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Night Of The Comet (DVD)

The cult classic gets its long awaited UK DVD release

Disc Specs

Starring Catherine Mary StewartKelli MaroneyRobert Beltran Disc Cover
Directed By Thom Eberhardt Certificate 15
Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Visuals 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Running Time 91 mins
UK Release Date January 18, 2010
Genre Comedy, Horror, Sci-fi
Our Rating
User Rating

As the Earth passes through the tail of a comet, the human race gathers for what promises to be a spectacular celestial show. However, come morning, mankind has vanished and only a few survivors remain. A strange red haze envelopes the sky, ominous piles of red dust litter the ground and homicidal zombies roam the deserted landscape.

Night of the Comet doesn’t manage the spectacle of other post apocalyptic offerings. Likewise, it fails to capture the unsettling edge of films like The Quiet Earth or The Omega Man. Saying that, the film occupies a different territory; it’s a dizzying cocktail of comedy, horror and science fiction. The result is a highly entertaining experience, providing a standard enough end of the world scenario that throws in more than a few surprising laughs and thrills along the way.

The script provides some truly great moments, mostly when it grazes nearer the comic side of the spectrum. A particularly memorable sequence involves two characters cheering themselves up with a spree around a shopping mall, before the frothy quick change montage becomes a fire fight with a rabble of gun toting zombies in the womenswear department. Throughout the film, a lively playlist of 80s guilty pleasures serves as the soundtrack, which only adds to the film’s spirited nature.  The quality of the dialogue has a meandering quality, but for every graceless exchange there’s some genuinely snappy writing to enjoy.

Unfortunately, the eclectic nature of the film throws a few jarring spanners into the works. A story strand involving a conclave of sinister scientists is particularly clumsy, with vague plot points and characters that speak like textbook reciting robots. However the central heroines are a refreshing change from what you’d expect; with Catherine Mary Stewart particularly endearing as the plucky, street smart Reggie. Kelli Maroney also turns in a strong performance as her cheerleading little sis, who quickly ditches the pompoms for an Uzi and proves more than a match for the bloodthirsty ghouls and sinister types she’s pitted against.

Admittedly, the film looks more than a little dated. Its low budget nature only allows for the most basic of special effects and spectacle, but thankfully the filmmakers embrace this. It’s a film that doesn’t punch above its weight; it knows it limitations and keeps to them. The prevalence of perms and shoulder pads serves as a constant reminder to the decade the film was made, but bundled up with an enjoyable and colourful soundtrack, it’s something to enjoy rather than groan about.

Unfortunately, this DVD release leaves a lot to be desired. The visuals are passable, but the colours never pop onscreen. Likewise, the audio isn’t the clearest, which does distract during the worst stretches of dialogue. Sadly, there are no special features to speak of and even the menu design is basic and uninspired.

Overall Verdict: An imaginative and engaging endeavour; this long awaited DVD release is sadly lacking in every department. Any existing fans of Night of the Comet will no doubt feel short changed.

Special Features:
Trailer

Reviewer: David Steele

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