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DVD Review

DVD cover

Night of the Comet


Starring (voice): Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney and Robert Beltran
Optimum Home Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 18 January 2010

The Earth moves through the orbit of a passing comet - an event not witnessed since the passing of the dinosaurs. People the world over are celebrating, as the sky turns a curious orange colour. Two partying girls, Reggie and Samantha, end up missing the show; one spending the night trapped in a cinema, the other intoxicated in a dumpster. When venturing outside they discover almost the entire population has been reduced to a composite red dust. A small handful of exposed survivors have degenerated into zombie-like beasts. When the girls hear a radio broadcast they travel to the station to search for survivors. The radio is broadcasting from a tape, but they do join forces with a drifter. Unfortunately, a group of scientists have taken an unhealthy interest in the trio, and view them and their blood as a prospective antidote to save their own lives...

Night of the Comet is one of those films which is very much a product of its time - in this case, the 1980s. The then newly developed technology of video effects seriously dates the product, the OTT vivid colouring of the picture making it resemble little more than a Visage music video.

Talking of music, there was a tendency around this time to attach a New Romantic style of soundtrack to nearly every horror film. It very soon begins to grate, steamrollering its way over the events taking place on screen. Not that there's much to ruin.

To me the film feels like a dry run for the real thing. Nobody experiences (or displays) any extreme emotions, whether it be at the state of events, being attacked by zombies, opened fire on with automatic weapons, or the two girls being forcibly abducted and separated. In fact, one of the girls retaliates against the gunfire by throwing shoes! Furthermore, the scientists are expert marksmen, which doesn't seem likely.

I'm not sure that this film succeeds in its attempts to combine horror, SF, comedy and romance, but I do agree with one part of the marketing blurb, which says this is a 'wry commentary on '80s teen culture'.


Ty Power

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