Night of the Comet (1984)

night of the comet

“The MAC-10 submachine gun was practically designed for housewives.”

The Scoop: 1984 PG-13, directed by Thom Eberhardt and starring Robert Beltran, Catherine Mary Stewart & Kelli Maroney

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

Summary Capsule: When a killer comet wipes out most of civilization, it’s up to two Valley Girls to bring life back to the wasteland. Cyndi Lauper ensues.


Justin’s rating: Bodacious!

Justin’s review: Hot chicks.  Motocycles.  Zombies.  The apocalypse.  Uzis.  Top 40 hits. Secret government think tanks.  Shopping malls. Legwarmers.

This weekend’s shaping up to be pretty interesting, I’ll give it that!

The Earth passes through a rogue comet’s tail one night, which begins with an inexplicable worldwide celebration over the event, and ends with pretty much everyone either turning into red dust or zombies.  That’s not so great for sisters Sam and Reg, each who survive the initial event through the protection of almighty STEEL.  Now, faced with a world gutted of humanity and filled with human and non-human horrors, the sisters load up with heavy weapons and… go on a shopping trip.

It’s the ’80s.  What did you expect?

Night of the Comet is decidedly more tongue-in-cheek than 2007’s I Am Legend, although they both share a common bond — the exploration of an empty world by survivors who have to face threats within and out.  But I think Sam and Reg would be more fun to hang out with than the Fresh Prince.  It’s hard not to like Sam’s cheerleaderly pluck or Reg’s no-nonsense Army brat instincts.  Girl power all the way!

The movie dabbles in different areas without any real depth. It’s not entirely an action film, or a zombiepocalypse, or a comedy, or a teen flick, but it does sample them all.  What Night of the Comet does superbly well is to be a unique ’80s vision of the end of the world, and that is something worth keeping around.  Somehow, zombies and mass extinction is easier to take when the experience is slathered with neon and scored by soft-pop.  There’s never a dull moment when Cyndi Lauper’s at the wheel!

It’s not a perfect movie (what cult film is?) — the acting is a mixed bag, the third act with the secret government installation of wimps is very anti-climactic, and there’s only a paltry few zombies when I was hoping for more, so many more.

Night of the Comet has earned a solid rep as a cult classic, although it really didn’t stand a chance back in 1984, a year when the ’80s really and truly kicked in.  It’s a decent film, but it had the unfortunate fate of coming out the same year as Ghostbusters, Karate Kid, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, among others.  It can’t be blamed for being the quirky upstart at the kiddy table, but really, isn’t it a better legacy to be remembered for decades after than to shine bright and die?

Boys, you may commence falling in love... now.
Boys, you may commence falling in love… now.


  • These people obviously exist in an alternative universe where comets are the very centerpiece of all that is exciting, instead of being a ho-hum blurb on the news
  • Peter Boyle selling tacky “comet” head antennae
  • Tempest!  I like this girl already!
  • Does anyone call sex “making it” anymore?  I didn’t think so.
  • Perms and leg warmers… oh yeah, we’re in the 80’s
  • All girls deserve an Egg McMuffin after sex
  • Peppy Valley chicks come up with great post-apocalyptic rules
  • Those are some sharp shoulders there, Reg!
  • Girls just want to have fun… in the apocalypse!
  • Willly’s pretty dang amusing
  • Hector comes in many varieties: Trucker Hector, Santa Claus Hector and Cowboy Hector
  • These scientists are really bad at two things: lying and looking innocent

Groovy Quotes

Zombie: COME HERE!
Regina: Come here your ass!

Regina Belmont: Have you ever been hit with Dots, Mel? Milk Duds? Those things hurt!

Willy: Let’s play a game, it’s called scary noises.

Samantha: The burden of civilization is upon us…
Danny Mason Kenner: Ohhh. [smiling] Bitchin’, isn’t it?

Regina Belmont: C’mon Hector, the MAC-10 submachine gun was practically designed for housewives.

Sarah: I don’t know, my parents told me never to breathe anything from strangers.

Sarah: They said if we breathe this, we can go to the North Pole to see Santa Clause.
Regina Belmont: That’s so sick!

Regina Belmont: They said you were dead!
Samantha: They were exaggerating totally.

If You Liked This Movie, Try These:

  • Clueless
  • I Am Legend
  • 28 Days Later


  1. It makes me so happy to see a review for this movie, I’ve always loved it.

    You hit the nail on the head, it can’t decide exactly what it wants to be, and can be down right goofy, but it’s a lot of fun.

    “Hector comes in many varieties: Trucker Hector, Santa Claus Hector and Cowboy Hector”

    You is awesome, Justin.

  2. This is a really fun movie, and the excellent blu-ray from Shout! Factory at least doubles the fun.

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