½*/**** Image C+ Sound C+ Extras B
starring Robert Beltran, Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, Geoffrey Lewis
written and directed by Thom Eberhardt
by Walter Chaw SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. There's a quote from the seventh season of "The Simpsons" that applies to the problem before us where Bart, happening on a "Schoolhouse Rock" thing and learning from Lisa that it's one of "those campy '70s throwbacks that appeals to Generation X-ers," says, "We need another Vietnam to thin out their ranks a little." If there were, and if it had, we might've avoided the current rage for hipsterism--if the Joss Whedons of the world (and David Cranes and so forth) had found themselves casualties in some hostile jungle setting, then would this current youth generation have adopted, ironically, that last generation, and would people like me at my tender age of 40 be fuelling demand for hale distribution/archival companies like Shout! to produce exhaustively-supplemented HiDef releases of garbage like Thom Eberhardt's excruciating Night of the Comet? Look, I'm not immune--I wrote an entire monograph (200+ pages, no kidding) on Steve De Jarnatt's Miracle Mile that, in my defense, was more memoir than anything else (or is that more disclaimer than defense?). Still, I'll proclaim to my grave that Miracle Mile has substance, while Night of the Comet has none. The first and greatest danger of nostalgia is that having grown up with certain artifacts, we treat them like family and tend to love them unconditionally, as family does. This affection doesn't mean that junior isn't a grinning idiot, however, because at least in this instance, he is. And I'm a strong believer that if one of your family members is a grinning idiot, it's actually your job not to inflict him or her on other people.