Communion (1989)

leading from 

a) Visitors
The subject of extra-terrestrial abduction movie called Communion was about the experiences of the writer Whitley Strieber and entities that referred to as the Visitors,  (A term very post V but was useful because Whitley couldn't decide what exactly these things were, whether they came from another planet or from the planet Earth.)

Walken as Whitley Strieber trying on an elephant trunk for a Halloween party
Scene from "Communion" exploring
 the idea of the alien creature's heads as masks

b) Chinese Box
The movie appeared to be loosely related to Whitley's experiences. In the film, it showed what we saw of the alien creatures to be unspecificly just outside skins for something else within which perhaps reflected the idea of the Visitors from the series V who were reptiles disguised as humans
In Communion, the Visitors 's face opens up to reveal something almost reptilian inside, or perhaps something like a face with elephant like skin and a short trunk snout squashed up behind the mask like face, but the idea here was also that it was like a Chinese box and perhaps what was shown beneath the mask wasn't actually what the alien creature really was and perhaps there could be something else beneath that. But Whitley had told the director Philippe Mora that he had seen one of these things. Earlier on in the film, they play with the idea of the trunk having the Whitley character wear an elephant trunk on his nose for a Halloween party.

  1. Philippe Mora: There's a fourth alien figure that we reveal in the film. It's a figure that Whitley saw once - a version of the Communion figure that actually showed the face was a kind of mask and there was something underneath, ("Report on Communion" by Ed Conroy, p186)
  2. Philippe Mora: This was what we called the real Communion figure . This is after er, Chris ripped off the bottom of the mask. We showed this strange trunk like creature, this strange trunk like thing this creature had that Whitley said in one.. on one occasion he had actually seen for real. It's erm, it's kind of interesting because Communion face is such an icon now, er, everywhere as the Alien. People forget that in Communion we took the mask off and showed another creature inside. These were pretty elaborate models, puppets if you like. You can see some lip movements there, and it's amazing now looking at this twelve years later how this particular alien image has permeated everything now, from keyrings to tee-shirts to candies to icons. It is an icon . (Communion Special Collector's Edition DVD)
Scene from Communion showing the visitors

c) Words in the scene
In the film, character Whitley is talking to what seems to be a dreamt up magician that's also his doppleganger, and perhaps the mouthpiece for the Visitors. After a few words, between them, it goes to a point where the chinese box revelation comes about.

Doppleganger magician: Look, the only thing that realy matters here is what I'm about to show you.

The face of one of the visitors is removed by hands of one of the blue dwards as if it's a mask

Whitley: That's not it, I didn't come all this way for you to tell me that's what it is. Is there something under that, because I don't believe that one. It's like a box, a Chinese box, you open it, there's another one inside,  there's another one inside , there's another one inside. You're not going to let me see you are you

Christopher Walken as Whitley Strieber

Doppleganger magician: It is a Chinese box. You're not going to be allowed to see. Okay, so get that clear.

Whitley: You are not going to let us see you. That's a good idea 

the doppleganger magician
The Visitor being unmasked
The Visitor being unmasked
The Visitor unmasked
The Visitor unmasked
The Visitor unmasked
The Visitor unmasked
The Visitor unmasked

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