Hangar 18

Year: 1980
Production Co: Sunn Classic Pictures
Director: James L Conway
Writer: James L Conway
Cast: Darren McGavin, Robert Vaughan, James Hampton, Pamela Bellwood
I thought this movie was so cool when I saw it (as a ten year old). Watching it on video years later I realised how shoddy it was).

Cultural fascination about UFOs comes around on roughly a 20-year cycle. The most recent and powerful incantation was on the back of The X Files, which made superstars out of people like Bob Lazar and Stanton Friedman, made households names out of Area 51 and made the alien autopsy video the sort of thing that would send YouTube's stats even higher.

But this little Disney-like movie pre-empted the whole conspiracy/downed spacecraft/government cover-up mythology by a full decade and a half. Taking its cues form the by-then 30 year old Roswell case, it tells the story of two astronauts who launch a satellite only to witness it collide with an alien spacecraft. Because of the politics of the time the government covers it up, hiding the remains of the craft in 80s Area 51 precursor Hangar 18, leaving the guys to prove the existence of the wreck to clear their names and expose the truth.

The UFO looks like a garden shed on top of a steel roof and the acting is hammy, but it's now at least 15 years since that last viewing on video, so it might have inherent quality I just don't remember or couldn't see past the 80s effects and techniques.

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