"Night of the Comet"

Kelli Maroney (left) and Catherine Mary Stewart star in the cult classic "Night of the Comet."

Technically, Halloween is over, but over the past few weeks, I’ve been subjected to “classic” horror films of the 1980s by people who supposedly like me. I’ve had plenty to say during the viewings, so I decided I’d share my thoughts with you. You might be familiar with some of these films. I wish I wasn’t.

(As I write this, I’m watching 2005’s “Cursed,” starring Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg and Joshua Jackson. Crafted by Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson, this is more in line with my version of a scary movie. After that, we’ll watch “Hocus Pocus.” Judge me all you want.)

“Night of the Comet” (1984) Apparently this film is a bona fide cult classic. It stars Catherine Mary Stewart as a young woman who just happens to be one of the few humans left alone after a comet somehow reduces most of the population to dust. Reportedly, the film’s female protagonist is one Joss Whedon used as inspiration for Buffy Summers.

That just makes me sad.

Regina (Stewart) is all kinds of ridiculous. She’s meant to be strong and a badass, but she starts the movie spending the night with a guy because he offers her $15. Later on, she and her sister, Samantha (Kelli Maroney) have an enthralling conversation over who (possibly) the last man alive might like best. Yes, they fail the Bechdel test.

The film, which scores an 80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, is boring, unamusing and nearly as convoluted as Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.” It’s awful and definitely the worst of the films I sat through.

“Re-Animator” (1985) I’d seen this film pop up on occasion on Netflix. I had no clue what it was about, nor did I care to find out.

Apparently “Re-Animator” is based on an H.P. Lovecraft story, in which a young medical student/mad scientist creates a serum that can bring the dead back to life. The film — which has a 95 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes — stars Jeffrey Combs as the mad doctor in question, Bruce Abbott as the young med student forced to help him, and scream queen Barbara Crampton as the young co-ed who bares it all.

Seriously, there’s full-frontal nudity and fondling by a headless zombie, in addition to more grotesqueness from a disembodied head. The film is all kinds of ridiculous, but if you like campy horror ...

“Sleepaway Camp” (1983) Speaking of full-frontal, “Sleepaway Camp” is a film that makes me glad my mom never sent me to summer camp. Maybe I was missing out on a rite of passage, but unless I was going to find my long-lost twin, a la “The Parent Trap,” I don’t think camp was meant for me.

The film centers on orphan Angela (Felissa Rose), an odd child who has a tragic backstory and the social skills of a rock. The film is complete with a love interest — who’s not a great catch — and bullies who love to pick on someone different. In this case, it’s Angela.

“Sleepaway Camp” has what many horror fans call one of the biggest twists/surprise endings ever. I figured it out about two-thirds of the way through, so I can’t say it was a huge surprise. But, then I’m more of a mystery fan than a horror fan, so figuring out “whodunit” is just what I do.

“Night of the Demons” (1988) Welcome to the ’80s film where a 30-year-old plays a teenager. Just so you know, she looks much older than 30. The film focuses on a group of misfits who decided to throw a Halloween party in a funeral home. Seems like a good idea, right? Things go awry when the demons that haunt the home possess the two party-planners.

The film seems to be the typical 1980s horror movie: teenage sex, nudity, gratuitous violence, etc. It’s not a great film and can’t even be called a good one. I’d be remiss if I didn’t note this is one of the most misogynistic films I’ve ever seen, even within a genre that gets maligned for its portrayal of women.

Maybe next year we’ll watch some better films, ones I’d feel a little better about recommending to y’all. Until then, stick with the classics: “Hocus Pocus,” “Practical Magic,” “Fright Night,” “The Craft” and “I Married a Witch.” You can’t go wrong with them.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.