Synopsis: After a series of sexually violent crimes strikes terror into a small town, a doctor becomes to suspect that the source may be something beyond human understanding. The first lead comes when a young man confesses he is the one to blame for the crimes. However, his belief that his dreams are the source of the evil makes it hard for the town to accept, and come to terms with their dark history.

VHS COVER

Positives

  • Great balance of mystery, horror and gore
  • Dark premise that is well executed and not overly exploitive given the subject matter
  • Strong cinematography
  • John Cassavetes’ strong presence and general bad-assery on show
  • All actors compliment the film, including bit characters and victims
  • Uncomfortable dialogue that also happens to be quotable
  • A soul crushing ending with a final image that will be burned into audiences minds

Negatives

  • The monster is not heavily featured
  • Heavy focus on sexual violation as means of murder will be a detractor for many
  • Reminder that ‘Rock Opera’ was a thing, and why it died out. (via one cheesy scene)
  • John Cassavets’s performance is somewhat one note
  • Eclectic score does not always work

General Thoughts

Based on the American novel by Ray Russell, Mr Sardonicus, the production has an interesting mix of talent behind the project. Directed by Brit John Hugh, starring the iconic American actor/director John Cassavetes and rounded out with a mixed cast of Canadian, British and American actors. Shot in Canada and considered a Canadian film, may be partially to blame for this becoming a lost film, of sorts. While far from being perfect, it offers up a good mix of mystery and horror, thick with style and atmosphere that has seen lesser films of the era catapulted into cult status.

Thankfully, the film has seen a proper Blu-Ray release from the good people over at Vinegar Syndrome.

Final Verdict

With proper distribution on initial release, The Incubus could have become an infamous title for horror fans to cling onto. Sadly, the times will not be kind to the movie as a creature that kills by violating woman is not going to catch a second wave of notoriety. This sentiment will likely be reflected in even the most modern hardened horror fan. Ultimately,  it is not a great premise for the current landscape.

Regardless of the content, the other aspects of the film have stood the test of time, offering up a solid experience for those who love horror film of the 80’s. The Incubus may very well be the most underrated horror film ever to come out of Canada, though it certainly won’t be to everyone’s tastes (which is understandable).

Final Score

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>