ster, he immediately recognizes his fall from grace and imagines he feels the pull of damnation, the ground giving way beneath his feet. Kia witnesses his suffering and is overcome with love despite herself.
The climactic moment occurs as the prince of darkness appears to bring Kia back to the fold, towering menacingly over her. In a production move that is either inspired or ludicrous—depending entirely on your taste for the fantastical—the devil is portrayed by the head of a real goat, its eyes rolling wildly, its tongue lolling out of its mouth, and its voice that of a wailing steer. Kia and the goat wrestle for her allegiance on the church steps until she renounces evil and the devil is cast away.
What makes Incubus work, for the most part, is its wonderful sense of timeless- ness and dislocation. Stevens knew that to have the demons speak English in a particular accent, be it Southern, Brooklyn, or British, would situate them too squarely in the reality. He ended up translating the script into Esperanto to avoid geographical associations and subtitled the whole thing in English. Using Esperanto for the opening credits as well is a nice touch that makes you feel like you're watching a foreign film from a country you've never heard of. To this day, Incubus is the only feature film produced entirely in Esperanto. The actors sound like they are speaking a mix of
Italian and something from eastern Europe, eliminating language as an orienting device for the viewer.
Apparently, Stevens took the Esperanto thing so far as to require that it be spoken on set at all times. Of course, the cast and crew didn't speak a word. The actors had learned their lines phonetically after rehearsing in English. Shatner claims that the lack of understanding on the set produced a look of incomprehension on the actors' faces that appears, onscreen, to reflect the characters' incomprehension of the elemental forces of good and evil at work around them.
On a side note, Stevens also chose Esperanto, in part, because he had heard that it boasted seven million speakers who would provide a readymade audience for his film. Unfortunately, that audience was spread thinly around the globe and the handful of Esperanto speakers present in any given city was not enough to support the economics of distribution.
Despite the communication breakdown behind the scenes, the film is beautifully shot. Credit for the cinematography goes to Conrad Hall, another Outer Limits alum and future multiple Oscar winner.
Incubus was shot on location around Big Sur on the central coast of California. The combination of wind-shaped trees, steep,