There were two movies we wanted to see this weekend. The Debt we saw on Friday, because, well, it had Helen Mirren in it. The second, because, well, the Holland 7 makes really good popcorn. I expected this one to be awful, just a bad horror flick, but we were pleasantly surprised.
Apollo 18 [PG-13]
Holland 7 #2, 3:10pm
Of course In Real Life, Apollos 18, 19 and 20 were cancelled and their parts used for Skylab and the ASTP. The trailers looked good -- low res NASA video and film stock. Turns out that the whole movie is done conspiracy theory style with "leaked" footage a la The Blair Witch Project. But this time the footage is convincing. Of course we grew up on this stuff, peering at low res low contrast video Live From The Moon on B&W TVs, trying to see what was going on. Yet you want to see this on the big screen, even if there are only three people total in the theatre.
The movie is really Alien, minus the cat or the happy ending of either Alien or Capricorn One. (grin) But it has the look -- the right gear, the right cast -- without the high res polished look of Apollo 13. And I've seen pictures of the 1968-era Soviet lander and it was plumbing and wiring all over the place. Unflyable -- hell, you had valves to manually control. But this was 1974-ish, so they could've stolen some more LM friendly controls systems.
Okay, okay, there are a few problems with the story. There is no way to secretly launch a Saturn V rocket -- multiple STATES could feel it take off. The cover story for the launch, uh, we would remember it. Of course this movie could ignite the passions of the Moon Landing Was Faked and the There Really Was A Secret Moon Landing crowds at the same time. (conspiratorial-grin) And there's the little matter of how the footage got to Earth. Though the movie stock was said to be 10,000 feet of Kodachrome, I suspect they used something else, since the last Kodachrome lab shut down last year and they probably used something faster anyway.
You know you're in trouble when following a loud bang against the Lunar Module you look out the window and the flag is gone. Best part of this as a horror flick is that we never get a good look at the creatures.
We thought we'd go see Apollo 18 for the camp value. But despite the obvious flaws, I'm awarding this a:
(Surprisingly) Highly Recommended