Night of the Comet (1984)

Genres - Horror, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Action, Sci-Fi Disaster Film  |   Release Date - Nov 16, 1984 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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This is one of the more unusual entries into the post-apocalypse genre of the early 1980's. Instead of going for the usual Mad Max ripoff, writer/director Thom Eberhardt takes a clever tack by building the story around a pair of teenage heroines living in Los Angeles. This opens up the story for all manner of unusual takes on the usual post-apocalypse motifs: the wittiest is the girls celebrating their independence by going on a shopping spree in a deserted department store to the tune of "Girls Just Want To Have Fun." He counterbalances these light-hearted moments with a few effective moments of drama (there's a good scene where Kelli Maroney gets teary-eyed thinking about a boy who had a crush on her that she never got to meet) as well as a few shocks and some suspense. He also chose a quality cast for the film, making good use of reliable character actors Geoffrey Lewis and Mary Woronov as a pair of shady, inscrutable government scientists and also providing a nice role for Robert Beltran as a Mexican trucker who helps out the two heroines. The end result might not have enough action for those expecting a typical post-apocalyptic film but others are likely to appreciate its quirky sense of humor and its inventive knack for blending genres. In short, Night Of The Comet is a fun riff on 1980's sci-fi that is likely to appeal to cult film fans who don't normally go for this sort of genre fare.