Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Scream Factorized: NIGHT OF THE COMET on Blu-ray ""

Monday, October 21, 2013

Scream Factorized: NIGHT OF THE COMET on Blu-ray

It's been incredibly rewarding to watch folks discover and rediscover NIGHT OF THE COMET over the past decade or so. It was difficult to see the film until about 2007 when MGM finally released it on DVD. I'm a huge fan of 1980s cinema in general and there are certainly a lot of standouts and movies that have been preserved in the public consciousness because so many people remember them fondly. John Hughes films were pretty much never forgotten, they always stayed popular throughout the years. But those aren't genre films. Anyone going to see NIGHT OF THE COMET in 1984 may not have really known what to expect from it and that may have contributed to it not being amazingly popular at that time(though it did well it's opening weekend and was critically praised). But as with lot of movies that become cult favorites, NIGHT OF THE COMET has a really unique and memorable story and I think that has really made it continue to live on all these years later. Movies like this one and MIRACLE MILE(both Los Angeles-based apocalypse movies) are much beloved and that pleases me greatly. I think we as a culture are so focused on opening weekend Box Office numbers that we lose sight of those truly special movies that have legs and will still be talked about 30 years down the line. I am always on the lookout for the next NIGHT OF THE COMET, but that movie has some big shoes to fill.

Scream Factory has given NIGHT OF THE COMET a lovely special edition treatment here. Included are some nice featurettes and commentaries:
'Valley Girls at the End of the World' - (15 mins)- Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney talk about their initial involvement in the film, the production, the film's reception and it's cult status in the present day.
'The Last Man on Earth?' - (13 mins)-Actor Robert Beltran talks about being cast in the film and some character/ scene ideas he brought to the table during production.
'Curse of the Comet' - (7 mins)-Visual effects supervisor David R. Miller talks about the zombie/makeup design for the film.
This edition also features not one but three(!) audio commentary tracks which should all be a delight to fans of the film.
First up is a track with Kelli Maroney. & Catherine Mary Stewart, 2nd is a track with writer/director Thom Eberhardt and third is one with Production Designer John Muto.
These are all cool commentaries, but Thom Eberhardt's is the standout for me. It's a fascinating listen and I'd kind of been waiting more than a couple decades to hear something like this. Thom Eberhardt was always something of a mysterious figure to me ever since I first saw NIGHT OF THE COMET and I've always wanted to hear background stories like the stuff that he offers up on this track. He discusses the influence & impact of VALLEY GIRL at the time and how it sort of made it possible for NOTC to happen, the reception the film got when it came out and lots of other great tidbits here, so this commentary just hit the spot for me. Great stuff.
This is an excellent special edition that reaches a Criterion level of quality and quantity of extras and I couldn't be happier with it. One of Scream's best discs to date!

1 comment:

joestemme said...

I've been lucky enough to see COMET three times - all in 35mm and with good large crowds. The most recent was about 5 years ago at a Sci-Festival: and the film still works!