Wednesday, September 28, 2011

'Area 52' headed for the big screen

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Not content to have two ‘secret underground base’ movies currently in production (Area 51 and Umbra), Hollywood is now planning a third – Area 52.

Summit Entertainment is to develop a live action adaptation of the four-issue comic book series Area 52, which was published in 2001. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian will produce the movie.

According to Deadline:

“The comic focused on a top secret warehouse in Antarctica called Area 52, a government storage dump for otherworldly discoveries, manned by a ragtag group of misfits who have been exiled to the middle of nowhere to staff it. When an alien killing machine is accidentally hatched in this repository, the group must band together and use the stored mythological weapons and artifacts to save themselves and the world. They are tying up the underlying rights to the Brian Haberlin comic, and will go out to writers shortly.”

This won’t be Hollywood’s first visit to Area 52, however: director Joe Dante took us there in 2003 in his movie Looney Tunes Back in Action, which mixed live action and animation to bring Warner Bros.’ Classic cartoon characters to new audiences in the 21st century. In a pivotal scene, the film’s human protagonists (played by Brendan Fraser and Jenna Elfman) along with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck stumble across a Top Secret military base in the Nevada desert where they see live alien creatures sealed in giant glass jars; the self-reflexive twist here, though, is that all of these specimens are iconic ‘monsters’ or characters from science-fiction cinema and television: the eponymous Robot Monster and the Man from Planet X; Daleks from Doctor Who; a Mutant from This Island Earth; and Warner Bros.’ very own Marvin the Martian. The odd one out alongside these fantastical celluloid creations is a typical alien ‘Grey’ from UFO-lore stretched out on a medical table; this supposedly fact-based rendering effectively fictionalised by its association with the line-up of schlock Hollywood creatures that precedes it.

Tonopah Test Range
“So, this is Area 51, right, the secret military base where they keep the aliens?” asks Bugs Bunny, to which a scientist (played by Joan Cusack) replies: “No, Area 51 is actually a paranoid fantasy we concocted to hide the true identity of this facility.” Behind the characters, a bold red sign clearly reads: “AREA 52: KEEPING THINGS FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SINCE 1947.”

In 2008, Joe Dante told me that the decision to call the base “Area 52” in his movie was purely a comedic one, apparently unaware that a site bearing this name really does exist. Located in the Nevada desert approximately 70 miles northwest of Area 51, the Tonopah Test Range is designated by the US Department of Energy as “Area 52,” and, like its infamous sister site, it has long been a testing ground for Top Secret military technologies, including the F-117A Nighthawk, more commonly known as the Stealth Fighter.

According to Dante, his film’s corporate overseers attempted to have the Area 52 scene removed in its entirety. Warner Bros.’ concerns were not political, Dante told me, but artistic: “There was pressure to take the scene out of the picture, but it was because the studio thought the monsters were stupid, it wasn’t because they had any issues with Area 51.”

When I told Dante that the Pentagon had denied its cooperation to Independence Day in 1996 due in part to the film’s Area 51 plotline, he replied: “Well the cat’s out of the bag, I’m afraid; I mean it’s a little late [for the Pentagon] to be worrying about that – this thing [Area 51] has entered folklore.” Indeed it has, and now Area 52 looks set to join its numerical neighbor as a permanent fixture in the folkloric realm.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shades of Nibiru

Silver Screen Saucers

A rogue planet looms in two distinct and highly acclaimed movies currently in cinemas. One planet threatens our destruction, one may offer hope...

Melancholia (2011)...

Another Earth (2011)...

Finally Back Again

Ok, I think that was my last vacation for the year.  It wasn't much of a vacation in Virginia.  I had to help Dasha move from our apartment to a house and just in time for Hurricane Irene.  It wasn't too bad in Alexandria, but our power went out, and the sump pump didn't work so we had to scoop out hundreds of gallons of water from the basement by hand.  Luckily, the power came back on just as it was about to overflow onto the floor.  At least I had a great vacation in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.  I've included a few photos from there too. 
A lot has been going on here while I was gone.  The Kahana brought our supplies and the US Coast Guard ship Kukui came to do some work here and at Kure Atoll.  We also had a Coast Guard C-130 come about an hour after our plane came to pick up some of the Coast Guard personnel and a construction crew from Kure.  I've made it through a few hundred emails already and should be caught up in only another week or two, so if anyone reading this is expecting a reply from me, I'll probably be getting to it soon.  Alright, time for some photos. 

 I got to ride out on the new airplane.  Our flight contractor got a G-IIB.  It's almost the same as the last plane, but a little more headroom and the seating setup is a bit better. 

This plane flies a lot higher than the old G-I.  You can barely see French Frigate Shoals in this picture.  It's fairly small from 45,000 feet.  You can see that the atmosphere is pretty thin up there too.  You can maybe see it a bit better if you double click on the photo.

 This is part of Pearl & Hermes Atoll.  The reef pattern is pretty cool.  We didn't see Laysan or Lisianski this time, but we did see Nihoa, FFS, Gardner Pinnacles, and P&H.  I didn't get clear photos of Nihoa and Gardner due to the double windows on the plane.

There isn't much to see here, but this is Sand Island at Midway as we are getting ready to land.  It is pretty small, isn't it?

Now for some vacation photos.  Of course, I took a couple thousand, so here are just a few representative shots.

 These mountains are called the High Tatras in northern Slovakia.  We spent a week there.

 The hiking was wonderful.  It was really surprising how many people were up there, but I can see why because it is really beautiful.

 The mountain in the background is called Lomnicky stit. It looks a lot higher than 8,643 ft (2634 m), but the level of the surrounding land is not as high as it is in the Rocky Mountains.  There is a little gondola lift to the top.

 This is my brother-in-law, Tomas, taking a photo from the overlook on top of Lomnicky stit.  It's a pretty long drop from there.  It was clear down below, but there were some clouds up there the day we went.  It snowed up there 4 days later.

 This was our hotel for the week, the Grand Hotel Praha. 

 This was the view from our hotel room. 

 One interesting thing about the Czech Republic is how many of the hilltops have castles on them.  This castle is called Hazmburg.

 I'm not sure of the story behind these castle ruins, but it was probably nice five or six hundred years ago.

 This is the old town square in Dasha's hometown of Teplice.  There are some hot springs here that were said to be discovered in 762 A.D. Beethoven worked on some of his symphonies here while getting treatment in the spa. 

I of course had to go check out a soccer game in Teplice.  The stadium may look familiar if you saw the last "Pink Panther" movie.  I sat in the hooligan section for the first half, but moved for a better seat in the second half.  When you go with the rough crowd, you have to stand the whole time, and it's not quite the same when you don't understand the Czech taunts.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Disclosure Petition



The Disclosure Petition is now active on the White House website. The wording of the petition is as follows:

"We, the undersigned, strongly urge the President of the United States to formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race and immediately release into the public domain all files from all agencies and military services relevant to this phenomenon."

Should this petition receive a significant number of signatures it will draw media attention which will generate more signatures. It can become a direct referendum on the matter of Disclosure if the link to the petition can be taken viral on the Internet.

If you wish to support this petition, use Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, bulletin boards, email lists, websites and all other social media to take the link viral. YouTubers can create Disclosure Petition videos and include the petition link. Webmasters can go to
 and find graphic banners for attaching the petition link.

UFOs to visit 'Coronation Street'

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Picture credit: Mail Online
In a clear sign of just how deeply embedded the UFO phenomenon has become in our popular culture, the world's longest-running soap opera - Britain's Coronation Street - is soon to be buzzed by Unidentified Flying Objects.

The Daily Mail reports that, in an episode of the soap yet to be aired, while out stargazing, the characters of Julie Carp and Brian Packham will spot "what they think are UFOs in the sky."

According the Mail:

"Brian thinks he has spotted some UFOs and the pair become so convinced of an alien invasion that they keep their eyes on the skies above.

As he looks through the telescope, Brian says: 'I'm a respected expert in the field of UFO landings and I'm telling you what we've seen with our own eyes are the genuine article.

However, the excitement proves to be all too much for Julie who declares: 'This UFO spotting business is really turning me on.' She then grabs her beau and says: 'Make love to me Brian, I'll protect you from little green men.'

The couple are then seen rolling around on their blanket, all thoughts of ET and his friends forgotten in a flash.

But they soon turn back to their 'discovery' and begin to dub themselves 'The Mulder and Scully of Weatherfield' in tribute to the detectives in cult 90s sci-fi TV show 'The X-Files'."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Disney to open 'Avatar Land' theme park attraction

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

The world's most successful movie - James Cameron's Avatar (2009) - is to come to life in spectacular fashion at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida. Disney CEO Bob Iger made the announcement yesterday, stating that construction of 'Avatar Land' - which will be comprised of "multi-dimensional physical worlds" - will begin in 2013.

James Cameron - also present for yesterday's announcement - said of his collaboration with Disney: "I quickly realized that their vision for this thing was far beyond what I'd imagined -- and I've got a pretty good imagination."

Disney plans to build not one, but several 'Avatar Lands' in its Animal Kingdom park - a plan that sits well with Cameron, who said that his movie was meant to "celebrate our interaction with nature and nature's wonder and diversity."

Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, told reporters yesterday that the "Avatar Lands" will be large and interactive. "Our lands are going to be complete," he said. "They will include attractions, entertainment, shops, food and beverage, et cetera. They're going to be highly developed and fully themed."

Cameron is currently working on two sequels to Avatar, scheduled for release in 2014 and 2015.

Related articles:

UFOs and Disney: Behind the Magic Kingdom

Disney to produce secret sci-fi movie

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

No saucers in this Hoover: J. Edgar biopic will side-step UFO issue

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

A historical epic based on the life of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover is headed for the big screen this November. Directed by Oscar winner Clint Eastwood and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the movie will chronicle the rise to power and time in office of the legendary lawman and will also explore his closeted homosexuality.

What the movie - entitled J. Edgar - will surely not explore, however, is Hoover’s longstanding and well-documented interest in the UFO phenomenon. Documents released through the Freedom of Information Act show that the flying saucer fever that swept America during the summer of 1947 also reached as far as the Bureau’s headquarters and had Hoover himself in a sweat. He was particularly frustrated at his inability to get straight answers on the subject from the US Air Force, which he was convinced was keeping crucial UFO-related information from him.

In an FBI document dated 10 July, 1947, in response to a request from the Air Force that the Bureau assist in its flying saucer investigations, a hand-written note from Hoover reads:

“I would do it but before agreeing to it we must insist upon full access to discs recovered. For instance in the la. case the Army grabbed it and would not let us have it for cursory examination.”

A remarkable statement indeed in its unambiguous acknowledgement that – in the opinion of the FBI director at least – the US Army was already in possession of a flying disc.

Debate has raged for years in the UFO research community about the meaning of Hoover’s “la.” reference. The Roswell incident had occurred just days earlier in New Mexico – could this be what he was referring to? If so, why say “la.”? Some speculate that “la.” might be short for Los Alamos – as in Los Alamos laboratories – where wreckage from the Roswell crash(es) allegedly was sent for testing. It is also possible that Hoover was referring to an older and less well-known UFO incident: the 1942 ‘Battle of Los Angeles,’ in which one or more saucer-shaped objects hovered silently over LA for several hours, drawing heavy artillery fire from the US Army. Witnesses described the objects as being impervious to the Army’s shelling, but perhaps they were not quite so impervious as they appeared.

Whatever the precise meaning of Hoover’s note, his interest in the UFO issue was clear. A wealth of UFO documentation from the FBI’s own files is now freely available for the public to examine; it shows that the Bureau’s monitoring of the UFO phenomenon continued throughout Hoover’s four-decade reign as FBI head honcho. The full complexity of the FBI/UFO interplay is crisply elucidated by Nick Redfern in his book The FBI Files.

History may come to regard the aforementioned ‘flying disc’ document as one of the most significant Hoover ever signed. But will this – or any reference whatsoever to the UFO phenomenon – feature in Eastwood’s forthcoming movie? I wouldn’t hold your breath. Why? Because the UFO subject is missing from the pages of history as officially written. UFOs have been excised entirely from our official historical meta-narrative. It follows, then, that UFOs are also absent from Hollywood’s historical dramas. For the cinema-going UFOlogist, this absence is noticeable no more so than in movies dealing with heavyweight political figures, such as John F. Kennedy (JFK), Richard Nixon (Nixon), George W. Bush (W.), James Jesus Angleton (The Good Shepherd) – even Howard Hughes (The Aviator).

This December will see the release of the Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady, which also will undoubtedly give the UFO topic a wide berth. Thatcher, of course, was in office at the time of the famous Bentwaters UFO incidents, which involved the apparent landing on British soil of a structured craft of unknown origin and resulted in a large-scale cover-up involving the UK and US governments. On May 21, 1997, Thatcher told British researcher Georgina Bruni that, when it comes to UFOs, “You can’t tell the people.” She might have added: “And certainly not in an Oscar-worthy drama.”

To add the UFO element to fact-based political biopics in a pre-disclosure world would be to turn historical drama into sci-fi. But in a post-disclosure world, the inclusion of UFOlogical detail will seem only natural to filmmakers. Right now, the most significant chapter in modern history has yet to be explored by Hollywood creatives outside of the generic trappings of science-fiction. When disclosure finally comes, Tinseltown will have a field day.

'The Thing': new red-band trailer

Silver Screen Saucers

WARNING: contains violence, gore and potential plot-spoilers...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hill abduction case headed for silver screen

The 1961 Betty and Barney Hill UFO abduction case - perhaps the most significant abduction case on record - is being developed as a feature film entitled Shades of Gray. The main brain behind the film - Hollywood producer and author, Bryce Zabel - announced the project yesterday and revealed that the film is to be based on the popular 2007 book Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience, by Stanton Friedman and Kathleen Marden.

Over at his After Disclosure web site, Zabel writes:

“I'm pleased to announce, in time for the 50th anniversary, that my production company, Stellar Productions, has optioned the film rights to Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience (New Page Books) by Stanton T. Friedman, MSc. and Kathleen Marden. Friedman, of course, is the leading scientific ufologist of our time and a former nuclear physicist, the man who broke the Roswell case. Marden is Betty Hill's niece and the trustee of her estate. I'm thrilled to be in business with them in bringing this profound and unsettling case to what we all hope will be its largest audience yet.”

Zabel acknowledges that his won’t be the first feature-length screen rendering of the Hill abduction case - the 1966 book, The Interrupted Journey was adapted as a TV movie in 1975 - but states confidently that his adaptation of Captured! will be “the most definitive book film/combo that has come to the screen.”

Zabel’s fascination with the Hill case was first shared publicly in 1996 in the pilot episode for his UFO-themed NBC TV series, Dark Skies, in which the Hill characters make a brief but very notable appearance (see below).

Zabel writes of Shades of Gray: “This will not be an easy process, getting such a controversial book made into a film, but difficult or not, it starts now.”

For more information on Shades of Gray and the Hill abduction case, head on over to After Disclosure.

Friday, September 16, 2011

NASA turns to Hollywood to explain new find

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Science fiction became science fact yesterday as NASA announced its discovery of the first known circumbinary planet – that is, a planet which orbits not one, but two stars. Up until now, circumbinary planets had been the stuff of fantasy. In 1977, George Lucas’s Star Wars famously depicted two suns in the sky of Tatooine – the home planet of Luke Skywalker. It was fitting, then, that joining the panel of NASA scientists that made yesterday’s historic announcement was none other than John Knoll – a renowned visual effects supervisor with Lucas’s effects company Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). Knoll worked on five out of the six Star Wars movies, as well as on other alien-themed productions, including The Abyss (1989), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), and Avatar (2009).

NASA’s decision to include Knoll on yesterday’s press briefing panel may seem rather odd, but in fact it was a savvy PR move on the space agency’s part. NASA clearly recognises that, for the scientific layperson (i.e. the majority of the populace), the visual characteristics and cosmic significance of this most recent extra-planetary discovery are most effectively crystallised through the use of iconographic Hollywood imagery and narrative devices. Several times throughout the press conference, NASA scientists used Star Wars as a natural reference point by which to clearly convey the complex notion of a circumbinary system, even screening a clip of the movie for good measure.

Following the formal briefing session, the question was raised by an audience member whether or not the public might be allowed to choose a less clinical name for the new planet than its official designation of “Kepler 16-b” and asked if the panel had yet considered any alternatives. The scientists – bless their logical hearts – seemed somewhat bemused, as if they were struggling even to grasp the premise of the question. Luckily, ILMs’s John Knoll was standing-by with the perfect answer: “Tatooine!” Well, naturally. And see if that name doesn’t stick.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dan Aykroyd talks UFOs

Dan Aykroyd's fascination with UFOs is well documented. Recently, Alejandro Rojas of Open Minds seized the opportunity for a brief chat with the movie star about the past, present and future of UFOs and UFO research...

For the rest of the story on Aykroyd and UFOs, head on over to Open Minds.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

'The Thing' 2011: 'chilling' new footage

Silver Screen Saucers

Empire Online reports on the forthcoming prequel to John Carpenter's 1982 sci-fi/horror classic, The Thing, providing a fresh clip of the movie for your viewing pleasure (see below).

"This story picks up a thread briefly touched on in the [original] Thing, wherein we learn that the alien had been discovered under the Antarctic ice, deep-frozen, and brought inside by the staff of a Norwegian Antarctic base. Given the havoc it wreaked in John Carpenter's film, it's no spoiler to say that not all of them would, with hindsight, describe the decision to bring the thing indoors as a good one."

Although billed as a prequel (which, technically, it is), judging by its trailer, in terms of both style and content The Thing looks to be more of a straight remake of Carpenter's 1982 version.

The Thing (2011)...

The Thing (1982)...

The Thing prequel (2011) stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton and Eric Christian Olsen. It will hit US cinemas on October 14. UK cinemas December 2.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hollywood propaganda post-9/11

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

With the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks upon us, I thought it might be fitting to draw attention to a new book on the subject of post-9/11 Hollywood propaganda entitled Screens of Terror. Though not dealing with UFOs, the book should nevertheless appeal to anyone with an interest in media manipulation and Hollywood's depictions of controversial political issues in the post-9/11 world.

This from the publisher:

"Right from the first moment, the 11 September 2001 attacks and the 'war on terror' were closely associated with film and media. In an effort to 're-brand' US foreign policy, Washington consulted with the advertising and PR industries and within days of 9/11 - itself often described as being 'like a movie' - also consulted Hollywood. It seemed that film-makers might be about to cooperate with a major, long-term propaganda offensive, harking back to the films of the early Cold War era or even those of World War Two. Screens of Terror examines whether such expectations have been borne out. It asks:

� How far have the film and TV industries been supportive of the 'war on terror' and how far have they been critical of it?
� How has the war film genre developed since 9/11?
� How have other popular genres responded to the 'war on terror'?
� How have film and TV represented the enemy Other and the Western Self?

Ten years on, this volume brings together European and North American scholars working in politics and international relations as well as in literature, film, media and cultural studies to take stock and assess the shape and significance of the post-9/11 cultural moment."

Among the scholars to have contributed to Screens of Terror is my colleague Dr Matthew Alford, whose excellent book Reel Power: Hollywood Cinema and American Supremacy is a must-read for anyone interested in the politics of Hollywood and the powerful interests working tirelessly to exploit this so-called 'dream factory', both from outside and within.

As for the topic of UFOs & 9/11, debate is currently stirring at the After Disclosure site, where Bryce Zabel and Nick Pope are asking to hear your thoughts on whether or not these two distinct and highly divisive topics should be mixed in the public mind. So, let your thoughts be known.

Related viewing:

Hollywood and the War Machine...

Related articles:

Lights, Camera, Covert Action: The Deep Politics of Hollywood

In the Parents' Best Interests: The Deep Politics of Hollywood

Michael Moore: I Was the Most Hated Man in America

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bradley Cooper to star in Dulce base movie 'Umbra'?

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Star of The Hangover and The A-Team Bradley Cooper is in talks with Endgame Productions to star in the alien invasion thriller Umbra, which - as revealed last month by Silver Screen Saucers - draws inspiration from longstanding rumours surrounding the Dulce base - an alleged deep underground biogenetic research facility said to be located in New Mexico.

According to horror news site Bloody Disgusting, if cast, "Cooper would play the character of 'David Underwood,' an investment banker who finds himself mixed up in a major government conspiracy - one that's life changing. His world unravels when he is accidentally delivered an audio cassette which reveals the government's complicity in an alien plot to breed with human chromosomes."

For an overview of Umbra's alien/Dulce-related content, check out my brief review of a leaked early draft of the movie's script.

For the script itself (currently being re-written), see here.

Umbra will likely hit cinemas in early 2013.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

'Apollo 18' fails to lift off at the box-office

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

The NASA conspiracy chiller Apollo 18 has taken a paltry $10.7 million at the U.S. box-office in its first four days on release in what is officially the weakest opening to date for a 'found footage' movie in the horror genre.

For those who may be interested, according to Apollo 18's distributor, The Weinstein Company, audience demographics for the movie were 57 percent male and 56 percent under 25 years old. Little surprise there, really.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bill Birnes talks 'Apollo 18'

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Publisher of UFO Magazine Bill Birnes was interviewed recently by The Huffington Post. The topic: Apollo 18 and NASA black-ops shenanigans. Read the interview here.

Incidentally, Bill and his wife Nancy (who edits UFO Mag) interviewed me recently for their Future Theatre radio show. You can listen to that interview here.

Silver Screen Saucers opinion polls

If you haven't done so already, please take a moment to vote in the Silver Screen Saucers opinion polls.

Do UFO-themed entertainment products influence our perceptions of the UFO phenomenon? What are your thoughts on government and military involvement in Hollywood?

Take a glance at the Silver Screen Saucers sidebar to see what others think about these issues and let your own thoughts be known.

Thanks for your participation!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Aliens on the horizon for Tom Cruise

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Tom Cruise is to star in a sci-fi epic due for release in July of 2013 entitled Horizons. The $100 million movie is to be directed by TRON: Legacy helmer, Joseph Kosinski, adapted from his forthcoming graphic novel, Oblivion. William Monahan (The Departed, Body of Lies) has penned the script.

Artwork from the forthcoming graphic novel Oblivion, on which the movie Horizons is to be based.

According to Variety:

"Cruise is set to star as Jack, a man who lives in the clouds above Earth and heads to its surface to repair drones that essentially keep the planet safe from an alien race that has all but wiped out humanity.

There are two key female characters -- Victoria, Jack's right-hand woman and lover who serves as his eyes and ears while he's on repair missions, and Julia, his fiancee on Earth before the alien invasion."

Horizons will be only the second alien/UFO movie in Cruise's thirty-year acting career after his 2005 collaboration with Steven Spielberg on War of the Worlds.

Stanton Friedman, NASA and 'Apollo 18'

Friedman speaking to MSNBC about UFO secrecy and the mysteries surrounding NASA's cancelled missions for Apollo 18 and 19...

Also, head on over to Open Minds for Jason McClellan's article: NASA uses Hollywood to keep people interested in the extraterrestrial.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Houston, we have a problem... 'Apollo 18' sucks!

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

 Apollo 18 opened in cinemas yesterday to generally poor reviews from film critics.

In a review that epitomises the NASA conspiracy chiller's critical reception, The Playlist's Todd Gilchrist describes Apollo 18 as "Derivative, dumb, suspenseless and worst of all boring." Gilchrist continues...

Apollo 18 fulfills no expectations except those of the low quality of films released over Labor Day weekend... Ultimately, the biggest problem with “Apollo 18” is that the threat, both implied throughout the film and more or less fully revealed at the end, never seems scary, and yet the build to it is far too theatrical."

How Apollo 18 fares at the box-office remains to be seen, however, as negative critics reviews rarely register with fans of the horror genre (or any of the fantastical genres). Indeed, judging by its audience reception thus far, Apollo 18 looks set for a tidy profit this weekend. I wouldn't be at all surprised if an 'Apollo 19' and 'Apollo 20' are already in the works. Watch this space... (space pun unintentional).

For a full round-up of critics' reviews of Apollo 18, head on over to Rotten Tomatoes.

To Silver Screen Saucers visitors - if you've seen Apollo 18 already, feel free to contribute your own mini-reviews in the comments section below...