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Night of the Comet (1984) Poster

Trivia

As Regina emerges from the movie theater the morning after the comet, a poster for Death Race 2000 (1975) can be seen on the theater door. Mary Woronov appears in both films.
Jump to: Director Cameo (1) | Spoilers (2)
The scenes of an empty Los Angeles were filmed in the morning on normal business days. The shots of the barren city were done quickly while the traffic was held up at stoplights.
The LP that Sam tosses over her shoulder is the soundtrack to "Valley Girl", which would become, for a short time, one of the most sought-after albums of all time.
When cheerleader Samantha Belmont (Kelli Maroney) is playing at the radio station as a disk jockey, she says that she is taking requests from "all you teenage mutant comet zombies". This was the working title of the film.
The two police officers who are seen riding motorcycles in Samantha's nightmare were actually location cops who worked on the movie stopping traffic so filming can be done.
Brick dust was used for the red dust.
Joss Whedon has cited this film as a "big influence" for his original film script of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), which is rebooted in his television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997).
The production designer, John Muto, used what he describes a "comic book" sensibility for the film. Characters were given specific colors, with the bad guys in blues and grays and the girls in colors. Regina's colors were deeper than Sam's to reflect that Regina was more intellectual than Sam and that Sam was wackier than Regina. For example, Sam's cheerleading outfit is made in magenta and turquoise to make it really stand out.
Kelli Maroney kept one of the two cheerleader outfits that she wore in this film.
Thom Eberhardt while writing the script asked teenagers for their input on what they would do if they survived the end of the world.
Catherine Mary Stewart did almost all of her own stunts except for riding the motorcycle through Los Angeles. The long shots of Stewart on the motorcycle are a stunt woman while the close-ups of Stewart were done by putting the motorcycle on top of a flatbed truck.
Kelli Maroney improvised the Uzi line when the weapon jammed for real. Director Thom Eberhardt told the cast to react to any unexpected occurrences as their characters would do, since time and money were tight and they needed to avoid unnecessary retakes.
When her MAC-10 jams several times Sam says "See that's the problem with these things, Daddy would have gotten us UZI's" At the time the MAC-10 had an (undeserved) reputation in popular culture for jamming and the UZI had a (well deserved) reputation for reliability.
Writer/director Thom Eberhardt's car can be seen at the stoplight in the montage of a desolate Los Angeles.
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Heather Langenkamp auditioned for the role of Samantha Belmont.
Mary Woronov wrote all of her dialogue for her scene at the radio station with Robert Beltran.
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One of the posters in the projection room of the theater is for the movie "Red Dust". Everyone that was exposed to the comet directly was turned into red dust.
Robert Beltran initially turned down the role of Hector Gomez because he did not want to play Hector as a typical 'Cholo' type.
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The radio station set was built in an abandoned warehouse.
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Chance Boyer, who plays little boy survivor Brian, is the real-life son of actress Sharon Farrell, who plays Doris in the film.
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The think tank base was done with miniatures and forced perspective.
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The original working title for the film was "Teenage Mutant Horror Comet Zombies".
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The comet passes over on Friday the 14th December 1984. When Regina is trying to convince Samantha that everyone is dead she says "It's Saturday, where are all the kids?" so the comet passed on Friday night. In the radio station the recording mentions that there are 11 more shopping days till Christmas. If they count the 24th as the last shopping day that means the comet passed on the 14th.
Hector was originally supposed to have a major emotional breakdown when he went back to his family's house.
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Robert Beltran recommended Mary Woronov for the role of Audrey White.
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Ivan E. Roth pulled out a prop gun during his audition for the role of Willy.
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The photos of Hector's family are actually pictures of various family members of writer/director Thom Eberhardt's wife.
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Make-up artist David B. Miller had his first supervisor job on this film.
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Like many horror films of the 1970s and 1980s (e.g. Dawn of the Dead), this film has several critiques of consumer culture contained within the plot and dialogue. Perhaps the best example is when the think tank is looking for Samantha and Regina. While pondering on where the girls might be, one member of the think tank says that the shopping arcade and area are "an absolute monument to consumerism."
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At the start of the movie, Regina is upset because the player "DMK" has upset her perfect list of wins on the video game in the theater lobby. The convertible the almost runs over Samantha at the movie's ending is driven by Danny Mason Keener - "DMK" is his license plate.
The motorcycle featured is a 1972 650cc Triumph T120 Bonneville.
Features the arcade game Tempest by Atari in the movie theater lobby.
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The sequence at the department store was shot at night.
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Director Thom Eberhardt recalls receiving praise for his creative decision to depict Kelli Maroney's character walking out of an elevator by focusing on her feet, instead of a conventional full body or upper body shot. Eberhardt told the Projection Booth podcast that this was in fact a result of running out of time to shoot the scene on location. With the actress unavailable to participate in pick-ups, a member of the production team wore the character's sneakers, and with no actual elevator to film in, a couple of screens were filmed in tight close-up and pulled apart manually by stagehands to simulate the opening of the doors. The use of footwear to represent the entire character is an example of the literary and visual metaphorical device of synecdoche.
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Kelli Maroney and Catherine Mary Stewart had both previously acted in soap operas.
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The movie theater featured in the beginning of the movie is the historic El Rey Theatre at 5515 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90036.
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The waving clown in the first desolate shots of downtown Los Angeles is the same one Pee-wee Herman locks his bike to in Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) and subsequently gets stolen. Thus the clown is associated with two separate tragedies that are the inciting moments in each film.
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Mary Woronov and Robert Beltran also appeared together in 'Eating Raoul'.
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Director Cameo 

Thom Eberhardt: Photo of Regina and Samantha's father.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

People kept asking Thom Eberhardt about DMK throughout the shooting of the film, so he felt obligated to have DMK appear as Danny Mason Keener at the movie's ending.
Samantha Belmont died in an earlier draft of the script.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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