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anamorphic transfer is not every- thing one would hope for. In this era of increasingly large screen TVs, a single layer DVD presenta- tion often does not cut it anymore and that is the case here. Edges frequently appear unstable and moiré patterns and compression flaws are equally common (the latter would have been reduced if Polyscope had gone for a dual layer disc with a higher bit rate). Speckling can be noted on occa- sion and the splice line is often visible in the lower quarter of the screen at shot change points dur- ing Reel 1. The menu is also poorly designed, making it difficult to tell which option has been highlighted so that you can select it, the 19 chapters are just placed randomly throughout the movie, and the alleged still gallery is just a col- lection of frame grabs. The result- ing package remains better than what we had before, but a lot more care could and should have been taken.


On the plus side, Alan How- arth’s electronic score is included amongst the extras, as is a


director’s commentary. While not as animated as he sometimes is on some of these tracks, Wynorski provides plenty of background in- formation about the project. He reveals that the first day of shoot- ing was done in 3D, but technical issues convinced him to switch to flat anamorphic. The B-movie vet also points out the various cult movie luminaries he cast in small roles and stock shots from THE GOLDEN GATE MURDERS, OUR MAN FLINT and LOST IN SPACE, discusses how to have extras convey story points without speaking (and thus, not having to pay them) and reveals the se- cret behind Robert Tessier’s in- famous, ever-changing eyebrows.


NIGHT OF THE COMET


1984, Scream Factory, 95m 11s, $29.93, DVD-1/BD-A By Chris Herzog


Another selection from the crowded field of fondly-remem- bered ’80s sci-fi/horror flicks has made its Blu-ray debut. Writer/di- rector Thom Eberhardt (CAPTAIN


RON) brings enough period en- ergy, thoughtful characterization and post-apocalyptic thrills to the proceedings to help us overlook the occasional B-level acting and somewhat aimless plot. Much of the film’s appeal rests on Cath- erine Mary Stewart’s (THE LAST STARFIGHTER) turn as post- feminist protagonist, Reggie. Neither a virginal “final girl” nor a leather-clad avenger, she is simply a resourceful young woman attempting to deal with an unexpected cataclysm.


When a comet passes close to Earth, it reduces most of the population to ash while the few survivors quickly become murder- ous zombies. Only Reggie, her sis- ter Samantha (Kelli Maroney, CHOPPING MALL) and passing truck driver, Hector (Robert Beltran, EATING RAOUL) remain unscathed. Soon, the trio are tar- geted by a team of scientists, led by a world-weary Mary Woronov (DEATH RACE 2000), intent on vivisecting them in hopes of find- ing a cure for the zombie virus— or, uh, whatever it is.


Two sisters (Kelli Maroney, Catherine Mary Stewart) sit out the zombie apocalypse in NIGHT OF THE COMET.


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