Today’s review comes to us from guest writer Jason Rodriguez, editor of Colonial Comics, an anthology telling interesting stories about the colonization of North America in comic book form. Available in bookstores and amazon now.
I was 11 years old when I started working in a video store part-time. This was a very bad thing for my developmental years. Imagine having unlimited access to raunchy comedies, pornography, and horror movies at the age of eleven and then imagine how that would shape your perception of the world around you and stay with you for years and even decades to come. That should set the scene for my impressionable 11-year-old self.
I watched a lot of horror movies at 11, and even before I was 11. It was different times back in the 80s. PG-13 was still relatively new and I saw Gremlins and Temple of Doom in the movie theater at the age of 6, two terrifying movies. Poltergeist was rated PG and I saw it at the age of five at my uncle’s house because my older cousin was watching it and it was made by “that Spielberg guy” so how bad could it be? My family thought it was funny that the movie terrified me and would jump out from behind dark corners to scare me afterwards. Different times, man.
So by the time I turned 11 I was essentially desensitized to horror. I managed to sneak in all of the Friday the 13ths and Nightmare on Elm Streets and Halloweens by then and horror became akin to comedy.
And then I saw Communion.
I don’t even know if Communion is classified as horror but when I saw it at the age of 11 it was the most horrific thing of all time. This is before X-Files and Fire in the Sky and, for the most part, aliens in pop-culture were basically E.T and Mac and some humanoid creatures in cheesy suits from old sci-fi flicks. In COMMUNION, however, they were not like that. No – they had these terrifying heads and freakishly thin bodies and they didn’t talk to you, no, they experimented on you and showed you the death of your son and the end of the world. They represented these creatures from space that knew about our impending doom and wanted to shove probes up our butts to collect data before we all killed ourselves. And whereas I was at the point where the supernatural was a bit of a joke, I believed (and still believe) that the possibility of creatures from space is all-too-real, and that if they can reach us they would be much more technologically advanced than us.
But there was this one scene in Communion. Everyone who has seen Communion just said, out loud, “Oh my God – THAT scene!” They all have chills running down their bodies, much like I have right now. I can never think about that scene without feeling terrified.
It’s this scene:
When that alien peeks out from behind the dresser, I peed my pants. I honestly peed my pants. As an 11 year old. Because of that scene I still, TO THIS DAY, as a 36-year-old man, cannot have a tall dresser in my bedroom. I get paranoid in isolated houses. My wife’s family lives in a big house with big windows that’s surrounded by trees and when I sleep in their house I lay in bed and close my eyes all night, no matter how badly I may need to go to the bathroom. I refuse to open my eyes because, if I do, there will be an alien hiding behind a dresser and a flash of light and then a probe up my butt and then a bunch of knowledge about my future that I never asked for.
But back to 11-year-old me. Shortly after seeing Communion, I was sitting outside with some friends on my quiet little block in Brooklyn, NY. We were talking when I looked up and saw these five brown objects in the sky. My friends all saw it too. The two on the end moved up and crossed each other, the two next to them moved up and crossed each other, and then the one in the middle just shot straight forward, faster than anything I’ve ever seen, and the other four followed. It could have been a million things but I didn’t sleep well for WEEKS.
I started reading more about supposed abduction, I became obsessed, and through my own research I became convinced that I knew too much and that this one proposed race of blue aliens in mafia-like suits was going to sit me down and tell me to stop talking about aliens. I waited for this moment, I was convinced it was going to happen one day in my basement.
Years passed and the fear went away…somewhat. As mentioned, I still don’t deal well with isolated houses and I’m probably the only person in the world with a fear of dressers.
And it all started with Communion, particularly that one scene. The most terrifying scene of any movie I’ve ever seen.
And now that I’m talking about it, I’m sure those mafia aliens are going to come after me. Dammit.