In 1964 Justice Potter Stewart heard a case where he was obliged to define hardcore pornography. He wrote the following in his final opinion “under the First and Fourteenth Amendments criminal laws in this area are constitutionally limited to hard-core pornography. I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description, and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.” Had Judge Stewart been privy to Close Encounters of The Barest Kind the course of judicial history might have been forever altered. It’s a pornographic film but no movie has ever made sex so profoundly unappealing. If pornography is material meant to arouse the viewer, this film is its antithesis. It could be used in some kind of Clockwork Orange conditioning to make viewers recoil at the thought of sexual activity.
There are some film-stills I dare not reproduce here for fear of societal collapse. It’s one thing to see Trump’s face on the television every day it is another to stare down a young woman having a Kentucky Fried Chicken drum stick repeatedly inserted into her vagina while lying in a boulder field. I know you think that Trump is worse but the insertion of the chicken limb is done in a super, screen-filling close-up. In a theater, it would provide a twenty-foot high view of this poultry perversity.
The film was written and directed by Donald Bryce in 1978. Bryce was also the editor, and what an editor he was. There is a long scene where he attempts to convince his audience that 5 different shooting locations are taking place in one lecture hall. He mixes stock footage, video, and film, in a tour de force of failure. See below.
The film is basically a presentation given by Dr. Yes concerning the imminent invasion of sex-crazed aliens. These aliens have been visiting earth, having sex with people, filming it, and then using the resulting footage as a training tool to ready an invasion force that will use sex to stupefy us into submission.
The best part of the film is the horrendously bad stop motion scenes aboard the alien spaceship. Blobby phallic hunks of clay silently gesticulate in meaningless scenes that occasionally pop up throughout the film. They are barely visible due to the lighting but occasionally subtitles appear which only adds to the confusion.
When the aliens come down to earth to seduce lusty earth babes the tiny stop motion dioramas are set aside and full-size human actors are fitted with low budget alien costumes that are either a mask or make-up. One man wears both extensive makeup and a prosthetic second head. The overall appearance of the actors doesn’t matter much since the camera spends most of its time unbearably close to the point of contact.
There is also an alien couple who seem to be from the same planet that Captain Kirk visited in an episode entitled Let That Be Your Last Battlefield. The episode features Frank Gorshin as a “racist” alien fighting for his life. He is all white on the left half of his body and all black on the right. He is at war with the people who are white on the right side of their bodies and black on the left. In Carnal Encounters of Barest Kind, our black and white aliens are more enlightened and don’t seem to care who they associate with.
The color challenged aliens show up in a scene somewhere in suburbia. Mr. and Misses everyman are sitting in their living room watching television. Suddenly their tv reception is be-fowled. The husband groans and lifts himself out of his easy chair, “I’ll play with the damn tv and see if I can fix that box.” he says. In response, his wife whines “Why don’t you play with my box?” Somewhat begrudgingly he agrees and they lope off to the bedroom to fornicate. Soon they are joined by the black and white duo and foursome ensues. The plot diverges somewhat from the Star Trek original.
I must admit that the fast forward button was an invaluable tool for watching the sex scenes in this film. Perhaps the best part of the whole thing was the closing credits. Along with the relief of having made it through to the end the audience is treated to the delightful pseudonyms that the actors chose for their anonymity. Names such as Penny Butch Knuckles, Marlene Monroe, and Robert Bullock.
If I have piqued your curiosity about this crime against film I apologize, no one should have to sit through this atrocity. If the film is an accurate depiction of what space aliens think sex is like we will all be quite safe from their seductive charms.
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