Night of the Comet
“The Mac-10 machine-gun was practically designed for housewives!”
Swift shot: When the concept of “The Bin” was first imagined, I made a short list of films that I HAD to include in “The Booty” section – - – Night of the Comet was first on this list! There are films that you see as a kid that resonate with you in a way you can’t always accurately convey to your friends, but I am going to do my damnedest to try, right now!
First, this film was made in 1984, a heady year for film, at least for true geeks like me, and shit, I was a geek way before it was cool. I liked what I liked, and I didn’t give a rat’s ass about any fucking movie critics opinions, truth be told, I still don’t! I can imagine what the so-called “experts” would say, “It was stupid, there was all this violence and sexual provocation, the plot was like something out of a bad 50′s B-movie” Or something to that affect, I am sure.
Here is why they may have been right, but oh so wrong. Night of the Comet, set in Los Angeles, 65 million years after the comet’s last visit, coincidentally the same time the dinosaurs stopped being cool and turned into fuel, is designed to be an homage to the 50′s terror films. But, this isn’t the 50′s, it’s 1984, when Orwell predicted we would all be using New Speak and fucking electric outlets or some shit. 1984 was a time of fatalist greatness, the Russians had nukes up our ass, we were fighting the Sandinistas and a little film called Red Dawn was letting people know it was time to stock up on cornflakes and cordite! Night of the Comet plays perfectly within this time-frame.
Regina, played by Catherine Mary “The Last Starfighter” Stewart works at a movie theater as an usher – so, much like 2011, she is pretty much a useless waste of flesh, I mean, read here for why I think ushers are useless. She is 18 and really focuses on “making it” and breaking curfew, as her evil step-mother, Doris (Sharon Farrell) plays pin the tail on the whore with the idiot neighbor . . . all while Regina’s dad is in Nicaragua with Special Forces, fighting those aforementioned Sandinistas!
Regina isn’t alone though, she has a sister, Samantha (Kelli “Servants of Twilight” Maroney) who is also only interested in “making it” (that’s sex for the dimwitted) with anyone her sister doesn’t manage to steal from her. She is a cheerleader, or a pep squad leader (like I give a shit about the difference – she wears one of those skirts with the pleats) and is tired of taking shit from her evil step-mother, Doris too.
On the Night of the Comet, the whole world is dealing with it in different ways . . . two guesses how LA reacts? Yepp, they all plan on having bitching parties and wearing cheesy souvenirs, holding up signs welcoming the comet . . . like the fucking thing can read! Glad to see not much has changed in LA. Anyway, Regina and Samantha survive, as [spoiler alert], duh, the comet wipes out humanity in one brilliant display of power, turning all the people to red dust. Not everyone is instantly turned into pixie dust though, some are turned into zombie-like mutants who roam around attacking anything that moves. One encounter with one of these zombies is kinda ridiculous and awesome all at once, as Regina tries to explain to him, “I have been trained, but I don’t want to hurt you.” Remember, her dad is in the Special Forces, and he has taught both his daughters how to kill and shoot. Maybe that is why I liked this so much as a kid, both of the girls were hot and one was a tom-boy and one a cheerleader . . . yet they both knew how to handle a sub-machine gun with aplomb.
Joining forces with Hector (Robert “Chokotay” Beltran) a guy they meet while looking for survivors in their local radio station, they manage to have some wonderful end of the world as we know it type scenes, but while a lot of the film is kind of, well, actually, incredibly unbelievable, it was fun to watch the characters come to grips with their new reality. Could they possibly be the last people on Earth? A montage heavy scene in one of LA’s malls puts that fear to rest as “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” belts out on the boom-box and we see one of those “must-have” trying on clothes and dancing like idiots scenes in said mall. The Mall shots have my favorite characters, they scared the shit out of me when I was 10. Watching it now, they were still effectively baneful, but less scary.
The Mall folks aren’t the only ones left ticking; there is a special group of scientists who locked up tight when the comet came to town . . . they are led by Dr. Carter (Geoffrey “Every Which Way But Loose” Lewis) and Audrey (Mary “Warlock” Woronov) who are there to help pick up the pieces of what is left of society. They are trying desperately to come up with a serum that will allow humanity to continue to exist.
The story itself was interesting to me as a kid, and I enjoyed watching the girls run around with machine guns and though I was only 10, the cheese wasn’t lost on me, this was a film that was akin to “Zombieland” today. It was just fun watching them deal with the shit, but there was also a lesson I took from the film. Ultimately though, this film’s ending is what has always stuck with me, “How cool would THAT be?” I would always think. See, after just about every film I watch, I ask myself, ok, now what? The film is over, but the story isn’t. Night of the Comet has the coolest ending of just about any film.
This was the film that started my love affair with sexy, bad-ass geek girls with guns. In one scene, Regina is simply non-plussed that her shtupping partner thinks STEEL is what Superman can’t see through . . . it’s lead, Larry . . . No Duh! So, if you are walking down the aisle and come across “The Bin” at your favorite Chinese crapola mega-store, if you see this film, GRAB IT! It’s the reason we made this whole damned section in the first place!!