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Incubus, The (Katarina’s Nightmare Theater) 
Written by: on January 12th, 2013


Theatrical Release Date:
Canada, 1982
Director: John Hough
Writer: George Franklin
Cast: John Cassavetes, John Ireland, Kerrie Keane, Helen Hughes, Erin Noble, Duncan McIntosh, Harvey Atkin

DVD released: January 22nd, 2013
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: R
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95


Synopsis: Unable to solve a series of brutal rapes and murders, a doctor with an interest in these unsolved crimes discovers that the answer to whom may be behind these atrocities lies in the dreams of a disturbed young man.

Incubus was directed by John Hough, who’s other notable films include Twins of Evil, The Legend of Hell House and The Watcher in the Woods. Key collaborators on Incubus include cinematographer Albert J. Dunk (Class of 1984) and composer Stanley Myers (Deer Hunter, Lady Chatterley’s Lover).

What starts off with a bang, quickly devolves into an unfocused tale about a demonic beast that screws its victims to death and leaves behind an abundance of sperm. Speaking of sperm, this film has to have the record for the most times that the word is used in a horror film. It is literally used so many times that one if they were inclined to make a drinking gave around all of the times characters refer to sperm in this film.

Structurally the film follows your standard horror blueprint with its death scenes iintermediality spread out to give viewers time to recover from the latest money shot (I mean death scene). Though not particularly that gory, this films aforementioned death scenes are at least sufficiently bloody.

Issues with the plot and the lack of character development aside. At least one thing that can’t be lobbied against this film is its lack of pacing, which actually moves along at a nice pace from one shocking revelation to the next. Another area in which this film’s hold’s up well are its visuals which give the film some much need atmosphere.

Performance wise the entire are absolutely dreadful, especially John Cassavetes (Rosemary’s Baby) in the role of an investigating doctor, who is determined to uncover the truth. Though I have had the pleasure of seeing many films in which John Cassavetes gives a one note performance. It is safe to say that his performance in this film ranks among his worst performances. Ultimately Incubus is a by the numbers horror film that at every turn does its best to try to dissuade viewers from seeing it through to the end.

The DVD:

Scorpion Releasing presents The Incubus in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Prior to this release Scorpion Releasing made it clear that the only elements available where not in the best of shape and though this may disappoint some fans of the film. The end result is a transfer that actually looks very good, all things considered and in this reviewers opinion this transfer also looks better then the now OOP Elite Entertainment DVD.

This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. There are no problems with background noise, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.

Extras for this release include a trailer for the film and trailers for Death Ship, Day of the Animals, Alleycat, Mortuary, The Hearse, The House on Sorority Row, The Return and Humongous.

There are two ways to watch the main feature, ‘Play Movie’ or ‘Play Katarina’s Nightmare Theater’. This second option include comments before and after the main feature from Katarina Leigh Waters, who’s comments are done in a more analytical way as she gives a overall of who all the main players in this production are and she closes with her thoughts on the main feature. Overall The Incubus gets a good audio / video presentation from Scorpion Releasing.

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