’s a b-movie that works: funny, sexy, a little bit scary and completely ridiculous. It’s also very, very eighties. Just the way I like it.