PG-13 Dir: Thom Eberhardt | MGM | 95 min.
Fusion3600 | January 28th, 2012
Plot: What’s it about?
The world’s population is in a state of excited anticipation, as a comet is about to streak past the planet. But for Regina (Catherine Mary Stuart), the evening won’t be spent staring up the heavens, instead she’ll be nestled in the arms of her boyfriend Larry (Michael Bowen). She is working the late shift at the movie theater, so she and her man plan to hole up in the projection booth once the doors are closed. The next morning, she wakes up to find no sign of Larry and when she steps outside, the situation takes a turn for the worse. She is attacked by a very unusual man, whose eyes have turned white and he seems to be in some kind of trance or other offbeat state. After she evades the attack, she hops on Larry’s motorcycle and ventures back home. As she rides, she sees that the streets are barren and there are no signs of other people to be seen. She does see a lot of clothes strewn around and piles of red dust, but little else. What has happened since Regina went to sleep and will she find anyone else and when she does, will she wish she had never found them?
As this format has been a boon for collectors of cult cinema, I was surprised that Night of the Comet was just released. But fans have waited for other movies and been rewarded with lavish Special Editions, right? In the case of Night of the Comet, the wait wasn’t rewarded, as MGM has delivered a disappointing release. As if the total lack of special features wasn’t enough, the transfer is a let down too, not good news for fans. This movie will probably still sell, as fans are quite devoted, but MGM could have cashed in big time if they’d done this one right. The movie is as much fun as ever though, a skillful blend of Valley Girl and Night of the Living Dead that is unique and well made. High cinema? No, but Night of the Comet has likable characters and some hilarious lines, not to mention the zombie carnage, of course. I can’t recommend this release with all my heart, as MGM has dropped the ball, but fans won’t be able to resist, though they should.
Video: How does it look?
Night of the Comet is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. As I said above, the transfer is a let down and while not awful, it should have been better. The movie’s vivid color design looks good, with bright hues, but lacks the pop you’d expect from such a vibrant visual presence. No real problems with contrast either, black levels hold up quite well. This is an 80s movie, so grain is a problem and softness is an issue. The image depth is not impressive, even by 80s standards, so detail is low and the visuals don’t look up to the usual DVD standard.
Audio: How does it sound?
This isn’t the type of movie that needs a dynamic audio track, so the included stereo mix is more than adequate. I’m sure the music would have sounded more immersive is a full on surround track, but the overall experience here is effective. The sound effects some across in fine form and never distort or overwhelm the other elements. You won’t notice much power, but then again this material doesn’t call for it. The dialogue is also solid in this mix, with crisp vocals and no volume issues in the least. This disc also includes a mono option, a Spanish language track, and subtitles in English and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes no bonus materials.
- (1.85:1) Aspect Ratio
- Video Codec: MPEG-2
- Theatrical Trailer
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scene(s)
- Digital Copy
- 1 Disc Set