December 15th, 2014: Incubus (1966)

Cast and Crew: Conrad L. Hall (Cinematography)

What It’s About:   Succubus Kia (Allyson Ames) attempts to corrupt the soul of Marc (William Shatner), but when she fails she summons an Incubus (Milos Milos) to strike at Marc’s sister Arndis (Ann Atmar).

Why Watch it Today?:   Today is the birthday of L. L. Zamenhoff, the creator of Esperanto, the artificial language spoken in today’s film.  Zamenhoff hoped that Esperanto would unite the world, but here Esperanto is used to make the film feel otherworldly.  The device succeeds, to a degree, but also enhances the feeling that Leslie Stevens, one of the creator’s of The Outer Limits, sought to emulate foreign art films, particularly the work of Ingmar Bergman.  The mix of Bergman elements with California locations, 1960s television sensibilities, relatively unknown actors (Incubus was filmed pre-Star Trek)  results in a strange and compelling, if not necessarily good, film.

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6 comments on “December 15th, 2014: Incubus (1966)

  1. Bill Chapman says:

    Esperanto is celebrating its 125th anniversary next year. I’m sure we’ll hear more about that shortly.

    Esperanto works! I learned it in my late teens, and I’ve used it in speech and writing in a dozen countries over recent years. As a planned auxiliary language, it is easier to learn and use than national tongues.

  2. As an Esperanto speaker I found Incubus terrifying! Bill Shatner’s pronunciation that is, not the film.

    Nevertheless Esperanto remains popular. The new online course http://www.lernu.net has 125 000 hits per day and Esperanto Wikipedia enjoys 400 000 hits per day. That can’t be bad 🙂

    • professormortis says:

      From what I’ve read, Shatner puts a French-Canadian accent on his Esperanto pronunciation. I had no idea that Esperanto was still being taught.

      • Bill Chapman says:

        Esperanto is celebrating its 125th anniversary next year. I’m sure we’ll hear more about that shortly. It’s being taught and used by a huge number of people. I found it of use in Argentina earlier this month.

  3. bellabone says:

    William Shatner + Esperanto sounds amazing!

    • T.A. Gerolami says:

      He apparently speaks it with a terrible Canadian accent! I was actually surprised at how almost good it is; it’s less a problem with the production, and more that the Esperanto switch, intentionally or not, basically boils down to “let’s see if putting this in another language will automatically convey the mood and quality of a Bergman film”. Unsurprisingly simply uses some of his themes, a vaguely Medieval setting and subtitles doesn’t make this another Seventh Seal.

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