We’ve all had one of those long nights out with friends where an excess of social lubrication and a sleep-deprived brain lead someone to blurt out, “I’ve just had a great idea!”
One can imagine that Loki director and producer Kate Herron was having just such a night when she pitched this idea to her friend, surrealist comedian, and filmmaker, Matthew Highton: what if, just what if, the aliens arrived at the end of Close Encounters of the Third Kind — only to find that human beings are really bad at music?
The thing about having talented and amazingly funny filmmaker friends is they might just take that moment and run with it. Which is exactly what Highton did.
For those unfamiliar with the film, forgive the spoilers. The movie culminates with a tremendous alien ship landing near Devils Tower in Wyoming and attempting to communicate with humanity via lights and a series of musical tonal sounds which the humans mimic back to them, eventually establishing an extraterrestrial first contact.
In the Highton version, everything is exactly the same except when it comes to the music. In that case, not so much. Humanity in the Highton short plays back a series of atonal outbursts that wouldn’t even have a place at a Phillip Glass concert. It hits with hilarious effect — especially the surprise ending.
Herron expressed her delight with the final product and Highton in a tweet, stating, “He’s not only gone and made it but also made it so much better. Thank you!”
The Sex Education director also cheekily tweeted at Steven Spielberg as well, letting him know the two are available if a sequel to his 1970s sci-fi masterpiece is ever developed.
Highton is known in the U.K. for his surreal storytelling brand of stand-up, as well as his association with the alternative comedy collection Weirdos. This isn’t the first time the comedian has sent up a Speilberg property. He also played Rufio in Weirdos’ 2012 stage re-production of the director’s 1991 Peter Pan reimagining, Hook.
Highton also has a propensity for using existing property in his film projects. In April of last year, he revealed he had recreated the opening to the original Pokemon cartoon using only existing stock footage.
We’re sure Mr. Spielberg will be in touch soon.