Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid!

More than 100 years have passed since the first film was shown in movie theatres that depicted events in the run up to a rock from space striking the Earth — although in that case it was a comet rather than an asteroid.

That movie, a silent film called The End of the World released in 1916, was inspired by the passage of two comets — the so-called Great Daylight Comet of 1910, closely followed that year by Halley’s Comet.

There was much hysteria surrounding these two events, in particular mass panic about the possibility of being poisoned by the hydrogen cyanide gas that had recently been detected in the coma of Halley’s Comet.

Since then, we have been inundated with fictional depictions of an asteroid or comet threatening to impact the Earth in an extinction level event.

So, what you’re telling me is that there’s something out there in space. You don’t know what it’s made of but you’re pretty sure it’s headed toward Earth. It may break up and burn off but you don’t know exactly where. It may change course and miss but you don’t know exactly when. Well, I’m grateful for all the expert advice.

This page provides an A to Z list of all of the movies and TV shows which feature an asteroid or comet impact threat — or which encompass other aspects of my previous discussions about asteroid annihilations, comet catastrophes, meteoroids, meteors and meteorites. One or two of the perpetrators are not technically asteroids or comets, but are massive rocks from space nevertheless.

The list covers cinema releases, made-for-TV movies, internet movies, miniseries, a handful of single TV show episodes, and a phenomenal dramatised documentary which (like planet Earth itself in most of these dramas) is unmissable. A handful of titles on the list are films re-released with different titles or cuts.

[Jump to list]

But before I start, I want to say two things. Firstly…

It’s the size of Texas!

When the astronomer at the observatory or the man at Mission Control declares the approaching asteroid to be “the size of Texas” — which seems to be the go to size comparison in certain asteroid impact disaster movies — what does that size actually mean? Does the asteroid have a width, length, mean geometric diameter or flat face the size of Texas, or do we wrap Texas around the asteroid?

Well, Texas has a surface area of around 696,000 km² and an asteroid the size of Texas could have a diameter of 1,265 km, 940 km or 470 km depending on the context and how you calculate it. You can read more about that in my post It’s the Size of Texas.

The asteroid that supposedly led to the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs 66 million years ago may have been the size of Hollywood (measured from Studio City to East Hollywood), or about 10km (6 miles). Most comets, but certainly not all of them, may be smaller than around 16 km (10 miles).

Some of the movies and TV shows in the list below use metric units, some use imperial units, and some use both interchangeably, just convert using 1 mile = 1.6 km.

[Jump to list]

And secondly, I want to say…

It’s not a meteor!

In many of these movies, the term ‘meteor’ is misused, and unfortunately its misuse begets misuse — a meteor is what moviegoers now expect the incoming antagonist to be called, so moviemakers continue to call it that every step of the trajectory.

But there is only a meteor when the object is in the meteor phase. A meteor is the bright phenomenon that we see in the sky due to something striking and burning up in the atmosphere. The meteor is the heat, light and ionisation associated with that. There is no atmosphere in space — and where there’s no atmosphere, there can be no meteor. You can read more about that in my post Meteoroids, Meteors and Meteorites.

[Jump to list]

It’s a multiple choice

Take a deep breath because the disaster mitigation attempts you are about to encounter cover everything from nuclear warheads on surface-to air-missiles, on space-based missiles, on sub-sea missiles, in trenches and volcanoes on Earth, in deep core drilling on the asteroid, to kinetic impactors, gravity tractors, zero-gravity levitation devices, carbon-fibre mesh trawlers, magnetic rail guns, triangulated laser guns, plasma canon drones, Mylar light sails, self-sealing nanomaterials, repulsive energy-field devices, spread focus laser generators, super-heated surfaces, reflective paint, EM drives, weaponised asteroids, homemade rockets, hijacked space probes, super weapons, clandestine trajectory alterations, theoretical energy sources, homemade chemical concoctions, doomsday machines, the Braeberg effect, the fifth element, underground bunkers, building arks, joining cults, mass evacuation, planetary evacuation, making the Earth intangible, cloaking it in a carbon-fibre shield, pushing it out of the way with the rocket effect, jolting it out of the way with an induced tectonic shift, or shifting it back to safety by igniting the world’s largest natural gas reserve — and when all that fails, digging yourself into a hole in the ground or just standing on a beach and waiting for the impact to happen. And there’s always a fated reporter on the trail.

The links to watch the movies may be on any of Amazon, IMDb, iTunes, Netflix, YouTube, or a dedicated film website, depending on what was available at the time of writing, but most link to Amazon (UK and/or US) because the majority of titles are available there. If you want to watch a movie on Amazon and don’t have a Prime subscription, they sometimes offer a 30-day trial, but read their T&Cs first.

[list of titles last updated: 23 December 2020]

Lights, camera and asteroid!

A Day on the Asteroid (2009). If you make it through this list you will have spent much more than a day on the asteroid. My list starts not with a disaster movie but a little film set in 3032 about a Chief Inspector sent to investigate increasing disturbances in the space-time continuum related to wormhole activities on an asteroid mining colony. It’s a low-budget film which is anything but a disaster.

Trailer | Watch


A Fire in the Sky (1978)

A Fire in the Sky (1978). TV movie in which a newly-discovered comet is on course to impact Earth in a massive airburst over the Arizona desert. After a failed military nuclear intercept, mass evacuation is the only option before Phoenix and everything else within 100 miles is obliterated.

Watch


Anna's Storm (2007) aka Hell's Rain (2007).

Anna’s Storm (2007) aka Hell’s Rain (2007). TV movie. The town of Cottonwood, Colorado is caught up in a meteor storm that rains debris down across the state without warning. Residents struggle to survive the meteorite falls as the town’s Mayor tries to instil calm. Meanwhile, psychic messages from her dead son inform her that the meteorites are the precursor to a larger asteroid threat.

Trailer | Watch UK | Watch US


Apocalypse, CA (2011). A group of friends seeking a fitting end to the end of the world head to the desert outside Palm Springs towards the predicted impact site of an asteroid that will strike in five days’ time. Everything they once knew no longer makes sense in this countdown to the apocalypse which contains copious amounts of pill-popping and pother along its wanton way. Almost as a metaphor for the approaching asteroid, a 50-foot woman crushes people at random in this off-beat story — but it turns out she’s just someone whose wish was to get her own back on someone in the group. What do the others now regret having wished for?

Trailer | Watch US


Zodiac: Signs of the Apocalypse (2014) aka Apocalypse Tomorrow (2014).

Apocalypse Tomorrow (2014) aka Zodiac: Signs of the Apocalypse (2014). When an ancient astrological rock carving is uncovered in a Peruvian mine, a wave of unprecedented natural disasters are set in motion around the globe. Depicting twelve events associated with the signs of the zodiac, the final event marks the return of a long-period planet which will destroy Earth. A scientist overcomes floods, fireballs, volcanic fury and Feds to reunite the carving with a radioactive stone that activates an energy field and shields the world from destruction.

Trailer | Watch UK | Watch US


Scene from Armageddon (1998) showing the members of the two shuttle crews walking on the tarmac. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Armageddon (1998). A blockbuster (literally) about a team of deep core drillers tasked by NASA to go and plant a nuclear bomb on an asteroid the size of Texas that is on course to impact in the Pacific Ocean. There’s more than one nod to The Right Stuff in this movie.

Trailer | Watch UK | Watch US


Asteroid (1997). TV miniseries. Two asteroids are perturbed from the asteroid belt by the return of a long-period comet. Kansas City and Dallas are the impact targets. With insufficient warning and a failed nuclear intercept attempt, mass evacuation is the only option.

Watch


Asteroid: Final Impact (2015) aka Meteor Assault (2015). TV movie. A whistleblower scientist who used to run an asteroid tracking program that was clandestinely being used as a spy satellite, reactivates it to locate a dark asteroid on course to hit the western continental US within hours in a catastrophic impact. With a homemade rocket he fires a chemical compound into the asteroid which implodes in an instantaneous chain reaction.

Trailer | Watch | DVD


Asteroid vs Earth (2014)

Asteroid vs Earth (2014). TV movie. An asteroid one quarter the size of the Moon is on course to collide with Earth. A geophysicist is tasked with inducing a massive tectonic displacement using nuclear weapons to move Earth out of the way. A deep sea trench and an island volcano are the two routes to get the missiles into the Earth’s core.

Trailer | Watch UK | Watch US


Before The Fall (2008) aka Tres Dias (2008)

Before the Fall (2008) aka Tres Días (2008). Movie. An asteroid will impact Earth in 72 hours in a catastrophic collision that no-one is expected to survive. In its final hours, the world is gripped by chaos and mass panic. A serial killer escapes from prison and holds a family hostage, making their final hours even more unbearable. It’s violent and destructive even before the impact, so maybe do what the asteroid won’t and give this one a miss.

Trailer | DVD


Scene from showing Mercury approaching Earth in the film Collision Earth (2011). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Collision Earth (2011). TV movie. The Sun momentarily becomes a magnetar, magnetising Mercury and knocking it onto a collision course with Earth. An abandoned weaponised asteroid project is resurrected to deflect it. The asteroid isn’t the threat here, but there’s an impact threat to Earth nevertheless.

Trailer | Watch UK | Watch US


Collision Earth (2020), a film about an asteroid impact threat.

Collision Earth (2020). TV movie. A disgraced military meteoriticist believes that asteroid Phaethon was perturbed during its perihelion and is heading towards Earth hidden inside its own meteor cloud. Odds are it will strike Manitoba with the force of a million Hiroshimas. VR-operated plasma drones and a nuclear attack fail to destroy it and Earth’s orbital meteor shield can’t stop it. Will the Braeburg effect work?

Trailer | Watch UK | Watch US


Scene from film Doomsday Rock (1997).

Cosmic Shock (1997) see Doomsday Rock (1997).


Crash of the Moons (1954).

Crash of the Moons (1954). TV movie (three episode story of a TV series). The planet Ophecius is in the collisional path of one of a binary pair of gypsy moons. The inhabitants of the planet and the colliding moon, as well as a nearby space station, must all be evacuated before the impact due to take place within days.

Watch


Ectoranium asteroid passing through an intangible Earth in Danny Phantom Phantom Planet (2007) in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Danny Phantom “Phantom Planet” (2007). Animated TV series [S3, Ep 12–13]. A haunt of ghosts make the Earth intangible so that an Ectoranium asteroid can pass right through.

Watch


Scene showing ground based laser weapon at full power in film Deadly Skies (2006). Features an asteroid the size of Texas. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Deadly Skies (2006). TV movie. An astronomer tracks a number of meteoroid strikes to an asteroid the size of Texas which has been knocked onto a collision course with Earth by another rogue asteroid. An ex-Air Force Major resurrects an aborted secret ground-based laser weapon to deflect it.

Watch Uncut | Watch Cut


Scene on the beach as the tsunami approaches in the film Deep Impact (1998).

Deep Impact (1998). Movie about a comet heading for Earth, a failed nuclear intercept mission, and a lottery to decide which citizens will be allotted shelter in underground bunkers before the comet fragments impact. Told largely from the viewpoint of a reporter on a US TV news network, who chooses beach over bunker when the tsunami strikes.

Watch


Don't Look Up (2021)

Don’t Look Up (due for release on Netflix in 2021). Movie. Two astronomers discover that an asteroid is on course to hit Earth in six months’ time but no-one believes them – a hazard of the job in this movie genre. They embark on a media campaign tour to get people’s attention. That’s all the plot I know, but what I can say for sure is, “It’s the size of Hollywood!” – that’s the cast, not the asteroid – although 66 million years ago, an asteroid about the size of Hollywood did extinguish 75 percent of all life on Earth, including the dinosaurs.

Press Release


Scene from film Doomsday Rock (1997) aka Cosmic Shock (1997).

Doomsday Rock (1997) aka Cosmic Shock (1997). TV movie. An astrophysicist-anthropologist takes over a military missile silo to try to intercept an asteroid he believes will collide with Earth based on a prediction he discovered in a series of ancient Aboriginal cave paintings. The authorities approach his daughter to try and stop him. But his predictions turn out to be correct.

Watch


Scene showing incoming asteroids and meteors from film Earthfall (2015).

Earthfall (2015). TV movie. A close gravitational encounter with a massive rogue planet drastically changes Earth’s tilt and dragging it out of its orbit and into a trajectory towards the asteroid belt. Half the planet is plunged into perpetual night and the other half into perpetual day, as catastrophic storms rage across the surface. With subtle nods to a 1977 classic, separate groups of civilians are drawn towards a secret Government facility based on a set of coordinates written on flyers and buildings at various locations. The Government’s mitigation plan is to ignite the largest natural gas reserve on the planet with the world’s entire nuclear arsenal to restore Earth into a stable orbit around the Sun.

Trailer | Watch UK | Watch US


Two scientists look at Moon in control room scene in Earth Storm (2006). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Earth Storm (2006). TV movie. When the Moon is struck by an asteroid, a fragment of the Moon breaks off and impacts Earth. The unstable Moon creates major disruption to Earth’s weather and tides. Now a massive fault poses the risk of even bigger fragments hitting Earth with devastating consequences. A demolition specialist is sent to implode the Moon using an unproven EM pulse machine to recharge the magnetic field being generated in the core and close up the fault.

Trailer | Watch


Evolution (2001).

Evolution (2001). Comedy movie about a meteorite impact in the Arizona desert that contains the building blocks of alien life which goes through exponential evolution of hundreds of millions of years in a matter of days. Two college professors try to find out what is going on to the annoyance of the military.

Trailer | Watch


Force of Impact (2006) aka Ultimate Limit (2006). TV movie. An astronomer tracks a number of meteoroid strikes to an asteroid the size of Texas which has been knocked onto a collision course with Earth by another rogue asteroid. An ex-Air Force Major resurrects an aborted secret ground-based laser weapon to deflect it.

Watch Cut | Watch Uncut


Scene showing launch of garbage ball in Futurama A Big Piece of Garbage (1999).

Futurama: “A Big Piece of Garbage” (1999). Animated TV sitcom [S1, Ep 8]. Spoof of Armageddon (1998). Earth is in the path of a giant ball of garbage from Old New York launched into space by the mob in the 21st Century. An attempt to plant a bomb into a fault line fails, so a second ball of garbage is launched to deflect it.

Watch


Futureshock Comet Impact (2007) aka Impact Earth (2008).

Futureshock: Comet Impact (2007) aka Impact Earth (2008). TV movie. A comet impacts off the coast of Ireland creating a devastating tsunami. The astronomer who failed to detect it receives NASA funding to develop a reliable NEO observation program. He discovers the comet was part of a chain that will strike the USA in a K-T size event. The military plan a nuclear deflection, the astronomer warns against it and the world goes into economic meltdown in anticipation.

Trailers


Gorath movie (1962) South Pole construction site, in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth, in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Gorath (1962). Japanese Movie. Not an asteroid, but what turns out to be a collapsed star, threatens to destroy Earth in a gravitational collision. In a global collaboration, massive rocket thrusters are installed at the South Pole to move Earth out of its path – and then move it back when the object has passed. Environmental catastrophes and a monstrous walrus momentarily threaten the success of the ambitious project.

Trailer | Watch


Greenland (2020). STX Entertainment. Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! Every asteroid and comet disaster movie ever made rolled into one.

Greenland (2020). Movie. Interstellar comet Clarke is on course to impact the Earth. When the first fragment strikes, Florida is wiped off the map. On discovering that military flights are being tracked to an underground bunker in Greenland, a man sets off with his family to find safety in the bunker and escape what is predicted will be an extinction level event as further fragments of the comet continue to strike.

Trailer | Watch


Hell's Rain (2007).

Hell’s Rain (2007) aka Anna’s Storm. (2007). TV movie. The town of Cottonwood, Colorado is caught up in a meteor storm that rains debris down across the state without warning. Residents struggle to survive the meteorite falls as the town’s Mayor tries to instil calm. Meanwhile, psychic messages from her dead son inform her that the meteorites are the precursor to a larger asteroid threat.

Trailer | Watch


Scene looking down on Earth from film Hope (2016). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Hope (2016). Six minute film. A lone scientist believes that the Earth will be destroyed in a series of catastrophic meteoroid impacts. No-one believes him so he builds his own space station, Hope, to use as an ark to preserve hundreds of specimens of life on Earth, then watches alone from space as the fragments rain down on Earth below.

Watch


Icetastrophe (2014).

Icetastrophe (2014). TV movie. A meteoroid enters Earth’s atmosphere and splits in two. A small hot fragment impacts in the mountains and a larger icy fragment strikes the town of Lennox where a flash freeze icetastrophe ensues. Only by bringing the two meteorites back together can the balance of nature be restored.

Watch | DVD


Scene from film Impact (2008).

Impact (2008). Movie. While the Earth is in the path of spectacular meteor shower, a brown dwarf impacts the Moon setting off a series of extreme electromagnetic and gravitational events on Earth. Now the increased mass is pulling the Earth onto a collision course with the Moon. Two civilian scientists are sent to the Moon to eject the object.

Watch


Futureshock: Comet Impact (2007) aka Impact Earth (2007).

Impact Earth (2008) see Futureshock: Comet Impact (2007).


Scene from the film Impact Earth (2015).

Impact Earth (2015). TV movie. A student discovers an asteroid on a collision course with Earth and tells her supervisor, a disgraced former NASA asteroid tracker. But no-one else believes that the threat is real, so she publishes a video warning to the world. When the military realise the threat is real they plan to nuke the rock. Meanwhile from an underground shelter a game of space billiards ensues as she reprograms a satellite to strike a smaller meteoroid into the path of the incoming asteroid to deflect it.

Trailer (English)


Judgment Day (1999).

Judgment Day (1999). Movie. A small asteroid destroys a village in Bolivia but a second one a thousand times larger is due to arrive within days. Unfortunately, the Government scientist who designed the only weapon capable of preventing the impact has been kidnapped by a delusional cult leader. A dangerous criminal who knows his whereabouts is released from prison to assist the FBI track him down.

Trailer | DVD


La Fin Du Monde movie poster (The End of the World).

La Fin du Monde (1931). Movie. A wealthy gentleman astronomer detects that on its next passage by Earth, Lexell’s Comet will most likely strike and the world will end in 114 days. Acquiring a newspaper and radio station, he announces the event to the world, causing the global economy to collapse and the world to descend into chaos. The astronomer is accused of creating a hoax to destroy the economy – until the comet comes into view. Although it passes safely by, the world has already been devastated by the global panic.

Read


Scene showing close approach of rogue planet with Earth from film Melancholia (2011).

Melancholia (2011). Movie. Not an asteroid but a previously undetected rogue planet called Melancholia enters the Solar System from behind the Sun, making a close approach and ultimately colliding with the Earth. The film follows the strained relationship between two sisters, who shelter in a magic cave when the planet collides with Earth.

Trailer | Watch


Scene from Meteor (1979) in the control room bunker under AT&T New York.

Meteor (1979). Movie. A main belt asteroid is struck by a comet, deflecting it towards Earth. It will hit within a week. The force of impact will be ten orders of magnitude larger than the largest earthquake ever recorded. The US and Russia must first admit to owning space-based nuclear weapons, and then combine their stockpiles if there is to be any hope of preventing the catastrophe. Operations are controlled from a bunker beneath AT&T New York.

Watch


Scene from Meteor (2009)

Meteor (2009). Two part TV movie. A collision in the asteroid belt with a passing comet splits asteroid 114 Kassandra in two and puts it on a collision course with Earth. While the emergency Task Force plans the missile interventions, a lone astronomer on the road to the command center has to find a way to transmit the data they need, while all forms of communication are being taken out by the meteor storm.

Watch


Scene from film showing incoming meteors in Meteor Apocalypse (2010).

Meteor Apocalypse (2010). TV movie. A comet on a collision course with Earth is intercepted by a global nuclear intervention. But the fragments raining down on Earth contaminate the groundwater and poison the population. One man with a possible antidote is on a cross-state journey to find his family and administer the antidote.

Watch


Asteroid Final Impact (2015) aka Meteor Assault (2015).

Meteor Assault (2015) see Asteroid: Final Impact (2015).


Scene from film Meteorites (1998) picking up a rock from a crater. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Meteorites! (1998). TV movie. Just as the small town of Leroy is about to hold its lucrative annual UFO Festival, it is battered by a series of massive meteorite strikes as Earth passes through some cometary debris. People believe that aliens landed in Leroy back in the 1950’s and the town’s Mayor refuses to cancel the festival, meteorites or no meteorites!

Watch


Scene showing meteor punching hole through Golden Gate Bridge in film Meteor Storm (2010). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Meteor Storm (2010). TV movie. Millions of years ago a dense meteorite composed of element 120 Unbinilium impacted into what is now the San Francisco bay. Now it is altering the paths of near Earth objects. The passage of a comet creates an intense meteor storm on San Francisco and perturbs the orbit of asteroid Apophis onto a collision course with Earth. A nuclear intervention succeeds.

Watch


Mutant World (2014).

Mutant World (2014). Movie. A doomsday prepper discovers that an asteroid will impact Earth in a potentially apocalyptic event and there’s a nuclear reactor at the impact site. A group takes shelter in a former missile silo. Ten years later they venture outside to find that anyone who was exposed to the radiation becomes a mutant cannibal after dark. The first 7 minutes is about the impact; the rest of the movie is about mutants.

Watch


Scene from Night of the Comet (1984).

Night of the Comet (1984). Comedy horror movie. A teenage girl spends the evening in the projection room at a cinema with her boyfriend while the world watches a comet that is returning after 65 million years. They emerge the next day to a red haze and find that those who were not reduced to piles of red dust are now zombies. I’ve only included this for the title.

Trailer | Watch


Meteor explosion over the city in One Punch Man The Ultimate Disciple (2015).

One-Punch Man: “The Ultimate Disciple” (2015). Anime episode [S1, Ep.7]. Superheroes Genos and Metal Knight fail to destroy a meteor on a collision course with City-Z. Superhero Saitama destroys it in one punch but it fragments and devastates the city anyway.

Watch


View of the city with the magnetic reversal in progress in Polar Storm (2009).

Polar Storm (2009). Movie. A fragment of comet Copernicus impacts Earth and knocks it off its axis. A geomagnetic reversal follows, but when the magnetic field declines to zero the solar wind will strip away Earth’s atmosphere. A quarter of a million people perish in the impact and now all life on Earth is threatened by the reversal. With two days to go, only one scientist knows how to realign the poles using some strategically placed nuclear weapons.

Trailer | Watch


Post Impact (2004).

Post Impact (2004). Movie. The Earth is in the aftermath of a massive comet impact. Most of the northern hemisphere has been plunged into an ice age as a result of the atmospheric dust. An experimental microwave-beam power station satellite, secretly designed as a lethal weapon, is the key to Earth’s future. But whoever gains control of the satellite gains control of the planet.

Trailer | Watch


Scene from Salvation (2017) as they try and make the prototype design of the EM drive work. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Salvation (2017–18). TV drama series. An MIT student discovers an asteroid on a collision course with Earth that will impact in six months’ time causing an extinction level event. He approaches a power-hungry tech giant scientist who tries to save the world with money he doesn’t quite have, radioactive material he can’t legally get and technology that doesn’t quite exist. This story throws everything you can think of about asteroid mitigation at you. And, yes, there’s a fated reporter on the trail.

Trailer S1 | Watch S1 & S2


Standing on the beach in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012). Romcom movie. Asteroid Mathilde will impact the Earth in three weeks’ time. Two characters embark on a roadtrip, one to find his high school sweetheart and the other to find her family. It’s a lighthearted Melancholia.

Trailer | Watch


Sliders Last Days (1995).

Sliders: “Last Days” (1995). TV series episode [S1, Ep 3]. The sliders team arrive on an alternate Earth two days before a predicted asteroid impact and three days before their next slide. Nuclear weapons have never been invented so they have to get to work inventing the atom bomb to deflect the asteroid before it’s too late.

Watch


Asteroid having passed through Earth using the hyper drive in Stargate SG-1 - Fail Safe (2002). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Stargate SG-1: “Fail Safe” (2002). TV Series episode [S5, Ep 17]. A Goa’uld diverts an asteroid onto a collision course with Earth. The Stargate team is dispatched to prevent the catastrophe. Preparing to launch a missile to destroy the asteroid, they detect a high concentration of the rare, super-dense mineral Naquadah inside. They use the hyperdrive to jump the asteroid past Earth.

Watch


Starship Troopers (1997).

Starship Troopers (1997). Film based on the 1959 novel by Robert A. Heinlein. The war with the alien arachnids is instigated when they launch an asteroid at Earth, wiping out Buenos Aires and killing in excess of 9 million people.

Watch


Stonados (2013).

Stonado (2013). Movie. So it’s not about asteroids, comets or even meteorites, but huge boulders being ripped up from the sea floor by a series of massive tornados and then launched back to impact the Earth. Boston is the target for the destruction. The solution is to heat up the atmosphere with a high altitude explosion using one of the tornados as an elevator for the bomb.

Watch


Scene from The Cusp (1996) as an astronaut space walks to the asteroid. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Cusp (1996). A movie about asteroid mining and environmental extremists set in the not too distant future. An asteroid that is being nudged by a spacecraft into a lunar Trojan orbit is coming in too fast for Earth capture. The one remaining crew member has to skim it off the top of Earth’s atmosphere and back out into space before it’s too late.

Watch


The Day of the Triffids (1961).

The Day of the Triffids (1962, 1981, 2008). Movie and two TV Series. Not an impact movie, but there is a meteor shower and being a classic I’ve included it. A spectacular meteor event blinds everyone who sees it and disperses spores around the globe that grow into carnivorous triffid plants. In the early version, salt water destroys the triffids; in the later version, it’s genetic engineering.

Watch (1962) | Watch (1981) | Watch (2008)


The Day The Sky Exploded (1958).

The Day the Sky Exploded (1958). Italy’s first sci-fi movie (English dubbed). When the engine of a manned mission to the Moon malfunctions, it explodes in a region of near-Earth asteroids. Thousands of asteroids form a giant cluster which is now heading straight for Earth. The world’s entire stockpile of nuclear missiles is launched to destroy the cluster.

Watch


Scene showing meteors impacting the town in The End of the World (1916). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The End of the World (1916) aka The Flaming Sword (1916). Silent movie. A new comet is discovered that will enter Earth’s atmosphere and cause destruction and economic disaster in north west Europe. Danish movie made in the aftermath of the panic that preceded the 1910 apparition of Halley’s Comet made worse by sudden appearance of The Great Daylight Comet of 1910 which stole Halley’s thunder three months earlier.

Watch (Danish Film Institute) | Watch (Amazon)


The Great Evil approaches Earth in The Fifth Element.

The Fifth Element (1997). Every 5,000 years, a massive sentient fireball of the most ominous intelligence imaginable reappears intent on destroying all life on Earth. Because evil begets evil, engaging the menace in warfare only makes it stronger. The sole weapon capable of defeating it is the alignment of four sacred stones activated by the four classical elements — earth, water, fire and air — and a fifth supreme element. In 2263, while an alien diva conceals the stones, the fifth element is attacked on its way to protect Earth. An ex-special forces officer turned taxi driver is tasked with reuniting them to save the world.

Trailer | Watch UK | Watch US


The Green Slime (1968).

The Green Slime (1968). Movie. A team of scientists are dispatched from an orbiting space station to plant a bomb on the surface of an asteroid that is on course to impact the Earth. They find it inhabited by a green slime, some of which is inadvertently brought back to the space station and evolves into a host of one-eyed tentacled aliens.

Watch


The Lost Missile (1958).

The Lost Missile (1958). Movie. An unidentified missile-like object from space is heading towards Earth. A foiled attempt to blow it up sets it on course to destroy New York and Ottawa. Ottawa is destroyed. A revolutionary rocket is launched just in time and the missile is destroyed, saving New York.

Watch


Scene showing the rock monoliths being destroyed in saltwater in The Monolith Monsters (1957). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Monolith Monsters (1957). Movie. A large meteorite impacts and breaks up in the Southern Californian desert. When exposed to water, the fragments grow into massive stone monoliths that petrify (literally) the inhabitants of a nearby town. A geologist realises that salt water destroys the monoliths. To generate enough of it, he blows up the local dam and floods the nearby salt flats.

Watch


Scene showing news anchor Brooks Alvarez in front of countdown screen in The Onion News Network Asteroid Heads To Earth (2011). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Onion News Network: “Asteroid Heads to Earth” (2011). TV news comedy episode [S2, Ep 1]. The news on 5 October 2011 is that all life on Earth will come to an end when a massive asteroid strikes in less than half an hour. There is live coverage right up to the moment the news studio is struck by the asteroid.

Watch


The Sarah Jane Adventures Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane (2007).

The Sarah Jane Adventures: “Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?” (2007). Two part episode [S1, Ep 7–8] of a children’s TV show. Meteoroid K67 is on a collision course with Earth but no-one knows because it is coming through a radar blind spot. When in range, Sarah Jane will use her alien computer, Mr Smith, to create a magnetic pulse and deflect it back into space. But only after other time-travel adventures take place across the decades in between.

Watch


These Final Hours (2013).

These Final Hours (2013). Movie. Ten minutes after an asteroid has struck in the North Atlantic Ocean, a global firestorm is gradually ravaging the Earth. There are 12 hours until it reaches Western Australia. In Perth, one man attempts to use his final hours to help a child find her father. At the end, with no escape, the only choice is to watch from the beach as the firestorm arrives.

Trailer | Watch


Scene showing Bart next to a telescope from the TV episode The Simpsons Bart's Comet (1995). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Simpsons: “Bart’s Comet” (1995). Animated TV series episode [S6, Ep 14]. While in detention with Principal Skinner, Bart discovers a comet heading for Earth and straight for Springfield. A misguided rocket invention destroys the only bridge out of town and as the residents of Springfield sing Que Será Será, the comet breaks up in the atmosphere and Bart bags a meteorite. The episode first aired on 5 February 1995, influenced by the events surrounding Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 that broke apart under the gravitational influence of Jupiter, colliding with it in July 1994.

Watch | Watch US


It's the Size of Texas.

The Size of Texas (2011). Comedy short about a group of scientists advising the Department of Defense and POTUS about an asteroid that will impact Earth in 15 hours. Their best size estimate is 98.6 billion— It’s the size of Texas. Or is it two, give or take a city, or at least a Texas and a Paris (Texas) maybe? The Director needs to know how many Texases before considering mass evacuation. But the size depends on the decade used to define the size of Texas. The smartest man on the planet says thousands of Texases, but his genius in Einsteins is debated. The Independence Day scientist says it’s the size of Earth and will knock us into the Sun like a cue ball, but he is supposedly mad. A nuclear warhead the size of ten thousand Apollo Theaters is launched to break it into a million pieces — but it’s too late.

Watch


Scene showing massive comet and debris field approaching Earth from space in the documentary The Super Comet (2007). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Super Comet (2007). Two-part dramatised documentary which is utterly brilliant and deeply impactful (pun intended). A hypothesised future history of planet Earth after a comet strikes in the Yucatán Peninsula today, near to where an impact 65 million years ago caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Discussed by renowned expert scientists with dramatized scenes following different groups of survivors in different parts of the world in the aftermath of the impact.

Trailer | Part 1 | Part 2


Scene showing POTUS looking solemnly at document in The West Wing Impact Winder (2004). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The West Wing: “Impact Winter” (2004). TV series episode [S6, Ep 9]. The White House staff prepare for the possible impact of a 400m wide asteroid that could hit the northern hemisphere in 46 hours. POTUS weighs up the impact scenarios: obliterating a city would be better than an impact in the Pacific Ocean for damage containment. The asteroid misses Earth by 73,000 miles.

Watch


Scene showing asteroid exploding in the film Tik Tik Tik (2018). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Tik Tik Tik (2018). Movie. An Indian Shuttle crew is sent with an onboard missile to destroy an asteroid which is on course to impact the Earth. They are kidnapped by the captain of a Chinese space station who attempts to steal the missile and use it to destroy India and get lucrative rebuilding contracts. One of the Shuttle crew is a trained magician and escape artist who manages to free the crew and launch the missile at the asteroid to prevent the catastrophe.

Trailer | Title Track Video


Total Eclipse (2008).

Total Eclipse (2008). Movie. As hundreds of small meteoroids bombard the Earth, an orbiting space station is knocked onto a collision course with Earth. With a thermonuclear reactor on board, if blown up before impact, it will shower the Earth with radioactive material; if it impacts, much of California will be uninhabitable for a thousand years. Now it seems the fate of the space station has been part of a clandestine plan to get a vetoed Missile Defense Renewal Act reinstated.

Watch


Woman looking scared up at sky in Before The Fall (2008) aka Tres Dias (2008).

Tres Días (2008) see Before the Fall (2008). Movie. An asteroid will impact Earth in 72 hours in a catastrophic collision that no-one is expected to survive. In its final hours, the world is gripped by chaos and mass panic. A serial killer escapes from prison and holds a family hostage, making their final hours even more unbearable. It’s violent and destructive even before the impact, so maybe do what the asteroid won’t and give this one a miss.

Trailer | DVD


Tycus (1999).

Tycus (1999). Movie. A reporter learns of a secret nuclear missile bunker in the Sierra mountains and goes to investigate. He learns that a comet is on course to impact the Moon which will in turn affect all life on Earth. A multi-millionaire is planning a mitigation attempt from the underground bunker and offering shelter to a select few should the comet deflection attempt fail, which it does. Every major city in the world is struck by incoming boulders. Expect tidal waves, earthquakes, fires and floods.

Trailer | Watch


Force of Impact (2006) aka Deadly Skies (2006) aka Ultimate Limit (2006).

Ultimate Limit (2006) aka Force of Impact (2006). TV movie. An astronomer tracks a number of meteoroid strikes to an asteroid the size of Texas which has been knocked onto a collision course with Earth by another rogue asteroid. An ex-Air Force Major resurrects an aborted secret ground-based laser weapon to deflect it.

Watch Cut | Watch Uncut


Undead (2003).

Undead (2003). Movie. An influx of meteorite strikes turn the inhabitants of the small Australian town of Berkeley into zombies. Then aliens start abducting other residents. Acid rain falls from the sky which turns out to be the antidote for the zombie infection. It seems the aliens only arrived to keep the infection delivered in the meteorites from spreading.

Trailer | DVD


Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965).

Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965). Movie. It’s 2020 and a spacecraft on a mission to investigate the prospect of colonising Venus is struck by an asteroid. OK, it’s not about an impact on Earth and is only included because it is set in 2020 and because it is an example of confusing the terms asteroid and meteorite.

Watch


Scene showing Pairans and in human form from Warning From Space (1956). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Warning from Space (1956). Movie about a rogue planet, Planet R, which is on course to collide with Earth. A technologically advanced race of starfish-like beings from planet Paira, which co-orbits with Earth on the other side of the Sun, visits Japan to warn the Earth and join forces to stop the annihilation of their respective planets.

Watch


Scene showing the Ark taking off from Earth on a rail launch in the film When Worlds Collide (1951). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

When Worlds Collide (1951). Movie not about an asteroid or comet, but a rogue star, Bellus and its planetary companion, Zira. With Bellus on a direct collision course with Earth, a lottery is held to decide which personnel working on building a space ark will be allotted seats to go and start a new colony on the safety of planet Zira. Told largely from the viewpoint of those working on the ark. This is the movie that inspired Deep Impact (1998).

Watch


Scene showing news anchor and image of asteroid in movie Without Warning (1994). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Without Warning (1994). Mockumentary movie delivered as a news network report. Three spatially synchronized asteroid impacts into uninhabited regions on Earth turn out to be a form of extraterrestrial contact based on symbols sent out on the Pioneer 11 spacecraft. When Earth launches a nuclear retaliation, it comes under siege by hundreds more impacts on major cities around the globe. Segments of the alien message are delivered by survivors of two of the impact sites, citing what seems to be part of the recorded message sent out on the Voyager spacecraft.

Watch


Scene showing three wizards in dalmation spacesuits in TV episode Wizards of Waverly Place (2011).

Wizards of Waverly Place: “Wizards vs Asteroid” (2011). TV series episode [S4, Ep 17]. When the Russo family of wizards, who live above a sandwich shop in Greenwich Village, hear about the failed attempt to destroy a giant asteroid hurtling towards Earth, they change their minds about taking a portal to shelter in the wizard world and instead go into space to reactivate the missile that failed to detonate.

Watch


You, Me and the Apocalypse (2015)

You, Me and the Apocalypse (2015). TV oddball comedy series. An attempt to deflect a comet out of its collisional trajectory with Earth fails and it will impact in 34 days. This 10 episode series counts down the event, following the lives of a diverse group of unconnected individuals around the world who all end up sheltering in a bunker under the UK town of Slough as they watch the end of the world unfold on TV.

Watch

Zodiac: Signs of the Apocalypse (2014) aka Apocalypse Tomorrow (2014). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Zodiac: Signs of the Apocalypse (2014) aka Apocalypse Tomorrow (2014). When an ancient astrological rock carving is uncovered in a Peruvian mine, a wave of unprecedented natural disasters are set in motion around the globe. Depicting twelve events associated with the signs of the zodiac, the final event marks the return of a long-period planet which will destroy Earth. A scientist overcomes floods, fireballs, volcanic fury and Feds to reunite the carving with a radioactive stone that activates an energy field and shields the world from destruction.

Trailer | Watch UK | Watch US


Lights, Camera and Asteroid! That’s a wrap.

Go back to the top of the A to Z list.

TL;DR: Try the abridged version.

Don’t forget, it’s always Asteroid Day on 30 June.

Hope's Comet Pills advertisement from 1910.

Fair Use Notice: All images used in this post have been carefully chosen to support the commentary. I believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material, but suffice to say, if any film company or network would prefer the image to be removed, just let me know.