Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 30th, 2014
BluRay released: September 22nd, 2014
Approximate running times: 95 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: LPCM Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Arrow Video
Region Coding: Region B / Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £15.99 (UK)
Night of the Comet was written and directed by Thom Eberhardt, whose other notable films include Sole Survivor and The Night Before. Key collaborators on Night of the Comet include cinematographer Arthur Albert (The Principal, ‘The Blacklist’), make-up effects creator David B. Miller (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and composer David Campbell (All the Right Moves).
What would you do if you woke up one morning to discover that all that you have known has been turn upside down and everyone you knew had been turned into piles of dust?
This is precisely the question that two sisters Regina and Samantha are faced. From there they set out for answers as to what happened the night before. And along the way the meet another survivor a young man named Hector, who they quickly form a bound with. Too give much more about the plot away would greatly spoil this most unusual take on the post-apocalyptic genre.
Content wise, though this film has all the ingredients that one would expect from an end of the world film. It is the things that are not associated with this genre where this film ultimately shines the brightest, most notably its use of humor. Another surprise is how well the film was able to make populated locations look sparse and the end result adds grandeur to the events which are unfolding.
From a production stand point this film fare exceeds its meager budget with striking visuals that reinforce the mood. Without a doubt, this film most memorable moments is a scene that involves Samantha being chased by zombie cobs on motorcycles and later being attacked by a zombie cop while she cleans up in the bathroom. Another standout moment visually is when Regina takes Samantha shopping at the mall to cheer her up! Unfortunately for them their moment of pleasure is cut short when they are attacked by gang of mutants who have yet to turn into zombies.
Performance wise this film is anchored by its three leads, Robert Beltran (Eating Raoul) in the role of Hector, Catherine Mary Stewart (The Apple, Weekend at Bernie’s) in the role of Regina and Kelli Maroney (Chopping Mall) in the role of Samantha. These are well defined characters that they are portraying and there is an undeniable chemistry between these three actors. Another performance of note is Mary Woronov (Sugar Cookies, Death Race 2000) in the role of a scientist named Audrey, who along with her colleges has been hiding underground since the passing of the comet. And though her screen time is rather limited, her impact on this film is undeniable.
Night of the Comet comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source used for this transfer is the same one used for Shout! Factory’s region A /1 release. Colors look nicely saturated, black and contrast levels look very good and details look crisp throughout. There are no issues with DNR or compression and grain looks natural throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM mono mix in English and also included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio included with this release is in excellent shape as dialog is always clear and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented throughout. There are no issues with distortion or background noise and everything sounds balanced. Also range wise things sound very good throughout.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 15 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), four interviews, the first one is with makeup supervisor David B. Miller (6 minutes 32 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), the second one with is actress Mary Woronov (9 minutes 54 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), the third interview is with actor Robert Beltran (12 minutes 32 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen) and the fourth interview is with actresses Kelli Maroney and Catherine Mary Stewart (12 minutes 32 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen).
Topics discussed by David B. Miller include how Night of the Comet was his first lead project as a makeup artist, working with director Thom Eberhardt and his thoughts on the final product. Topics discussed by Mary Woronov include how she got cast for this film, working with Thom Eberhardt and how he let her rewrite her death scene, her thoughts on the character she portrayed and how many of the films that she has appeared in have gained cult following years later. Topics discussed by Robert Beltran include how he originally turned down the role and how he finally agreed to do the role once they agreed to portray the character the way he saw the character, the cast and working with Thom Eberhardt, his thoughts on the film and how he would be up for a sequel. Topics discussed by Kelli Maroney and Catherine Mary Stewart include auditioning for Night of Comet, how working on soap operas help both actresses prepare for working on a low budget film, they also talk about the cast and Thom Eberhardt, how the film balanced reality and humor, improvising, locations used in the film and the weird scheduling they had to accommodate to film a few key scenes, their thoughts on the final product and this film lasting legacy.
Other extras include three audio commentaries, the first one with Kelli Maroney and Catherine Mary Stewart, the second one with Thom Eberhardt and the third one with production designer John Muto.
Though all three audio commentaries have a lot of interesting information about the making of this film. The tone of each one is different, the audio commentary with Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney is enthusiastic track where they discuss their character, the cast, locations, the look of the film and various other production related topics. The audio commentary with Thom Eberhardt is the most technical of the three tracks as he discusses the limitations of the budget, the look of the film, the cast, special effects, locations and various other production related topics. The third audio commentary track is with John Muto who covers in detail all things related to this film’s production design.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art and a twenty four page booklet with cast & crew credits, an essay about the film titled ‘Teenage Mutant Horror Comet Zombies: Before, during and after Night of the Comet’ written by James Oliver and information about this films transfer.
Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo release. Overall Night of the Comet gets a solid release from Arrow Video.