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Incubus is a black and white horror film originally released in 1966 and later restored in 2001. Incubus was directed by Leslie Stevens, creator of The Outer Limits, and stars a pre-Star Trek William Shatner. Its striking black and white cinematography was by Conrad Hall, who went on to win three Academy Awards for his work on the films Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, American Beauty and Road to Perdition. The film was performed entirely in the constructed language Esperanto. This was done to create an eerie, other-worldly feeling, and the director has prohibited dubbing into other languages.

The film was lost for many years because the original print of the film burned in a fire and all copies were reported lost, destroyed, or worn away. A copy of the film was found in France where it played with French subtitles in the permanent collection of the Cinémathèque Française in Paris. The Sci Fi Channel funded the restoration from the found print and released a DVD in 2001 that included subtitles in English and French. Because the source print contained burned-in French subtitles, the English subtitles are placed over black bars that partially obscure some portions of the frame. Most English speakers have given the film good ratings and reviews, likening it to the work of Ingmar BergmanTemplate:Citation needed, while Esperanto speakers are generally disappointed by the actors' dreadful pronunciation — in particular, Shatner's dialogue was delivered with a very noticeable French accent (Shatner grew up in mainly French-speaking Quebec, although he lived in a largely English speaking part of Montreal, and came from a community where many families spoke Yiddish).

Incubus was the second feature film primarily using Esperanto ever made; the first, Angoroj (Esperanto for "Agonies") appeared in 1964, one year before Incubus.

Plot[edit | edit source]

The film is set in the village of Nomen Tuum, which has a well that can heal the sick and make a person more beautiful. Because of the latter, many conceited or corrupt individuals come to the village for this cosmetic effect. The village has notoriety for its magical water, as well as being a ground for darkness and demons. Along the village, succubi entice the tainted souls who come to Nomen Tuum and lead them to their deaths in order to offer their souls to Hell/the God of Darkness. A prominent young succubus named Kia (Ames) loathes the routine of herding sinners to hell. Kia claims her powers are being wasted, and needs something/someone more stimulating as her prey. Her sister succubus, Amael (Hardt), warns Kia of the danger that a pure soul will bring: love. Kia persists anyway and attempts to find a clergyman to seduce into darkness. After watching their behaviour however, she realizes these men are just as iniquitous and shrewd as her previous victims.

She soon stumbles upon a suitable victim: Marc (Shatner), a young soldier, who with his sister Arndis (Atmar) comes to the sacred water in order to heal his battle-wounds. Kia then continues to follow the siblings and pretends to be lost. After a brief eclipse, Kia convinces Marc to accompany her to the sea. During the eclipse, Arndis becomes blind from looking into the sky. Disoriented, she stumbles around in order to find Marc. Marc and Kia quickly become attracted to each other, and Marc takes Kia to the village cathedral to show her the rewards of relationship that is more than just sex. Kia flees from the cathedral, bewildered by the sight of Christ. Amael and Kia meditate revenge on Marc for "defiling her" with an "act of love". Amael summons an incubus (Milos) that attempts to kill Marc and rapes Arndis. Kia, who is dying, follows Marc to the cathedral where she professes her love for him. The incubus intervenes and claims she belongs to the God of Darkness. A goat appears and wrestles her into the ground. After the struggle she claims, "I belong to the God of Light," and crawls toward Marc, who immediately embraces her. The final scene shows the couple staring in disbelief at the boundary of the cathedral, with the goat gazing back at them.

Cast[edit | edit source]

  • William Shatner as Marc
  • Allyson Ames as Kia
  • Eloise Hardt as Amael
  • Robert Fortier as Olin
  • Ann Atmar as Arndis
  • Milos Milos as Incubus
  • Jay Ashworth as Monk
  • Forrest T. Butler as Monk
  • Paolo Cossa as Narrator (voice)
  • Ted Mossman as Monk


Curse[edit | edit source]

Many cast members met unfortunate fates after the film wrapped, giving rise to an urban legend that Incubus was a cursed production.

Cultural references[edit | edit source]

According to behind the scenes footage from Blade Trinity, writer and director David S. Goyer wanted to include a more worldly aspect. Esperanto was included as a secondary language for the unnamed city including an instance where character Hannibal King is seen watching Incubus from a gurney.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Leonard, Greg. en feugo magazine. "Evil, Tragedy and Esperanto". Retrieved August 20, 2006.

Weaver, Tom. Video Watchdog #53, 1999. "Raising the Incubus".

External links[edit | edit source]

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