Sunday, October 13, 2019

INCUBUS (1982) Blu-ray Review

Scare-A-Thon Totals to Date:

Total Movies Watched: 11
Total First Time Views: 3
Amount raised for AMAZON WATCH: $801.13

Incubus (1982) d. John Hough d. (Canada) (93 min) (3rd viewing)

Small-town doctor Sam Cordell (John Cassavetes) is drawn into a series of macabre attacks in which an unseen assailant leaves its female victims either dead or catatonic. George Franklin’s script, based upon Ray Russell’s equally challenging novel, introduces several of the author’s plot points while adding a few more, notably Cordell’s unnatural fixation on his own teenage daughter Jenny (Erin Flannery).

A dark, confusing, and thoroughly unpleasant tale of demonic rape and murder from legendary genre director Hough (Legend of Hell House, Twins of Evil, American Gothic, and, um, Howling IV), who chose this as his return to “adult” horror following a string of family-friendly Disney releases (Escape to Witch Mountain, Return from Witch Mountain, and The Watcher in the Woods).

While Hough creates a fine sense of unease and dread with the aid of Albert Dunk’s (Class of 1984) striking, original camerawork, the narrative suffers from slow pacing, loose ends, and the cast’s general unevenness. Cassavetes in particular, while lending his customary intense screen presence, can barely mask his loathing for the project and his own integrity; there’s not a single moment where he looks like he’s happy to be there.

Kerrie Keane (Spasms) as the stereotypical big-city-gal-trapped-in-a-small-town newspaper reporter proves thoroughly grating in her big screen debut, Flannery seems overly medicated, primary suspect Duncan McIntosh is swinging for the histrionic fences, and, as the local badge, legendary character man John Ireland looks like he just wants to go home.

Even so, Cordell’s investigation generates a fair amount of tension as he struggles to accept the increasingly mystical explanations. In keeping with the times, there is a generous amount of female nudity (though the subject matter actually supports this) and blood spilled, both during the sufficiently shocking attack sequences and in the local hospital where the victims end up (there seems to be an almost morbid occupation with the various bodily fluids and cadavers). The revelation of the demonic despoiler’s identity provides a hammer-blow conclusion that lingers in the brain afterwards.

Trivia: Yes, headbangers, that is Bruce Dickinson (of Iron Maiden fame) performing with his first band Samson during the oddball movie theater stage show.


Newly scanned and restored in 4K, mostly from its 35mm negative, with one reel sourced from a 35mm print

Audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues!

Interview with director John Hough (27 min)

Interview with actress Kerrie Keane (21 min)

Interview with cinematographer Albert J. Dunk (27 min)

Trims and alternate shots (2 min)

Original theatrical trailer

TV spots

Reversible cover artwork

English SDH subtitles

Incubus is available now on DVD and Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrom and can be ordered HERE:


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