Night of the Comet (1984)

Night of the Comet (1984)

Taglines: It was the last thing on earth they ever expected.

Two pretty high school girls (one a cheerleader!) don’t like their stepmother or her new boyfriend (“Daddy would have gotten us Uzis!”). One morning, they wake up to find that everybody in Los Angeles has been turned to dust by a Comet except them, a guy who looks like Erik Estrada, some zombies and the occupants of a secret underground government installation.

Night of the Comet is a 1984 American science fiction horror comedy film written and directed by Thom Eberhardt. It stars Catherine Mary Stewart, Robert Beltran, and Kelli Maroney as survivors of a comet that has turned most people into either dust or zombies. Night of the Comet grossed $14.4 million in the US on a $700,000 budget. It has a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 83% and has since become a cult film, influencing the creation of Buffy Summers.

Night of the Comet (1984)

About the Story

The Earth is passing through the tail of a comet, an event which has not occurred in 65 million years. The last time coinciding with the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs. On the night of the comet’s passage, which takes place eleven days before Christmas, large crowds gather outside to watch and celebrate.

18-year-old Regina “Reggie” Belmont works at a movie theater in southern California. She is annoyed to find the initials DMK have the sixth highest score on the theater’s arcade game on which all the other scores are hers. She stays after the theater closes to play until DMK’s score is removed and have sex with her boyfriend Larry, the theater projectionist, in the steel-lined projection booth. Meanwhile, Reggie’s 16-year-old sister Samantha “Sam” argues with their stepmother Doris, who punches her in the face. Sam then spends the night in a steel backyard shed.

The next morning, a reddish haze covers everything, and there are no signs of life, only piles of red dust and heaps of clothing. Unaware that anything strange has happened, Larry goes outside and is killed by a zombie wielding a pipe wrench. When Reggie goes looking for Larry, she encounters the zombie, but escapes. She heads home to find her sister. Because both Reggie and Sam spent the night shielded from cosmic effects by steel, they were saved from the comet’s effects.

Night of the Comet (1984)

After figuring out what has happened, they hear a disc jockey and race to the radio station, only to find it was just a recording. They come across another survivor there, Hector Gomez, who spent the night in the back of his steel truck. When Sam talks into the microphone, she is heard by researchers in an underground installation out in the desert.

As they listen to Reggie, Sam and Hector debate what to do, the scientists note that the zombies, though less exposed to the comet, will eventually disintegrate into dust themselves. Hector leaves to see if any of his family survived, but promises to come back. Reggie and Sam then go shopping at a mall. After a firefight with some zombie stock boys, the girls are taken prisoner, but are saved by a rescue team sent by the scientists.

Night of the Comet Movie Poster (1984)

Night of the Comet

Directed by: Thom Eberhardt
Starring: Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, Robert Beltran, Sharon Farrell, Mary Woronov, Geoffrey Lewis, Lissa Layng, Janice Kawaye
Screenplay by: Thom Eberhardt
Production Design by: John Muto
Cinematography by: Arthur Albert
Film Editing by: Fred Stafford
Set Decoration by: David Wasco
Music by: David Campbell
Distributed by: Atlantic Releasing Corporation
Release Date: November 16, 1984