“Lunopolis” is a mockumentary found footage film released in 2009 that follows two documentary filmmakers who accidentally uncover a global conspiracy centering around a religious cult aptly named the “Church of Lunology,” who believe a community of people from the future are living on the moon.
The film starts with a teaser of archived news footage covering a video released on the Internet of two people who vanish in a bright light that materializes around them. The news anchor goes on to say that the video was quickly removed from the Internet, but not before millions of copies were downloaded and distributed. Questions are raised as to whether the video is a real supernatural phenomenon or a hoax.
After the mockumentary opening credits, we meet Matt and Sonny, two documentary filmmakers who investigate and authenticate supernatural and paranormal phenomena. Matt and Sonny are investigating a story told by a former Area 51 employee who claims millions of humans live on the moon and that the Roswell incident was actually a ship from the moon that crashed on Earth. The former Area 51 employee adds that the United States started the moon program to investigate and make contact with the moon people.
Matt and Sonnys’ lead included a set of GPS coordinates which bring them to a dilapidated/abandoned houseboat anchored in a remote river. As the film crew board the houseboat, they discover a hatch door (and elevator) that leads to a huge subterranean government facility. As the team looks around, they find what appears to be a strange prototype device of unknown origin.
Not knowing what they found, the team takes the device to a local university to investigate further. Sonny decides to turn the device on, and ends up injuring himself in addition to observing some odd phenomena. Still oblivious to what the device does, Matt and Sonny engage a university professor in “Alternative Sciences” who determines that one of the principal components of the device is a material that’s only found on the moon.
“Lunopolis” takes the prize for perhaps the craziest and most outlandish found footage plot I’ve ever come across.
From this point forward, a story that’s already beyond bizarre gets a whole lot stranger. Matt and Sonny are approached by a member of the “Church of Lunology” who starts asking a lot of questions and presents them with a “Church of Lunology” flyer. From here Matt and Sonny’s investigation takes a number of very unexpected twists and turns in what amounts to a highly entertaining and intellectually stimulating adventure.
“Lunopolis” takes the prize for perhaps the craziest and most outlandish found footage plot I’ve ever come across. While unique, this film clearly borrows from the precepts of Scientology, including the extraterrestrial-like backstory, cult-like following, secretive nature, and global presence. I applaud the filmmakers managing to create the feel of a larger-than-life epic story, with equally epic consequences.
As a found footage film, Lunopolis does an excellent job using the mockumentary format to layer heaps of found footage, found photos, found sound bites, and “expert opinions” in complex ways to add plausibility to what really amounts to a completely ludicrous premise (and I mean this in a good way). The film has a few strategically placed CGI effects which are subtle, but have really good impact and add to the story.
The found footage segments of “Lunopolis” look genuine, containing the right amount of haphazardness, rawness, and peripherally capture the action rather than having everything appear front-and-center to the camera. The film contains incidental music, but that was clearly added in “post-production” as this film is presented as a made-for-television mockumentary that includes found footage segments.
Lunopolis does an excellent job in using the mockumentary format to layer heaps of found footage, found photos, found sound bites, and “expert opinions” in complex ways to add plausibility to what really amounts to a completely ludicrous premise
The acting in “Lunopolis” was fantastic end-to-end. The found footage segments came across as genuine and unscripted, and the “expert opinion” segments were indistinguishable from what one would find watching a typical cable channel conspiracy documentary show.
My only real criticisms of “Lunopolis” are the scenes where Sonny is seen brandishing a handgun. The scenes in question would have been equally (if not more) effective without the handgun, which adds absolutely no value. One very minor issue I have with this film is the science behind one of the key plot devices (namely the use of Polaroid cameras), which violates several basic principles of physics – but as with every sci-fi movie comes the requirement for the suspension of disbelief.