Night of the Comet
This campy end-of-the-world fest stars Catherine Mary Stewart, the super hot unsung starlet of the 80s (see also The Last Starfighter and Weekend at Bernies for proof of this). She’s cute, charming, and is the only living woman who can out-eyebrow Martin Scorsese.
Ms. Stewart plays a hapless theater worker who just happens to have sex with a co-worker in a steel room, which somehow protects her from the rays of a passing comet which turns everyone in the world into dust or zombies. Luckily, her sister also spent the night in a steel tool shed so they join forces in order to survive and go on a shopping spree.
Occasionally they run into a zombie, but kill it before it can hurt them. Then a bunch of government agents show up and there’s some gunfire, then rain comes and washes away all that space radiation and everyone lives happily ever after. It’s really not much of a story now that I think about it, but if you’ve rented 28 Days Later too many times this will sate your lust for abandoned post-apocalyptic cities.
I agree with every other adult male in the world: children are creepy. The problem is, when you use them in a horror movie, it’s best to keep them from being outright monsters cause let’s face it, if a 6 year old wants to kill you all you have to do is kick ‘em in the head and run away.
Therein lies the fatal flaw of this film; all the kills are “accidents” where the adult goes to soothe the child and trips or falls into a sharp object. Every single kill is this way, making this movie seem more like a farce than a horror, except farces are fun and this movie is really, really boring.
Ultimately it’s never clear if the kids are possessed, evil, or just overtaken by some sort of “rage virus.” Sometimes they kill and other times they appear to be normal with no clear cause. There’s no defined inciting incident and the movie just meanders from random death to random death with a bunch of screaming and confusing character actions in between. Even though pale children staring at the camera will always be creepy, this movie fails to do anything with it and just peters into drivel.
Just the thought of Brad Dourif in the body of a doll should make this the scariest movie ever made. But like most 80s horror movies, all the kills go big, be it falling out of windows, having your legs broken with the help of a voodoo doll, a speeding car chase, or lightning strikes burning a doll factory to the ground. The problem with this is that spectacle of this sort might be fun, but it isn’t scary. They too quickly get away from the simple puppet shots of the top of Chucky head above the kitchen counters and he wreaks havoc in the apartment and turn to full body shots of a little person in costume, running around in bright light.
In the end, this flick is a total blast, but honestly a remake in the proper hands could generate far more scares.