Night of the Comet is one of those under-rated gems which for some has inexplicably fallen under the radar.
Find a stream, or a DVD, or a Blu-Ray release of this film now.
It is so much fun.
We open on a shot of the wide expanse of space. 80's Voiceover Guy's dulset tones chime in, giving us much needed exposition. Then cut to 80's PARTY ATMOSPHERE.
The fun has begun.
This film owes much to Catherine Mary Stewart as Reggie, playing one of the greatest female protagonists of all time. To classify her as a tomboy would be too easy. She's nerdy, into video-games, comic books, but totally comfortable with her sexuality (within the first few minutes of the film she's boned a guy and then had an argument with him over Superman's various abilities). She doesn't know martial arts but has taken a few self defence classes and so while she's still scared, she's gonna defend the fuck out of defending herself. You know what I'm saying? She's basically just a normal woman right? So she's awesome.
But lets not forget that Kelli Maroney gets to play one of the greatest cheerleaders ever portrayed on screen, Samantha - literally the prototype for Buffy (AND their dog is ACTUALLY CALLED BUFFY). Also a positive, her character is one of the few in the film to have a fully rounded character arc. She starts out as an archetype and then grows within the role without losing herself to the darkness. Totally valley girl, but taking no shit.
Rounding out the main cast is Commander Chakotay himself, Robert Beltran. We always need more Robert Beltran.
The plot itself is a bit thin. Basically a comet has killed most of the human populace leaving only Reggie, Samantha, Hector and some scientists with dubious moral standing. Anyone else who is still moving around looks like this:
But we all know we didn't put this movie on for the narrative. Kudos to David Millar on the make up effects. I believe he is more widely known for his work on Michael Jackson's "Thriller". His work is greatly appreciated here. Especially in Maroney's bathroom scene. It goes from titillating to terrifying in record time.
Mary Waronov deserves a shout-out for her turn as Audrey, a scientist struggling with the moral implications of her groups activities, her final exchange with Beltran's Hector is particularly heartfelt.
The art direction should be lauded for the many scenes involving empty city streets decades before the technical wizardry of Will Smith's dire I Am Legend. The budgetary restraints do not show at all here, or really at all much during the film. A hint towards its low-class beginnings is the multiple uses of Chris Farren's "The Whole World is Celebratin'".
This is a film where girls got to be girls who got to be badasses and never had to justify a damn thing.
And even when they get undressed it felt like it was because it pushed the story forward, not just because we needed some titties.