The Incubus (1982)

The Incubus (1982)


In a small New England town, a series of rapes and murders baffle the police department. A troubled doctor, played by John Cassavets (The Dirty Dozen and Rosemary’s Baby), is determined to find the culprit of these horrific and bizarre crimes, unaware that something supernatural and evil lurks beneath the facade of the quiet small town.

Reaction & Thoughts:

Throughout his entire career, admired director-writer-actor Cassavets appeared in many films as an actor, with the only intention to save some money that would eventually help him finance his most personal film projects. Like Orson Welles before him, Cassavettes was hungry for independence, since he loved to work as far away as possible from the all-powerful big studios.

The Incubus is one of those movies that maverick Cassavets accepted simply as a way to get an easy paycheck. Therefore, it is not surprising to find out that this is not what anyone would call a quality affair. Characters are poorly developed, and the nonstop use of nudity and gore is gratuitous and sometimes borderline offensive.

British director John Hough was not new to this sort of supernatural thriller. In fact, he is responsible for the enjoyable The Watcher in the Woods and one of the best horror films from the 1970s, the underrated The Legend of Hell House. Despite his credentials in the horror genre, Hough is incapable of overcoming the serious deficiencies that plague The Incubus. George Franklin’s script, based on the novel by Ray Russell, lacks clarity and definition. The dialogue is laughable at best.

I did like the creepy music score by Stanley Myers. The hideous creature make-up was created by Maureen Sweeney. Special Effects were directed by Colin Chivers.

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

If you like this sort of low-budget, mindless and gory film, you might want to give it try. Regular viewers are warned — there are all sorts of nasty and unpleasant little details in the movie that could turn many viewers off. With John Ireland (Red River), Kerrie Keane, Helen Hughes, Erin Flannery, and Harry Ditson. Color, 93 minutes, Rated R.


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