By Greg Leonard
Incubus is an obscure 1960s oddity of a film thought for some time to be lost. The movie is a fable of good versus evil, the language simple, the characters arche- typal. Marco is a soldier returned home to recover from the wounds of battle. An honorable man, pure of heart, he risked his own life to save his comrades. Now he is tended by his simple, innocent sister Arndis. It would be peaceful and bucolic, but there are demons about.

Right from the opening credits, presented like the rest of the movie entirely in Esperanto, it's clear that this is an unusual American production—even among low-budget, independent horror movies. Its resurfacing has revealed a cultural artifact drenched in evil and tragedy both on and off screen with significant interest for a whole variety of geeks, enthusiasts, and obsessives.

Leslie Stevens was one of the creative forces behind The Outer Limits, the innovative television series that warned viewers: "There is nothing wrong with
your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture." His script for Incubus is much more straightforward than the off-kilter realities presented in the series.

According to his DVD audio commentary, it was the elemental nature of the story that drew a pre-Star Trek William Shatner to the project. He had enjoyed working with Stevens earlier on The Outer Limits. Shatner's subsequent fame will no doubt guarantee a following for Incubus among Trekkies, but his portrayal of Marco is far less mannered than one might expect, and, in fact, he provides an engaging protagonist.

A well near the cottage where Marco and Arndis live is reputed to bring good fortune to those who drink its waters. This attracts both the morally challenged and the demons that prey on them. Kia, a lovely blonde demon, is bored by damning those who would "find their own way to the sewers of hell." She wants the challenge of luring an uncorrupted soul. Her elder sister, Amael, warns her to beware of the

Marco and Kia (William Shatner and Allyson Ames)
power of goodness and love. Heedless, Kia proceeds to seduce Marco who, being only flesh and blood, falls hard. But, true to his nature, he wants to do the right thing and make an honest woman/demon out of her. While she sleeps, he carries her to the church. Waking near the altar, Kia reacts as any self-respecting demon would and runs in abject horror back to her sister. Amael sums up the situation nicely, outraged for Kia: he has "befouled you with love...This is holy rape!"

There is only one thing to be done. They
call forth the incubus, and also the kitsch. An incubus is a male demon that has sex with sleeping or otherwise unsuspecting women. But the title character just doesn't live up to his ominous billing. Rising from beneath the ground on a misty night, the incubus seems to be channeled by a shirtless zombie gigolo. He lures the trusting Arndis away from the cottage only to defile her in a black mass, his face contorted in an amusing attempt at malevolent lust. Tragically, Marco comes too late to save her and attacks the incubus to exact revenge. Thinking he has

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