UFOs have been in the news a lot lately, so now is the perfect time to revisit some lesser-seen movies about the subject. One film about UFOs you might have missed is Christopher Walken’s Communion (1989), which is allegedly based on some real extraterrestrial encounters. The film is ready to stream now on Peacock if you’re interested in checking it out.
Communion received a fairly negative reception upon its release in 1989 but has developed somewhat of a cult following in the years since.
Christopher Walken stars in Communion as Whitley Streiber, whose life begins to change after aliens visit him during a remote vacation. Whitley Streiber is also the name of the screenwriter who adapted the film from his own book that accounts his alleged experiences with encountering extraterrestrial beings. The film was directed by Philippe Mora and was produced independently, as Streiber didn’t want his story to be altered by studios.
Along with Christopher Walken, Communion stars Lindsay Crouse, Frances Sternhagen, Andreas Katsulas, and Joel Carlson. The film received a fairly negative reception upon its release in 1989 but has developed somewhat of a cult following in the years since. Despite the initial negative reception, most critics and audience members agreed that Walken’s performance was a highlight (even though Strieber panned the film because he didn’t like his portrayal).
Christopher Walken was certainly the biggest star in Communion, but it’s also impressive who this independent film got to make the score. The score was actually composed by Eric Clapton and Alan Clark (who played keyboard for and co-produced the band Dire Straits). A soundtrack album for the film was actually never released, but former Oingo Boing guitarist and film composer Steve Bartek ended up releasing the “Main Theme” and “End Credit” themes in 2010.
The presence of Christopher Walken and the weird story behind the film being made is enough to make Communion worth checking out. As mentioned, UFO stories are all over the news lately, so why not watch a dramatization of an alleged real experience? At the very least, it’s an interesting watch.
The score was composed by Eric Clapton and Alan Clark (who played keyboard for and co-produced the band Dire Straits).
Interestingly, this is also a fairly early starring role in Christopher Walken’s career. Although he was by no means new to the industry when he starred in Communion, he wasn’t quite the icon he is known as today. His biggest prior credit in 1989 was his role as Nick in 1978’s The Deer Hunter.
Of course, Christopher Walken has become an unmistakable icon in the years since Communion. His star power remains to this day, as he recently starred in the critically acclaimed pop-culture phenomenon Severance. Walken’s role as the borderline shy and reserved Burt is a bit of a departure from his typical eccentric roles, but he plays it perfectly.
Christopher Walken Now
Christopher Walken is set to return as Burt in the next season of Severance, which everyone is waiting for patiently after the first season’s incredible cliffhanger of a finale. While Communion won’t make the wait any more bearable, it is cool to see Walken in one of his relatively earlier film roles. It’ll be an especially interesting juxtaposition to see Walken in this alien-based, quieter character study before seeing him star in a massive blockbuster that takes place on an alien planet later this year.
Christopher Walken’s big 2023 role will be in Denis Villaneuve’s highly-anticipated follow-up to his sci-fi adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune — Dune: Part Two. Walken will be making his debut in the franchise as Emperor Shaddam IV alongside other newcomers to the franchise Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan Corinno, and Lea Seydoux as Lady Margot.
Returning to reprise their roles from the previous film are Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Zendaya as Chani, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Javier Bardem as Stilgar, Dave Bautista as Beast Rabban, Stellan Skarsgard as Baron Harkonnen, Charlotte Rampling as the Reverend Mother, Stephen McKinley Henderson as Thufir Hawat, and Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck.
Dune: Part Two won’t be anything like Communion, but it’s always fun to see the range that Christopher Walken can bring to his roles. However, we’ll have to wait until November 3 to see the long-awaited Dune: Part Two, so now is as good of a time as any to revisit some of Walken’s lesser-known and more underrated roles. Make sure to check out the film on Peacock this weekend if you’re interested.