I am trying to locate a movie I watched around 2012, released (I think) about 4-6 years earlier. It was about an Apollo-like moon landing, where the astronauts bumped upon an unknown till then microscopic life form (think virus/bacteria or something) and somehow got contaminated.

Here are all the details I can remember (many thanks to the Meta thread How to ask a good story-ID question?):

  • The cinematograpy was VERY realistic - B/W footage as the original moon landing transmissions, long steady-camera shots with minimal cuts etc; in fact, if you gave the film random glimpses instead of watching, you could have easily been fooled to think that you are watching an actual moon landing documentary.
  • No exotic/unrealistic technology - just good old 60s-NASA-looking stuff
  • Only 3 actors of an Apollo-like crew - 2 in the moon lander on the surface and one in the command module in moon orbit
  • Somehow, the Russians were already present on the moon; the crew finds a Russian cosmonaut (at the bottom of a crater?), dead presumably from the same reason (contamination)
  • One of the two astronauts on the moon dies due to the contamination; I think it is the one inside the lander, leaving his companion outside
  • The survivor (now locked out of the lander) searches and finds the abandoned Russian lander, and attempts to use it to return to the command module in orbit
  • Earth mission control intervenes, trying to persuade the crew member in orbit not to accept back the incoming (Russian) lander, fearing that the surviving astronaut is also contaminated and will bring the thing back to Earth. Crew member refuses to comply, and Earth threats that they will not send the necessary parameters for re-entry.
  • Finally, in the attempt for orbital rendez-vouz (remember, the lander coming up is Russian), the lander crashes on the command module and - THE END
  • The movie had a website, shown during the end credits. Some googling back then revealed that the creators had received support from NASA during preparation and filming; NASA realized only later what the film was actually about, and they were not at all happy.

That's all I remember; happy to answer clarifying questions if I can (except of course how they did get contaminated through their space suits)...

  • 3
    Sounds like Apollo 18: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_18_(film)
    – bishop
    Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 20:00
  • Gotta be apollo 18. Stanky flick. @bishop, post a formal answer. Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 20:11
  • @bishop It is!!! Many thanks, pls post as an answer so I can accept
    – desertnaut
    Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 20:14


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