Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Top 20 Films Challenge #20: Night Of The Comet (1984)
An 80's cult classic to start off my list of favourite films of all times, which will not come as a surprise since films of the 80's make up half of it! In Night of the Comet, in the wake of a comet's passage, most of humanity is vapourised into a fine orange dust. Those less exposed are turned into killer zombies (are there any other kind?) while some rare lucky few, having been completely sheltered from the exposure, try to survive in the aftermath. In the meantime, some evil scientists are lurking in an underground bunker...
This film is one that I discovered relatively late considering its cult status but what a treat this turned out to be. It starts off as a sci-fi/horror (although a very laid back one), and then it turns into something else, not quite a laugh out loud comedy but more of a nonchalant end of the world B movie. We follow typical 80's valley girls Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart) & Samantha (the wonderful Kelly Maroney) as they fend off zombies, fight for survival, and still find the time to raid a mall, while Girls wanna have fun play out. It is the apocalypse as if you were not all that bothered, and I do not rank their chances of a long life very highly in the long run, but who cares if doomsday is so much fun!
While the themes and the low-budget are a throwback to the cheap horrors of the 50's, make no mistake, you cannot get any more 80's if you tried, with the fashion and music, all the way down to the orange hue that the image is bathed on (basically the remain of humanity floating in the air!) which gives the impression of watching a film through a tequila sunrise cocktail. And there is an almost surreal poetry to it as a result, which has taken up in value with time.
It is funny, cheesy, and infinitely likeable, perfectly capturing the zeitgeist of the era, greatly helped by the performance of the two leading ladies. Of course there are better, more cult 80's horrors/comedies out there, but this found its place on my list thanks to its endless charm.
In tomorrow's film, revolution will be my boy-friend, lead by scary German activist Gudrun... In the meantime I am just waiting for Martyn Conterio at Cinemart to reveal the first entry in his list!
Night of the Comet. US 1984. Directed by Thom Eberhardt. Starring Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelly Maroney...