Episode 3 – Magical Girl Showdown
Night of the Comet (Thom Eberhardt, 1984)
Following Sole Survivor (which I can’t wait to see), Thom Eberhardt’s cult classic Night of the Comet is an excellent horror-comedy and a superb time-capsule of 80s California zeitgeist. One part Valley Girl parody, by way of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978), it is also a shockingly powerful precursor to John Carpenter’s enduring cult classic They Live (1988), in that it catapults two mundane protagonists amid end-times chaos and, most importantly, against the backdrop of 80s consumerism in a towering and oppressive Los Angeles. Its interiors are neon-lit, its skies and streets run red with blood, and all of it is suffused with the remnants of a freshly obliterated culture of arcade games, midnight movies, outlandish fashion and catchy pop music (“Oh mother we’re not the fortunate ones / Oh, girls just want to have fun!”). Eberhardt gleefully documents all of this, less elegy than celebration.With Reggie (Catherine Mary Stewart) and Sam (Kelli Maroney), Eberhardt also offers the female counterpart to Carpenter’s various John Nadas and John Burtons. Where Carpenter deconstructs the action hero archetype by painting it as inept and goofy (see also: Big Trouble in Little China), he offers a firmly tongue-in-cheek subversion of the usually male-led end-of-the-world narrative (see: The Omega Man, I Am Legend). In placing two ass-kicking, wise-cracking and utterly lovable Valley Girl archetypes at the center of their own action movie (and the various shopping mall shootouts, motorcycle rides, zombie fistfights and explosive situations that involves) Night of the Comet appears as strikingly refreshing; a vital commentary on a stale sub-genre, and an important, gender-bent precursor to Carpenter’s biting satire of Reagan-era consumerism. Most importantly, it is a joyful and resonant film even today, and only made more relevant by the fact we haven’t seen a Night of the Comet in quite a while.
YUYUSHIKI Episode 8 – We’re In Our Second Year Now
SCAN TIME: Teased long ago, here’s a look into Cracked’s take on the N64 from January ‘97. For context, this was from when Cracked was a MAD Magazine clone and not simply a generic brand as it is today; and the Nintendo 64 itself had just come out a few months prior to publication.
The first four pages above are the cover story, and the last three are most of the rest of the content I felt was worth sharing from the mag in general. While certainly dated as game-related comedy goes, this came out before prolific nerd comedy sites like Something Awful or Seanbaby.com even existed- so believe it or not, this was all kinda edgy stuff at the time. Whether or not it was ever actually funny, though, I’ll leave up to your judgement.