Saturday, July 21, 2012

Coming Attractions: METEOR (1979) Theatrical Trailer

One of the final films from venerable B-movie studio American-International Pictures was Meteor, a (reasonably) big-budget attempt to cash-in on both the Irwin Allen all-star disaster thrillers of the early 70s and the late-70s interest in space and science fiction. Loaded with name stars, including Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Brian Kieth, Martin Landau (Space: 1999), and Henry Fonda (among others), directed by Ronald Neame of The Poseidon Adventure, and supported by AIP's largest marketing blitz ever, Meteor ultimately crashed and burned at the box-office, unable to recoup its production and marketing costs; a disappointing reception that contributed significantly to the downfall of the studio.

The movie itself is cheesy, undemanding fun (and I normally don't like to use the adjective "cheesy," but it seems to apply here), with a few particularly enthusiastic (or maybe, "hammy") performances, and a script creaking under the weight of some astoundingly banal dialogue. The miniature effects are especially underwhelming (wobbly, under-detailed models, over-lit and lacking any convincing sense of scale), especially considering this was a post-Star Wars genre movie competing directly with big effects films like Moonraker, The Black Hole and Star Trek - The Motion Picture. That said, some of the scenes of terrestrial destruction aren't too bad, and many of the practical effects (including a climactic flood of mud) are quite well executed.

As mentioned above, Meteor was fairly heavily marketed with a tie-in paperback novel (which I still have around here somewhere, I think), a Warren Collectors' magazine, a Marvel Comics adaptation, an arcade pinball machine, and even a Viewmaster reel! Needless to say, I'll be posting more on this flick one of these days...


  1. I remember watching this as a kid. You could see the gloss from the decals on the models of the space-based missiles.

  2. Fun movie. Always got a kick out of the models being destroyed.

    And it also featured Katherine De Hetre somewhere in it, who also appeared in THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN episode 'Bigfoot V' which I just happened to have watched earlier today.

  3. I remember all the magazine hype as a kid. Sure did not live up to all the articles. Strangely enough the movie aired this morning on MGMHD! It plays again in a few days. Of course I will record it...LOL.

  4. Saw this one the first time it came on TV in the 80's. All I can remember is my dad saying how dull it was and I agreed with him. I should probably give it another chance at some point.

  5. I saw it in the theater, and was underwhelmed, the effects were right out of TV-movieland and almost the entire cast seemed mis-cast, heck even the pinball machine (put up in our college dorm by some poor small-businessman) sucked, and it took SuzyB dollars
    instead of quarters..

    Not good to me, but heck, everyone has their own crosses..