NIGHT OF THE COMET (director/writer: Thom Eberhardt; cinematographer: Arthur Albert; editor:  Fred Stafford; music:  David Richard Campbell; cast: Catherine Mary Stewart (Regina), Kelli Maroney (Samantha), Robert Beltran (Hector), Mary Woronov (Audrey), Geoffrey Lewis (Dr. Carter), John Achorn (Oscar), Michael Bowen (Larry), Sharon Farrell (Doris), Chance Boyer (Brian), Janice Kawaye  (Sarah), Marc Poppel (Danny Mason Keener); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Andrew Lane/Wayne Crawford; Atlantic Releasing; 1984)

"Parodies the 1950's sci-fi zombie flicks."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Thom Eberhardt ("Without a Clue"/"Gross Anatomy"/"Captain Ron") writes and directs this genial but dumb-ass 'end of the world' B-movie horror/comedy, that parodies the 1950's sci-fi zombie flicks. The derivative low-budget cult movie moves along at a quick pace and offers a sometimes appealing sassy entertaining tongue-in-cheek flavor, but lacks originality and imagination to be more than a modest success.  It works best as a goofy satire, that provides a few chuckles when it goes campy. It features flesh-eating zombie attacks; in the middle of the attacks a sibling trip to the mall to steal disco garb and in the background a breezy 1980's pop soundtrack. It plays for laughs Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", sung by Tami Holbrook, during a machine-gun shootout between the sisters and punky security-orientated stock-boys, and it concludes with a more fiery shoot-out between the three human survivors and a lab filled with evil scientists.

During the Christmas season, the same comet that destroyed the dinosaur returns to destroy most of life on Earth. In LA, most citizens either turn to red dust or into zombies. The survivors, who were saved by staying overnight in a steel-lined room, include two ditsy Valley girl high school students, the promiscuous karate fighting senior cinema usher Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart) and her flirty younger cheerleader sister Samantha (Kelli Maroney). Probing around an automated radio station, the girls encounter another survivor, the hunky nice-guy Hispanic truck driver Hector (Robert Beltran) from San Diego. The trio team-up to fight off the attacking zombies and a group of kidnapping hostile government scientist survivors, led by the heroic self-sacrificing scientist Audrey (Mary Woronov) and her evil boss Dr. Carter (Geoffrey Lewis). The scientists dwell in a desert military compound, but were compromised by the comet and need the blood of the uncontaminated human survivors to make a serum before they turn into zombies.

REVIEWED ON 6/1/2013       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"