Night of the Comet

As Pa Sixon used to say, “Does this look infected?” Wait. I mean, “Christmas ain’t about bein’ with people ya like. It’s about bein’ with family.” And bein’ with family is a main theme of the 1984 post-apocalyptic-zombie-horror-romance-comedy, Night of the Comet.

Christmas is around the corner for sunny California and Santa, or perhaps maybe the Krampus, is bringin’ one heck o’ a gift: a comet. We learn it is, more or less, the same comet what knocked out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Shoot, ya don’t a comet for that—just feed ‘em some of Ma Sixon’s tuna surprise served at room temperature. While everyone is partying about the comet (because I guess that is what you do in California when home owners and mortgage insurance liabilities don’t matter because the Apocalypse is coming), Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart) is stuck workin’ at the local movie theater—which involves beating a mysterious high score on Tempest and scoring with the projectionist in the booth (to use the film’s vernacular, “making it”). Ah, to be an 18 year old girl in the 80’s again.

Night of the Comet

Back home, Regina’s mouthy little sis, Sam (Kelli Maroney), gets slapped around by her step mom—who is throwin’ a comet party of her own. One problem: once the comet arrives, everyone outside is turned to dust. And those what ain’t turned to dust, are turned into zombies. Regina wakes up after a night o’ lovin’ to find the streets filled with piles of dust, and a dash of occasional zombie. A tender moment ensues when Regina finds Sam, now (thankfully) clad in a cheerleader outfit. In an effort to find survivors, the pair goes to the local radio station (which has more neon lights than a Blade Runner convention in Las Vegas). At the station, they meet future Star Trek Voyager regular, Hector (Robert Beltran). That’s right, Commander Chakotay comes to the rescue.

Uh, sort of. As we learn, the girls’ dad is in the military–he trained the pair how to fight and use guns, so they can handle themselves (although Sam wishes Hector would handle her).

Night of the Comet

Because the film was made in the ‘80s, we are treated to a shopping montage set to a non-Lauper version of Girls Just Want to Have Fun, while Regina and Sam have the run of the mall. This was a requirement for most ‘80s films, along with Steve Gutenberg. Meanwhile, there is a secret underground group, with a maze for a logo, keeping tabs on survivors. They decide to bring a few back to the base, and hilarity ensues. By which I mean, stuff gets blown up.

Deep down, Night of the Comet is about family: two sisters are on their own and realize, despite pissin’ each other off from time to time, they are all they have. The girls also realize they need to stick together with Hector if they want to survive (and Regina hopes her and Hector really stick together), and form a new family o’ sorts.

While fairly tame by today’s standards, there is enough blood and violence to go around, and Night of the Comet leans heavily toward the goofy side of the post-apocalyptic meter. Night of the Comet, like any quality b-movie, is a campy, blood-soaked hoot. Give this one a watch–just don’t forget yer hairspray and leotard.


Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws the comic Clattertron.

roadside attractions

  • neon lights
  • leotards
  • cheerleading outfit
  • sunglasses at night
  • shopping montage
  • zombies
  • future star trek actors
  • retro video games
  • exploding cars
  • blood stealing
  • keyboard whacking
  • big hair
  • bloody wrenches
  • secret bases
  • MAC-10s
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

Not too bloody, but plenty it when it counts.

5

blood

BREASTS

While we never see Sam totally topless, she gets down to a bra in one scene, and jumps up and down in a nighty in another.

10

beast

BEASTS

Lots of zombie action, including kid zombies.

7.00 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Night of the Comet”

trailers

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