Scream Factory brings middle-aged horror fans another piece of their childhood on Blu-ray with the release of the “Night of the Comet” Collector’s Edition. Here’s another perfect example of a movie I grew up on and spent many summer days watching while on vacation at my father’s house. A combination of “Night of the Living Dead,” “The Omega Man,” and “Valley Girl” makes this quirky film an essential addition to any fan’s 1980’s genre collection.
Everyone is celebrating the return of a comet that hasn’t buzzed by the Earth in 65 million years. The last time it swung by, the dinosaurs went extinct. How can it come as a surprise that this time around it incinerates humans and leaves survivors mutated and ravenous for human flesh? Two Los Angeles valley girls (Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney) join forces with a truck driver (Robert Beltran) as they run for their lives from the walking dead and scientists intent on draining their blood in an attempt to find a cure for the zombie outbreak.
“Night of the Comet” perfectly captures the tone of the 1980s in every way. The feeling of paranoia about the world coming to an end is one element. I remember reading about the planets aligning and how this could cause the apocalypse. It seems like every day the papers or television would feature stories about impending nuclear Armageddon.
It was a scary time for kids and the fact that two valley girls in a big city like L.A. could survive gave many a teenager hope they could as well. In what other time period besides the 1980s would we see two high school girls raid a shopping mall and try on clothes while listening to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” on a jam box. Keep in mind, this is right after discovering the world had come to an end? However, the best part comes when they wield semi-automatic rifles dressed to the nines against mutated delivery boys. These are just a few of the reasons why “Night of the Comet” is such a charming part of horror cinema history.
On top of all that, we also get the usual “Don’t Trust the Older Generation” message. There’s nothing adolescents distrust and hate more than authority figures telling them what to do. “Night of the Comet’s” examples of these suspicious characters come in the form of a group of scientists willing to kill survivors in search of an antidote for themselves.
The film is rated PG-13 for violence, language, adult situations, and gore. “Night of the Comet” is tame in comparison to most zombie and horror films. This is the type of movie designed for the masses. You could watch it with people who don’t frequently watch scary movies. It’s perfect for helping get lightweights into the Halloween spirit without completely freaking them out.
The “Night of the Comet” Collector’s Edition gives consumers exactly what they want when it comes to bonus material. Audio commentary is provided by actors Kelli Maroney, Catherine Mary Stewart, Mary Woronov, Director/Writer Thom Eberhardt, and Production Designer John Muto. There are new interviews with Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, Robert Beltran, and Special Make-up Effects creator David B. Miller. It also contains a film photo gallery, behind-the-scenes photo gallery, and a theatrical trailer.
The high-definition transfer of “Night of the Comet” is exactly what most will want and expect. It’s a cleaner and better picture, but doesn’t lose the grainy feel we all love when we watch 1980’s flicks. It’s presented in 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1) and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Mono. The movie’s boisterous blend of pop music, gunshots, and growling zombies have never sounded better.
The “Night of the Comet” Collector’s Edition is another fine example of the respect Scream Factory has for cult classics that might not see the light of day on Blu-ray because of a niche audience. Once again, they go above and beyond by providing fans with special features that give us an insight into the making of the movie and the impact it’s had on audiences. Hopefully, it will also give new people the opportunity to see it for the first time. Great new “vintage-style” cover art for the release is the icing on the cake.
The “Night of the Comet” Collector’s Edition is available now on Blu-ray.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
‘Curse of Chucky’ Revives the Long Dormant ‘Child’s Play’ Franchise
“Zombie Hunter” is a Ridiculous and Irreverent Good Time
“Day of the Dead” Gets a Hi-Def Upgrade for Its Collector’s Edition