Unlike The excellent Ron Howard film, APOLLO 13, a top-notch drama about a rescue from a near disaster in space, APOLLO 18 is a low budget SciFi film made to look like 1974 documentary footage of a fictional trip to the Moon by a crew that met with pure disaster. The premise of the film is that NASA actually had one more top secret military trip to the Moon after the last official mission of Apollo 17. Although the reality is that the Moon has no oxygen to support life, somehow some sort of violent spider-like creatures caused the deaths of a secret Soviet mission to the Moon, as well as the crew of Apollo 18. It’s a foolish little premise, but the film’s style of being shot like old camera footage is sort of an impressive thing.
But, impressive camera work and a mock documentary style are hardly enough to save a very mediocre SciFi film that’s not all that good of story to begin with. This movie only got about 24% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes from other critics as well, which seems about right.
For the small $5 million dollar budget this film did gross more than $24 million, so despite the poor film that was actually produced, from a business standpoint this film at least made a profit on the investment. But, please, don’t let that encourage more bad films like this to be made. This film’s enough to last me for this lifetime. I’ve actually seen many movies made for around $5 million or less that were much better than this. I guess $5 million just doesn’t buy what it used to.
The Bottom Line: Probably better to skip this movie than anything. It was a major league disappointment for me, although I liked it a little better than MOON. **(Two stars fair, and that’s being plenty generous here because this story isn’t that good, but the old documentary-type film footage camera style is an impressive little gimmick though. If you’re required by law to have to watch every SciFi film ever made, then that’s the only reason to spend any time watching 86 minutes of a rather pointless and failed camera experiment here).