Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A-Z Challenge: I is for...Incubus (1966)

I is for...Incubus (1966)
'Incubus' is a 1966 supernatural horror film directed by Leslie Stevens, the creator of the cult TV show 'The Outer Limits', starring William Shatner and Allyson Ames.

Amael and Kia
The film opens with a beautiful, young Succubi, Kia (Allyson Ames), seducing and drowning a man on a beach. She then complains to her demon sister, Amael (Eloise Hardt), that she is tired of taking tainted souls that are already destined to go to Hell and that she would rather take a pure soul instead. Amael warns her against this, as she believes Kia could fall victim to the mysterious power of "love", but Kia ignores her and goes in search of a pure soul anyway.

She soon meets Marc (William Shatner), a courageous war veteran who has returned home injured and lives with his younger sister, Arndis (Ann Atmar). Marc falls in love with Kia very quickly and she attempts to lure him to his death by offering him her body, but he refuses, saying that he wants things to be "right" and for them to share love, not just physical pleasures. Kia falls asleep and Marc carries her to the local cathedral. When she awakes, the religious imagery and Marc's pure love disorient and repulse her and she runs away.

Kia and Marc

Kia returns to Amael and the two swear revenge against Marc for his "defiling" of Kia with his pure "act of love". The demon sisters then summon an incubus (Milos Milos) - a male equivalent of a succubus -  to get retribution for them and he begins by going to find Marc's sister...

Kia and the Incubus

About the Film:
'Incubus' was shot entirely in the devised language Esperanto and has never been officially dubbed, only subtitled. It was the second feature film ever to be filmed in Esperanto and one of only four that have ever been shot (so far). It was thought to be lost for many years, but a sole surviving copy was found in the  Cinémathèque Française in Paris. However, the French subtitles had been burned onto the film and so when the DVD version was released in 2001, they were blacked-out and the English ones written over the top. This, unfortunately, obscures varying portions of the shots. 

It was also said that the film was "cursed" due to the deaths / suicides / murders of several cast members and people close to them, as well as the divorce of Allyson Ames from Leslie Stevens and the bankruptcy of Stevens' production company.

Is it Any Good?:
The film in general was surprisingly enjoyable and far less over the top than recent supernatural horrors dealing with Hell and the damnation of souls tend to be. I was expecting it to be much more ridiculous, but the story line was solid and believable. Even the finale was quite subtle and left the characters' fates somewhat open-ended. Apparently the pronunciation of the dialogue by the cast was quite poor, but I can't speak / understand Esperanto myself, so I can't comment on that. I suppose if it sounded hilarious, it would be pretty difficult to view it as a horror, but again, I don't know about that aspect of it.

This post is part of the A-Z Blogging Challenge.


  1. One of the best movie reviews I've read in a long time. Never heard of the movie but you know what? I'm intrigued!

  2. That sounds really interesting! I knew about Esperanto but have never actually heard someone speak it, so I'm quite curious about this movie. I'll try to find a copy. Thanks for your great review!

    From Diary of a Writer in Progress


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