The Outer Limits helms this humble and dreamy tale of mythical terror. In the sunny, magical island village of Nomen Tuum where fountains are fabled to restore health and grant beauty, succubi lead sinful men to their doom. Kia (Ames) is one such creature, using her beauty and temptation to drown her pursuers in the beach’s briny waves in order to send their souls into Hell.">
01 November 2014

Incubus (1966)
78 min.
Directed by Leslie Stevens.
With William Shatner, Allyson Ames, Eloise Hardt, Robert Fortier, Ann Atmar, and Milos Milos.
Jose Cruz

The creator of television’s The Outer Limits helms this humble and dreamy tale of mythical terror.

In the sunny, magical island village of Nomen Tuum where fountains are fabled to restore health and grant beauty, succubi lead sinful men to their doom. Kia (Ames) is one such creature, using her beauty and temptation to drown her pursuers in the beach’s briny waves in order to send their souls into Hell.

Tiring of how easy the hunt has become, Kia desires a challenge: to corrupt the soul of a good and virtuous human. Despite the protestations of her sister (Hardt), Kia goes ahead with her mission and sets her sights on siblings Marc (Shatner) and Arndis (Atmar). The generous pair let Kia into their hearth and home, little suspecting of her dark nature.

But the virtuous Marc proves too strong for Kia, so the succubus and her sister conjure the Incubus (Milos) up from the depths of the pit to snatch the soldier’s soul away once and for all. Will Marc triumph, or will the God of Darkness lay claim to the land?

It’s interesting to see Stevens, the writer of a seminal SF series, ply his craft at the horror genre, but the result is a tad lackluster. The film drifts through its scenes at a lackadaisical pace, striving for an art house vibe without quite pulling it off. The Esperanto-spoken dialogue gives the movie an exotic mystique, but the subtitled lines themselves reach the point of redundancy at times as the characters discuss the battle between Good and Evil ad nauseum.

Incubus does have a few choice moments, namely the summoning of the titular demon, a moody set piece that has the fiend rising from the black earth. The film’s church-set climax—complete with a malevolent, staring goat—is bewildering and subtly sinister at the same time.

Incubus is certainly commendable for trying something different, but it can only manage to be a passing curiosity of obscure cinema.

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