Thursday, November 17, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: Night of the Comet

Day #16

Night of the Comet

The Bad News:
Radiation from a mysterious comet has killed the vast majority of the world’s population and the mutated most of the rest.

The Good News:
Two sisters lucked out and dodged the comet’s effects, the malls are having a close out sale of epic proportions, and there is significantly less competition for any eligible (and unmutated) bachelors you might come across.

Fright Factor:
1 / 5  Piles of Dust

Gore Factor:
1 / 5  Mutant Faces

Should you watch it?

I know this is neither here nor there, but while doing my usual pre-writeup research I discovered that the star of this movie, Catherine Mary Stewart, has what has got to be the most flattering IMDB profile photo I have ever seen... 

Wait...what were we talking about? Oh yeah!

Ohmygosh, YES, you should totally watch this movie!

It would be easy to dismiss this as a dorky 80s so-bad-it’s-good kind of flick and I totally get it! Teenage girls in a post-apocalyptic world. One even wears a cheerleader outfit for most of the movie. There’s even a mall shopping montage and they bemoan the lack of eligible bachelors. It sounds super doofy, right?

HOWEVER, I am here to tell you that if you take a closer look you will see that what at first glance seems enjoyably flawed, is actually really well done and intentionally silly. Like any true 80s gem it has that wonderful combination of originality, delightful 80s tunes, and somehow managing to create a near perfect balance of silliness and sincerity.

There are a lot of elements I love about this movie, but at the top of the list is their depiction of young women. So often female characters (especially younger ones) can have one trait, but not any others. They can either be strong or ditzy, a brainiac or a bonehead, and so on and so on. However this film depicts young women in a way that reminds me so much of the ones I know and have met. They aren’t just one thing, but a whole spectrum. They can love sports and fashion and video games, all at the same time. They can have crushes and romantic fantasies without that being the sole focus of their lives. And whats more, they are smart and capable.

Really, it’s just so refreshing to see, ESPECIALLY in the spooky movie genre. Young women in spooky movies (even more so than other genres) are so often presented as boy-crazed, or a “strong female character,” or some other single-minded stereotype. But the sisters here are amazingly well rounded. They are allowed to sometimes be a nerd or a slacker or a caregiver or an ass kicker. In short they are allowed to act like real people.

Well, as real as you can get in for an 80s comedy-horror adventure...but still!

It’s that combination of ridiculous and realistic that makes this movie so amazing. It simultaneously meets and defies all your expectations, constantly causing you to reevaluate your assumptions.

“You were born with an asshole, Doris, you don’t need Chuck.”

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