[[quoteright:288:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Night_Of_The_Comet_1984_9862.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:288:The comet's coming, and the world will never be the same]]

->'''Party Guest''': "''In 1910, Halley's Comet Returned. Everyone thought they were going to die then.''"

''Night of the Comet'' is a 1984 film directed by Thom Eberhardt and starring Catherine Mary Stewart, Robert Beltran, and Kelli Maroney. It has elements of such diverse genres as science fiction, horror, zombie apocalypse, comedy, and romance.

The plot centers around The Earth passing through the tail of a rogue comet -- an event which has not occurred in 65 million years, the last time coinciding with [[PhlebotinumKilledTheDinosaurs the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs]]. On the night of the comet's impending mid-December passage, large crowds gather to celebrate the event. The next morning, a reddish haze covers everything, and there are no people, animals or other signs of life, only small piles of red dust and empty clothes where people stood and watched the comet's passage. The people who "survived" are either dying, or turning into flesh eating zombies. Siblings Samantha and Regina Belmont are the film's protagonists.

Despite the schlocky opening scenes, the movie seems to be an attempt at a {{Deconstruction}} of typical thriller movies of the era, in that both leads are capable {{Action Girl}}s rather than just monster bait (in fact, [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer another Californian blonde who fought the undead in the next decade]] bears suspicious similarities to them), the lead male is [[HumansAreWhite Hispanic]], [[DroppedABridgeOnHim bridge-dropping]] is played with, and so on.
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!!This film contains examples of:
* AbusiveParent: The girls stepmother, whose reaction to Samantha mouthing off is to slap her. Samantha slaps her back, and the stepmother ''punches her''. Her nonchalant reaction to having a black eye the next day tips implies that this happens often. Also, it is implied the stepmother cheats on their father while he is away.
* [[{{ActionGirl/LiveActionFilms}} Action Girl]]: Samantha and Regina
* ActorAllusion: Reggie, played by Catherine Mary Stewart, has [[TheLastStarfighter the highest scores in a video game]].
* ApocalypseHow: Class 3b.
* ArtisticLicenseAstronomy: Comets are visible long before and after they pass, so not wanting to "miss the comet" is a little silly.
** Justified in that in this case, the comet is passing unusually close to the Earth and there's one prime observational time (probably when the Earth passes through its tail).
* AxeCrazy: All the zombies, but ''especially'' the mall stockboys.
* BrickJoke: At the beginning of the film, Reggie is playing [[{{VideoGame/Tempest}} a video game]], and manages to place among the top scorers. There's another set of initials above hers. Annoyed, she wonders who they belong to. At the end of the movie (that is, post-end of the world!), another survivor is seen driving a car. The initials from the video-game scoreboard are on the license plate.
* ChekhovsGunman: One of the scientists, Rogers, is mentioned as missing towards the end and Dr. Wilson says he has probably already regressed. This is waved off by Dr. Carter. Guess who shows up for one last scare to menace our heroes after [[spoiler:Hector has blown up Carter and the others in their car]]?
* CometOfDoom
* ContrivedCoincidence: So the only two female non-zombified survivors in the entire city happen to be sisters? How convenient for them that they both managed to adequately shield themselves in different places on the same night. There there's DMK.
* CozyCatastrophe: Once the flesh-eating zombies are dealt with, the survivors actually don't have it too bad. The power stations and water/sewage just keep on chugging!
* DawsonCasting: Reggie says she is 18, but the actress Catherine Mary Stewart was 24. Samantha was in high school - safe to assume 15 or 16, but Kelli Maroney was 23.
* DeadManWalking: [[spoiler: All of the zombies.]]
* DepopulationBomb
* DesolationShot
* DisappearedDad: Reggie and Sam's father, whom both girls idolize, is in the military and is always away from home "looking for a war". It's all but implied that he married Doris just so the girls could have a mother-figure and basically left them behind.
* DistressedDamsel: Averted. As noted, these are [[ActionGirl Action Girls]], aggressive, resourceful, and expert at handling weapons. Even when one of the girls is captured, her sister is a major part of the rescue plan.
** They do both get captured by the mall stockboys and wind up needing to be saved, but they put up one hell of a fight beforehand.
* DreamWithinADream: Sam has one (two?) of these involving zombie motorcycle cops.
* EightiesHair: Oh dear Lord, yes.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase
* EmptyPilesOfClothing: The only thing left of most of the world's inhabitants.
* EvilStepmother: The girls consider their stepmother to be one of these.
* FluffyFashionFeathers: The white marabou jacket and boa Samantha wear in the (sort of) shopping spree scene.
* GamerChick: Reggie's first scene has her playing an arcade game rather than working.
* GroinAttack: Unleashed by Sam upon one of the zombie stockboys.
* HeyItsThatGuy: Hey, [[Film/{{UHF}} Uncle Harvey]] owns a theater!
** [[Series/StarTrekVoyager Commander Chakotay]] is Hector.
** Regina played [[TheLastStarfighter Maggie Gordon]].
* HeyItsThatVoice: The little girl rescued at the end went on to voice Jenny "XJ-9" Wakeman in ''MyLifeAsATeenageRobot''.
* [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Hoist By Their Own Petard]]: Minder and Davenport are "[[ItMakesSenseInContext sent to see Santa]]" in the same manner as their victims.
* ImprovisedWeapon: A keyboard!
* LargeHam: Willie delivers his lines with the cadence and gusto of an insane game show host.
* LookBothWays: Parodied and subverted.
* MadScientist: Dr. Carter.
* MayorOfAGhostTown
* MilitaryBrat: The girls.
* OldShame: Robert Beltran doesn't much like to talk about this movie.
** He did do a interview about the film with the new ShoutFactory release of it.
* PinkGirlBlueBoy: The boy and girl Reggie, Sam and Hector save are wearing bathrobes over their pajamas that make them this.
* PrettyInMink: A blue fox jacket Regina wears in the (sort of) shopping spree scene.
* PrecisionFStrike: Willie, upon shooting one of his own gang members in a standoff.
-->'''Regina:''' You're CRAZY!
-->'''Willy:''' I'm not crazy, I just don't give a fuck!
* PromotionToParent: Reggie for Sam, and Sam is not happy about it. At the end of the movie, Reggie, Sam and Hector are these for the two children, Sarah and Ryan.
* RagnarokProofing: Short term version.
* ShownTheirWork: The Mac-10 jams, and Sam says "Daddy would have gotten us Uzis." The Mac-10 is notoriously prone to jamming, and the Uzi is famously robust.
** According to interviews with Catherine Mary Stewart, the director originally wanted Uzis, and the Mac-10s did keep jamming, and ruining takes, so that the director ended up including some of the scenes in there with a [[ThrowItIn nice bit of improvised dialog]].
* SigilSpam: The think tank's logo is on a few things you'd normally expect to see like the guards' uniforms, the helicopter, etc., but it starts getting silly when it's plastered on computers, tabletops and storage canisters.
* TheSlacker: Regina 'Reggie' Belmont
* SleptThroughTheApocalypse: True of Sam, Reggie and Hector.
* SorryILeftTheBgmOn: During the scene at the mall, the background music is cut off when the boombox is destroyed.
* TechnicallyLivingZombie: The "comet zombies" aren't so much undead as simply slowly decomposing people who must drink human blood to stave off their transformation into dust.
* TokenGoodTeammate: Audrey is this to the think tank. She is the only one out of all the scientists to point out that capturing survivors for the purpose of rendering them brain-dead and draining their blood to make a serum is utterly despicable.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece
* ValleyGirl: Samantha
* VanityLicensePlate: The film's BrickJoke involves one.
* VisualGag: There is a poster for the Clark Gable and Jean Harlow movie ''Red Dust'' on the theater door after everyone has been turned into a literal approximation of the film's title.
* WouldHurtAChild: The desperate scientists have no problem draining kids for their blood.
* WouldntHurtAChild: Hector, however, can't bring himself to shoot the zombie kid that chases him through his house.
-->'''Hector:''' Lucky for you I like kids!
* WhatAnIdiot: In-universe. Audrey basically says this about screwing up their survival plan.
* WrenchWhack
* XMeetsY: ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' meets ''TheOmegaMan''.
* TheXOfY
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