Saturday, February 26, 2011

Crap On Film: Night Of The Comet

I saw Night of the Comet in the theater during its initial release. Twice. I'm not sure how many people can make that claim. I'm not sure how many people want to make that claim. The movie was released upon an unsuspecting populace in November of 1984, a wonderfully weird year in the world of cinema. The preceding months had already borne witness to questionable classics like C.H.U.D., The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension, Red Dawn and Friday the 13th : The Final Chapter (sic). The hair was big. The spandex was tight. The girls were from the valley. It was a totally tubular time to be alive.

Night of the Comet revolves around two sisters named Regina and Samantha. Regina is a video game queen (partial to Tempest) who likes to make it in theater projection rooms and kick post-apocalyptic zombie ass. Samantha is a refugee from a Jane Fonda workout video who longs to make it with anyone and can't even kick the scrawny ass of her wicked stepmother. With our protagonists sporting properly antagonistic personalities, we can now move on to the science fiction romp.

But first a digression on the subject of “making it”. This is the phrase used habitually in Night of the Comet to refer to fucking, and I'm hereby lobbying for the phrase to make a comeback. “Let's make it.” “Looks like we made it.” “Sorry, I can't make it.” It gives the act of copulation an industrious air that it normally lacks, as if you've accomplished something worthwhile, rather than made yet another horrible mistake. It's the Martha Stewart of fucking phrases.

To return to the plot, a comet passes near our planet and reduces most people to a Tang-like dust. Of those who survive, many are transformed into bloodthirsty comet zombies. A few people are left unscathed, if you don't count the fact that they are now living in a world littered with mounds of Tang and bloodthirsty comet zombies. Something ensues.

The apex of the film occurs when the sisters find themselves in a seemingly abandoned department store. One second, they are cavorting dumbly as “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” rules the soundtrack. The next second, they are meeting Willy. If Jello Biafra and Elvis Costello had a baby, it would probably make the papers. It would also be Willy. He and his cohorts were once stock boys in the department store. Now, he is a comet-sickened stock boy with a sense of mission and a panoply of menacing phrases. Phrases spoken in a voice that apparently wasn't made for movies, since I've never heard another one quite like it. Legitimately creepy, crap lovers.

At the end of the day, most of us sleep. In the end, we're all going to die. To conclude, I'm not sure whether I love this movie for the nostalgia factor or because it's an authentically goofy work of schlock. But the fact that I had to wait 23 years for it to be released on DVD might be a clue.

Some quotes from Night of the Comet that you might want to use in casual conversation:

“You were born with an asshole, Doris. You don't need Chuck.”

“What are you going to do when your complexion freaks out? The dermatologist is dead, you know.”

“If bachelorette number one isn't out here in half a tick, I'm gonna ice bachelorette number two.”

“The MAC-10 submachine gun was practically designed for housewives.”

The whole shebang:

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