It’s been a little while since I sat down to write a weird top five list and for some reason this morning I woke up with a couple of movies that were on my mind that all had a loosely interconnected theme, so I thought it would be fun to take a look at my top five flicks where comets and meteorites ended up being real dicks. Well, that’s not strictly fair to the junk in question, but screw it, you know, sometimes space debris can really F-up a person’s day. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some cosmic catastrophes caused by crap in or falling from space…
#5 – Creepshow (1982)
Sometimes you wake up to a loud noise in the woods near your house and it’s kind of impossible not to pull on your bib overalls or waders and run out in the darkness to investigate. I mean, hell, whatever fell to Earth might be worth a few bucks right? Well, sometimes that meteorite might be filled with bluish goo and if you touch it, it just might give you the worse case of moss crotch imaginable. At least that’s what Jordy Verrill told me. Poor bastard has to use a weed whacker to shave now. Seriously though, I love the Creepshow anthology film, in particular the segment starring writer/producer Stephen King as the back country hillbilly with the unfortunate mossy affliction. This short sort of encapsulates King’s sense of humor and feels like an idea he would of had as a kid when he was first brainstorming horror stories…
#4 – Night of the Creeps (1986)
Okay, this shooting star of death isn’t a meteorite (or a comet, geez, I know I’m stretching this a bit), but instead a canister containing an intergalactic evil slug. Seriously though, close enough in the crap falling from space department. Night of the Creeps is the first of two teen-oriented horror flicks written and directed by the very under-appreciated Fred Dekker (the second being Monster Squad.) Creeps is arguably the lesser known of the two, but it’s just as fun featuring brain-slug-infected astrozombies, prom queens with flame throwers, Rusty from European Vacation, and the irascible Tom Atkins. It was very likely influenced by the early Cronenberg low budget horror flick Shivers from a few years earlier (also featuring an infestation of brain slugs), but it was most definitely the basis of the next flick on this list…
#3 – Slither (2006)
I haven’t researched it, but I have to believe that Night of the Creeps was the main film on James Gunn’s mind (From Beyond being a potential close second) when he began work on his 2006 horror comedy Slither. Like in Creeps, a meteor containing an extra terrestrial slug parasite crash lands in the woods by a small town. The local douchey car dealer Grant Grant finds it and is infected, becoming patient zero in a brain slug infection that quickly takes over the town. Though there is some controversy over the film’s similarity to Night of the Creeps, I think both are great films that have a distinctly different style of humor. Whereas Creeps‘ humor is more nostalgic in nature, Slither’s absurdity and Whedon-esque dialogue makes the film feel quite distinct. Also, one of the few films featuring Nathan Fillon in a staring role, something that Hollywood needs to change immediately.
#2 – Maximum Overdrive (1986)
Stephen King’s second entry on this list, Maximum Overdrive was both written and directed by the, um, “king” of horror. Let’s get something out of the way. Maximum Overdrive is ridiculous. Beyond ridiculous. But that doesn’t make it a bad film (it’s on a lot of worst lists), you just have to appreciate it for it’s insanity. Starring Emilio Estevez, MO centers on the concept that all mechanical items on earth go crazy and become sentient and evil after the Earth passes through the tail of a comet. So electric carving knives attack housewives, soda machines fire ice cold cans at little league players, and all the trucks and cars revolt on their owner/operators. Basically following the plot of Night of the Living Dead, a band of survivors hole up in a small gas station diner in order to survive. And it’s awesome. Well, I think it is.
#1 – Night of the Comet (1984)
Topping my list is the 1984 cult classic Night of the Comet. Again, like in Maximum Overdive, there is a comet that is streaming very close to the Earth that has the residents of a west coast town ecstatic with comet fever. Everyone in town is set to turn out and watch this momentous event, but little do they know that anyone who is fully exposed to the light show will be reduced to a bunch of orange dust. Those who were inside or protected by steel enclosures were spared and now have to face a world devoid of people. Well, except for those who were only partially exposed and have been turned into comet zombies. This is one of my favorite under-appreciated 80s era horror flicks that features a great cast (including Catherine Mary Stewart from The Last Starfighter, Keli Maroney from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Mary Woronov from too many awesome movies to list.)
So, what are some of your favorite Space Debris Disaster movies?
Let us know in the comments!