Night of the Comet is a clever and fun twist on the zombie sub-genre and one hell of a ride featuring two great performances from Kelli Maroney and, especially, Catherine Mary Stewart. The Blu-ray released by Shout Factory has a fair array of bonus features and the audio/video transfers are both well done.
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Comedy, Horror
Shout Factory | PG13 – 95 min. – $29.93 | November 19, 2013
Directed by: Thom Eberhardt
Writer(s): Thom Eberhardt (written by)
Cast: Robert Beltran, Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, Sharon Farrell, Mary Wornov
Theatrical Release Date: November 16, 1984
Features: Commentaries, Featurettes, Photo Galleries, DVD Copy
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 34.0 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 4.25/5
Plot Synopsis: It’s the first comet to buzz the planet in 65 million years, and everyone seems to be celebrating its imminent arrival. Everyone, that is, except Regina Belmont (CATHERINE MARY STEWART) and her younger sister Samantha (KELLI MARONEY), two Valley Girls who care more about fashion trends than the celestial phenomenon. But upon daybreak, when the girls discover that they’re the only residents of Los Angeles whom the comet hasn’t vaporized or turned into a zombie, they do what all good Valley Girls do…they go shopping! But when their day of malling threatens to become a day of mauling, these gals flee with killer zombies and blood-seeking scientists in hot pursuit!
Quick Hit Review: One of the zaniest and best zombie movies to come out of the ‘80s, Night of the Comet is a fun mixture of true horror and spot-on comedy tackling the Valley Girl phenom of the era which reached its peak with 1994’s Clueless. The film’s cast are all fantastic headlined by Catherine Mary Stewart who unfortunately never broke out into the mainstream. Still, Thom Eberhardt’s film is pretty damn good especially for the low budget and is well worth checking out whether or not you enjoy the genre.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5
This release comes with a glossy slip cover. Inside is a standard DVD Copy.
Audio Commentaries – We get not one, not two but THREE commentary tracks: 1) Actors Kelli Maroney & Catherine Mary Stewart; 2) Director Thom Eberhardt; and 3) Production Designer John Muto. These tracks, moderated by DVD Producer Michael Felcher, are pretty informative and luckily cover a variety of areas and viewpoints. I wouldn’t say they are amazing but I enjoyed each of them.
Valley Girls at the End of the World (14:59; HD) are interviews with actresses Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney as they, separately, recount their time on the project from the auditions to filming.
The Last Man on Earth? (12:32; HD) is an interview with actor Robert Beltran going through the same sort of info as Stewart and Maroney. He’s a very personable guy that I wish he were a part of the commentary crew.
Curse of the Comet (6:32; HD) – Make-up Effects Designer David B. Miller chats about his time on the film.
Also included are a Film Photo Gallery, Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery and the Theatrical Trailer (1:14; HD).
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Shout Factory releases Night of the Comet on Blu-ray presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio (the back cover inaccurately states it is 1.78) and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture is actually not bad for a low-budget affair… from nearly 30 years ago. There’s a fair amount of details and the colors look nicely balanced from the red sky to Samantha’s blue and red cheerleader outfit. On the downside, and its minor, there are some shots with dust marks and scratches so it’s not pristine.
AUDIO – 3.5/5
The disc includes both a 5.1 and 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks; I watched the film with the 5 channel track. The audio doesn’t sound bad actually with discernible dialogue coming from the center channel while any action elements are relegated to the front channels and come across a bit flat. Although it’s not an incredible lossless track, it is a solid upgrade over the DVD version which received only a Dolby Digital Surround.
OVERALL – 4.0/5
Overall, Night of the Comet is a clever and fun twist on the zombie sub-genre and one hell of a ride featuring two great performances from Kelli Maroney and, especially, Catherine Mary Stewart. The Blu-ray released by Shout Factory has a fair array of bonus features and the audio/video transfers are both well done.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.