Meteorites! (1998) - USA - Drama/Disaster Movie - TV Movie
Directed by Chris Thomson
Starring Tom Wopat, Roxanne Hart, Abby Meates, Darrin Klimek, Pato Hoffmann, Marshall Napier, Amiel Daemion, Leo Taylor
Destructively powerful meteorite strikes coupled with a divergence of rural townsfolk make for an entertaining movie to kick back for 90 minutes.
A teenage girl exits her home upset with her parents and telling them in a simple moment of teen angst she wishes they were dead; in short order the daytime sky lights up and the house literally explodes. The local sheriff calls on Tom Johnson, a retired police demolitions expert with a past incident he wishes he could forget, to help him investigate this mysterious home explosion. Both of them butt heads with the town mayor because this is the week of the UFO festival, the town's major source of tourism and tourist dollars, and he doesn't want them scaring away tourists investigating something he wants to believe is due to mundane circumstances. With additional meteorite strikes and an eventual warning from an astronomer that the town is in for heavy meteorite activity, a potential disaster is looming large if people are not warned.
I have seen meteorites in movies that bounce off of cars, and where people get under awnings and indoors for protection. In this movie, however, something the size of a coconut or smaller that has fallen miles through the atmosphere rips through vehicles, overturns cars, and leaves craters a car can drive into. Now I'm no expert on meteorite strikes, but it seems like something the size of a cannonball hurtling toward earth at an accelerated rate, as falling objects do, would do a hell of a lot more damage than just bouncing off of a car or rolling off of the roof of a home.
The meteorites in this movie are threatening, they're not just falling out of trees. Houses, building and vehicles are seriously damaged or destroyed when hit. A staple of disaster movies that makes them work is to build up the threat, and that they do in this movie. You can't crawl under a table to get away from these extraterrestrial ingots of invalidation...no siree!
Another staple of a disaster movie which works is making you victims, or would-e victims, likable. You'd think that would be a given, but I have seen many movies in which the people being threatened are assholes and find myself rooting for the disaster. Meteorites! has a mix of folks with likable personalities and a scummy character thrown in who tests their mettle.
The ending I find absolutely unbelievable. No, I'm not going to give it away. Let's just say it's one of those true moments of a willing suspension of disbelief. I think my disbelief was suspended somewhere in outer space, but it still works. Overall it is an enjoyable movie.
My Rating: 3 Fingers
Meteorites! is only available on VHS. I did find a nice VHSrip searching it on YouTube.