Hangar 18 (1980)

PG  |   |  Action, Biography, Sci-Fi  |  13 March 1981 (Ireland)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 1,484 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 19 critic

Shortly after the launch of a satellite from a space shuttle the satellite collides with an UFO in front of the crew's eyes. Because of an election campaign some politicians try to hide the... See full summary »



(screenplay) (as Steven Thornley) , (story) (as Tom Chapman) , 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Morrison
Joseph Campanella ...
Sarah Michaels
Steven Keats ...
Paul Bannister
Harry Forbes
Sheriff Barlow
Andrew Bloch ...
Betty Ann Carr ...
Flight Director


Shortly after the launch of a satellite from a space shuttle the satellite collides with an UFO in front of the crew's eyes. Because of an election campaign some politicians try to hide the crashed UFO -- inside hangar 18. Written by Kay Drangmeister <K.Drangmeister@insider.sub.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Why won't they tell us? See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 March 1981 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Invasion Force  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Wikipedia, the picture "was released to capitalize on the UFO interest of the era. The film itself carries ties to Area 51, as well as ufology. Although it flopped (reportedly earning a gross of only $6 million), it tantalized those who saw government cover-ups of UFOs (such as the Roswell incident)". See more »


Toward the end of the film, Lew and Steve (the heroes) are driving a gasoline truck, being chased by two government agents. Lew takes a signal flare and goes to the rear of the truck, dumping a large gasoline slick, shutting off the gas flow, then lighting the flare and throwing it on the slick, causing a fire that kills the two agents. The problem is, Lew throws the flare about three seconds after shutting off the gas. The truck is traveling at least fifty miles an hour... meaning that it would have put at least 200 feet between itself and the slick. Lew would have to throw the signal flare 70 yards, with perfect accuracy, for this trick to work. His throw clearly wouldn't carry the flare more than ten or twenty feet. See more »


Harry Forbes: Again. Punch it in again. And make sure.
Neal Kelso: I tried three times, Harry. I keep on getting the same answer. These are all designated landing areas.
Harry Forbes: Oh my God, they're coming back!
See more »


Featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Hangar 18 (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

Thumbs Up From Me!

Lots of bad press here for Hangar 18, but I was pleasantly surprised with its taught yet somewhat far-fetched script, believable acting(not grandiose by any standards), and fast, compelling pace. Sure, this is a lot of hokey sci-fi stuff about the government hiding an alien ship, discrediting astronauts to save one man's election, and eventually...well, can't say too much more without letting the proverbial cat out of the bag. I guess it is out of the realm of possibility that OUR government would do any of those terrible things? For a feature film, its budget is rather...OK, very small.

The film definitely has the look and feel of one of those good 70s television movies on a Friday or Saturday night. Gary Collins and James Hampton play the astronauts out to prove they have been set up after witnessing a spaceship whilst sending a satellite into orbit. Both actors are competent if nothing else in their roles. Throw in Robert Vaughn, William Schallert, Joseph Campanella and some other luminaries from the small screen. All the actors do competent jobs. The big acting bonus is Darren McGavin as the man in charge of learning about the alien spacecraft. McGavin plays the role with great credibility. Anyone else notice his Kolchak swagger and sneakers throughout the film? Hangar 18 more than anything for me made me think about certain things. The story has just enough juice to be almost profound at times. Now, I know it has cheesy effects...the aliens look like slimmed-down versions of Uncle Fester, but there are a lot of big budget sci-fi films that never generate any thought. Did you see The Matrix III?

23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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