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TV Terror Guide: A Fire in the Sky (1978)

The following are excepts from my feature about A Fire in the Sky (1978) in the We Belong Dead publication, Spotlight on Science Fiction, which happens to be on sale right now (click the link below!)


It’s structured like the typical disaster movie in which you could basically substitute one catastrophe for another, but it executes it so well throughout its three stages: preparation for the disaster, the disaster, and the aftermath. It focuses heavily on the first stage, devoting only a fraction of the nearly two and a half hour running time (three hours with commercials) to the disaster, and even less to the aftermath. In this case, then, you’ve got to have interesting characters and a compelling situation, or you’ve at least got to mix them together in an entertaining, preferably suspenseful, fashion.


...the part (big part) of A Fire in the Sky that deals with the military’s attempt to fire nuclear rockets at the comet and destroy it before it enters the atmosphere. You can guess how that goes, but I’ll use this subplot to comment on the special effects of the movie. From everything I read about it, they were considered awful at the time the movie aired. Subsequent versions even reduced scenes of destruction because they looked so bad. Maybe I watched a version with reduced scenes, because I didn’t think they were bad at all… for the time. In fact, I thought they were pretty good. They don’t play today any better or worse than other disaster movies of the 70s made within television budgets. I’d hate to be buried in the parking garage beneath the building shown in the post-comet matte painting.

Visit the TV Terror Guide: 70's TV Movies playlist at ClassicHorrors.Club TV on YouTube to watch A Fire in the Sky as well as all the great movies from this series.

Click here to order now - on sale for less than $25 USD!

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