Communion, directed by Philippe Mora, 1989

Whitley Strieber is kind of a nut. He's made a living at being that kooky conspiracy theorist that might corner you at a convention to talk about ancient astronauts or RFID being the mark of the beast. Who better to play him than Christopher Walken? It may be the defining role for Walken, as he turns the 'bizarro' knob up to 10. He's more than a bit eccentric here, playing the part of Strieber himself, and as a result, I have trouble defining Strieber without thinking of Walken's performance.

The story is based on Strieber's own purported alien abductions in the 80's. The claims kicked off a media firestorm, but of course, aren't substantiated. Instead, the film really focuses on how Strieber deals with the events that turn his life upside down. It does it quite well. It's at times funny and bizarre and to most stands as the seminal 'alien abduction' film, even if the details are sketchy as to whether or not they're actually extraterrestrial. In spite of its budget, it spins a fascinating, somewhat quirky yarn. Oh, and it's scary. No, not just scary - it's terrifying.

categories Features, Sci-Fi