Whitley Strieber's autobiographical best-seller was something of a breakthrough cultural event. While prior tales of alien abduction were limited to trailer trash and eye-rolling loons, Strieber was a sophisticated (if eccentric) Manhattanite and already a published author when visitors from another planet borrowed him from his vacation cabin and pleasured him with their apparently scientific anal probe. After its release in 1987, Communion (the book) spent 25 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list, implanting the seeds of mainstream alien frenzy, which most promiently manifested in the popularity of radio's Art Bell and TV's "The X-Files." Sadly, Phillippe Mora's 1989 film of Strieber's own screenplay is not nearly so significant. Christopher Walken stars as the quirky writer who at first denies his alien encounter and subsequently wrestles with his sanity as his life and family threaten to fall to pieces. Walken is an arresting presence (although perhaps too close to an extraterrestrial himself to evoke maximum empathy), and Mora creates a predictable yet solid atmosphere. But where this small film really derails are the detailed sequences in which Strieber interacts with dopey, rubbery aliens that look like rejected creature designs from the unpopular Ghoulies TV series it's so bad that it massacres any suspension of disbelief. With Lindsay Krause as Strieber's stern but patient wife Anne. Artisan's special-edition DVD looks fine, with a solid 1.85:1 widescreen transfer and both a DD 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround soundtracks. Extras include a commentary by Mora and UFO Magazine publisher William J. Bines, outtakes, storyboards, stills, trailers, and an excerpt from the new documentary According to Occam's Razor, supposedly real video footage of the surgical removal of an alien implant from an abductee's arm. Score by Eric Clapton. Packaged in a diabolically impenetrable keep-case.