Sunday, November 3, 2013

Night of the Comet (Scream Factory Blu-ray): The Friendlier Side of the Post-Apocalypse

No matter how you slice it it seems we always have the undead in the post-apocalypse. Whether you want to refer to them as zombies or whether they even qualify as traditional zombies is a whole other question. I think back to Nightmare City. Those little buggers were really mutants but are often confused for our favorite lovable zeds because we hold the movie in such high regard and want it to be a part of the canon of the undead. For basis of comparison I think you need to put Night of the Comet in the same category. It's a post-apocalyptic movie about a comet that basically vaporizes (or dissolves or disintegrates) every human on the planet directly exposed to its sphere of influence. The end result of those not directly hit by its radiation is a sort of degradation, a gradual zombification... in short we have mutants not zombies. Throughout the features I think they're refered to as zombies, but they really aren't right? We know what zombies are (don't we), but I think we'll let this slide anyway because we love Night of the Comet. It's a friendlier, happier post-apocalypse. Scream Factory gave Night of the Comet the collector's edition treatment. It's cult favorite precedes it and you, the fans, get a full spectrum look at a classic.

Synopsis from Scream Factory

It’s the first comet to buzz the planet in 65 million years, and everyone seems to be celebrating its imminent arrival. Everyone, that is, except Regina Belmont (Catherine Mary Stewart, The Last Starfighter) and her younger sister Samantha (Kelli Maroney, Chopping Mall), two Valley Girls who care more about fashion trends than the celestial phenomenon. But upon daybreak, when the girls discover that they’re the only residents of Los Angeles whom the comet hasn’t vaporized or turned into a zombie, they do what all good Valley Girls do…they go shopping! But when their day of malling threatens to become a day of mauling, these gals flee with killer zombies and blood-seeking scientists in hot pursuit!


When I say that this is a friendlier, happier post-apocalypse, I want to clarify. It isn't because you can't get scared at some of the creepies in Night of the Comet or that there are moments where dread could potentially enter your mind, but let's face it. We have two teen girls going about a city-scape post-comet, radiation annihilation of nearly all of humanity, and the whole thing features upbeat synth pop, mall excursions, two girls playing radio DJ's and a knight in shining 80's who shows up to provide a love interest. The entire intro is hellbent on getting you to prefer the destruction of all mankind save for a few choice survivors. In that sense it's perfect. You want the protagonists to win and survive and when the inevitable plot twisters come along to steal some healthy blood out of our heroes, you want them to get what's coming to them. The radiation zeds are easy to hate, have a creepy look and are more alien invader-esque enemies than human (They Live might be a nice comparison). This is a movie well-constructed for fun in a way that only the 80's understood how to create.

For a cult favorite, this is an absolutely loaded disc. I'm serious impressed with the extras we get with the Scream Factory release. Besides the fact that you get a DVD/Blu-ray combo disc, here is the full list of goodies:

Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Thom Eberhardt
Audio Commentary with Stars Kelli Maroney and Catherine Mary Stewart
Audio Commentary with Production Designer John Muto
Valley Girls At The End Of The World – Interviews with Stars Kelli Maroney and Catherine Mary Stewart
The Last Man On Earth? – An Interview with Actor Robert Beltran
Curse of the Comet – An Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Creator David B. Miller
Still Galleries (Behind the Scenes and Official Stills)
Theatrical Trailer

The commentaries are varied and insightful though maybe not as fun as say a John Carpenter commentary track (but what could be, right?). The interviews with Kelli Maroney and Catherine Mary Stewart are perfect for fans. If you have identified or loved the characters in Night of the Comet you get to meet them behind the scenes, up close, personal and in fond remembrance of a fun film shoot. Same goes for Robert Beltran who loves to talk about Night of the Comet. My particular favorite extras is the Curse of the Comet discussion with David Miller. He discusses makeup creation and effects in a fun yet instructional way.

This disc features new cover art as well as the traditional cover art of which I prefer the newly revamped, collector's edition art. Whether you're enjoying the Scream Factory newly commissioned art or prefer the original you'll get 'em both.  

You will be able to pick up Night of the Comet November 5th, but Pre-Order it now from Scream Factory

I strongly recommend picking up Night of the Comet if you haven't had the chance to enjoy this release especially if you're tired of the bleak post-civilization realities being afforded in all the zombies movies out there save for the lighthearted romantic zombie flicks, then Night of the Comet will paint a new picture of what the end of times could really be. Fans of Nightmare City, apply but be ready for less blood/gore/boobs. 


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