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Moby debuts in Alien Sex Party

You might remember Paul Yates as the photographer/filmmaker profiled two years ago in these pages after he was detained and bullied by Boston " special police " for photographing himself in the buff in a bowling-alley photo booth (see " Rogue Cops, " News and Features, April 6, 2001).

That incident transpired during post-production for Yates’s film Porno, which was filmed entirely in Boston, mostly at a Boylston Street erotica shop, over two years. Next week, the Connecticut resident will be in town to premiere the film — now called Alien Sex Party, thanks to the piety of some Southern distributors — at the Coolidge Corner Theatre on March 14 and 15. With him will be the film’s executive producer (and Yates’s childhood friend), worldwide techno superstar Moby.

Alien Sex Party, which Moby has described as " the Marx Brothers meets Clerks meets Repo Man, " is a shambling debauch of " sex, music, science fiction, and all combinations thereof " that takes place on Christmas Eve in an adult-video store populated by an owner (played by former Fenway hotdog vendor Joe Smith) who’s scared of his wares, his randy niece, and sundry other " security guards, mad bombers, Star Trek nerds, and ... porn nerds. " The thrust of the feel-good flick is best summed up by one of its many sing-along showstoppers: " You Can Have Sex with Anything You Want. "

Music like that comes courtesy of folks like bombastic Boston Brahmins the Upper Crust, Mission of Burma drummer Peter Prescott, and, of course, Moby. In one scene, he and Yates reunite their erstwhile punk group, the Pork Guys. In another, Moby supplies Christmas-carol accompaniment to ex-porn-star Dyanna Lauren, strumming a guitar while dressed in a yellow rain slicker with two enormous dildos strapped to his bald head.

That scene would later lead to something of a rift between Yates and Moby, whose multiplatinum album Play exploded not long after filming had begun. " It was being filmed just as he got his rise to stardom, " Yates explains. " He was already big in Europe, but this was his big rise in America. "

As Yates was shopping the film around, Moby apparently had some qualms about how his phallus-festooned star turn might affect his nascent celebrity. " He asked if it’d be all right if we cut him out of the movie, " Yates says. " I said, ‘I can’t remove you, because we just got $100,000 from investors from that shot alone! I’d be happy to take you out, but we’d have to pay the distributors back right now, because it’s part of the contract.’ All of a sudden, I started getting calls from his manager instead of him. "

The two were incommunicado for a time, but " everything’s fine now. " The kid stayed in the picture. " And of course, " Yates says of the scene, " now everybody loves it. "

Indeed. Yates says he’s gotten " about a hundred calls " from cast, crew and assorted hangers-on asking, " Can I come for free? " " They had to do two dates, " he says, " because one of them is practically gonna be filled with people from the guest list. " Things get even more tight when you throw in throngs of Moby fans, and the fact that " Moby’s gonna be bringing bodyguards because, y’know, he was beaten up the last time he was in Boston. "

There have been no promises from the Coolidge, but Yates says the film’s run may extend to " a couple weeks of midnight shows. " Still, he should perhaps save two spots on the opening-night guest list. After all, he patched things up with pal Moby; maybe he can do the same with the two bad rent-a-cops who screamed, " You fucking pervert! There are kids in here! I have kids! " at him when they caught his photographic peccadillo flagrante delicto at Dorchester’s Boston Bowl. I suggest that Yates invite them and give them some good seats.

" Oh, yes, I would love to have them come! Please let them know they’re invited, " he says. " And their kids, if they’re under 16. The film’s all about nonjudgmentalism, so they could probably learn something from it. "

Alien Sex Party screens March 14 and March 15 at midnight, at Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard Street, in Brookline. Call (617) 734-2501 or visit

Issue Date: March 6 - 13, 2003
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