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,



grassy hillsides, and an eighteenth-century Spanish mission provides a unique, fairy- tale landscape that Hall captures in rich black and white reminiscent of Bergman and Kurasawa. In one particularly striking shot viewed through the silhouetted win- dows of an abandoned house, we see Marco and then Kia come down a moonlit hillside, the long grass rippling behind them. The results are all the more remarkable given that the entire production was shot in 10 days, without a single frame developed until they had packed up and gone home to L.A.

The music also nicely supports the other-

worldly feeling of the Stevens story. Stylistically, it is so similar to the music used later in the Star Trek series that, with your eyes closed, you would be hard pressed to know which one you had on. This no doubt enhances the alien feel. The composer, Dominic Frontiere, had worked previously on The Outer Limits but not, apparently, on Star Trek.

Incubus became something of a cult hit in France but made little impact at home. However, worse fates were to befall several of those involved with the movie. The remarkable string of misfortune is dubbed "The Curse of Incubus" on the

Incubus (Milos Milos)
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