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'Apollo 18' looks to explain the reason we never went back [Video]

February 24, 2011 |  4:10 pm

Armchair astronomers and space enthusiasts have long had a field day with why the U.S. government  scrapped the Apollo 18 lunar mission as well as two other planned voyages to the moon. Budget limitations was one of the official reasons given. But Gonzalo Lopez Gallego's new movie suggests a different motive.

A mission did make the trip in 1973, Gallego's (fictional) film suggests, but some kind of horror-movie monster/virus attacked the astronauts, resulting in the U.S. never going back. Citing "unconfirmed intelligence," Gallego's movie, which was shot this winter in Vancouver, tracks the mission from its buoyant early days to its spine-tingling final ones.

The trailer for the found-footage film, with an appealingly grainy pseudo-historicity, hit a few days ago. (You can watch it below.) According to Dimension Films, which is set to release the movie on April 22, the trailer has already garnered more than 3 million hits on Apple.

Combining the conventions of science fiction and horror sometimes works ("The X-Files") and sometimes doesn't (Danny Boyle's "Sunshine"). Whether "Apollo" will be the "Blair Witch"-like hit Dimension hopes is unclear, but plenty of new theories (and some old ones) could come in its wake. And, of course, a potential "Apollo 19" sequel.

-- Steven Zeitchik