Incubus (1966) takes place on the spooky quiet island of Nomen Tuum (Latin for “your name,” and I’m still trying to figure out why). The sick come to the magic Deer Well to be healed and the vain come to be made more beautiful. The Deer Well is the perfect bait for corrupted souls, and temptingly lovely demons have full workdays luring bad’uns down to the beach for picturesque watery deaths.
But succubus Kia is ambitious. She’s a young career demon on the rise, with untapped potential. She has what it takes to be the best, and she knows she can do more than the daily roundup of pre-blackened souls for the Prince of Darkness. Kia wants to harvest the soul of a good man, somebody shiny and pure who will be a challenge to condemn to Hell.
Her older and wiser sister Amael advises caution. Good men can be dangerous. Why take the risk of being wounded by that fiendish weapon of the virtuous, love? Kia ignores her, and sets off to find a good man to crush beneath her perfect little foot.
Hint: the hero looks like William Shatner
The target that Kia chooses is wounded war hero Marc. Marc visits the magic Deer Well with his sister Arndis—she has a line bemoaning that they don’t look like siblings, which is either an apology for the casting or a nearly successful attempt to dispel speculation in my living room that they are incestuous lovers—and leaves behind his walking stick. Hurray! He’s healed. Probably.
Kia picks up the stick and follows them to the cottage where they are living. Have they settled on Nomen Tuum, or is it a religious pilgrimage and agritourism combo sort of deal with chickens providing the catering? Ultimately it doesn’t matter. Kia gives Marc the business, playing vulnerable to appeal to his honour and then turning into a Manic Pixie Nightmare Girl to keep him interested. They flit along the seashore having awkward romantic banter and consummate their mutual attraction.
Meanwhile, Kia keeps Arndis busy by blinding her with a solar eclipse. Arndis cries for Marc,who is away having demon sex on the beach, and then reels off into the forest. Still trying to protect Kia from herself, Amael finds Arndis and points her in Marc’s direction. Arndis meets Marc at the church and her vision is restored. Wait, why is Marc at the church?
Marc is at the church because Kia fell asleep on the beach and Marc carried her to the church. Why did he do this? Why did Incubus’ writer/director Leslie Stevens think this wasn’t a horrifying thing for our virtuous hero to do? It’s too late to ask him. But when Kia woke up at the altar of a church, she freaked out and ran away. As any of us would. HE CARRIED HER UNCONSCIOUS FROM THE BEACH INTO THE CHURCH. That’s the behaviour of a serial killer.
Amael comforts a sobbing Kia; she wasn’t interested in Kia’s plan to glorify herself by destroying Marc, but she is all in to help Kia take revenge for her “holy rape.”
Not employee of the month
Amael and Kia have a midnight ritual, the demon equivalent of calling Head Office. The Incubus crawls out of the ground and receives his orders: push Marc to terrible crimes so that Kia can harvest his soul for the Prince of Darkness. This he does by compelling Arndis to follow him out into the night while Marc is chasing Kia’s voice on the wind.
The Incubus rapes Arndis and murders her, and after wounding an enraged Marc in the ensuing fight, allows Marc to kill him. Kia leads Marc to the beach while he bleeds to death and babbles in a way that made me concerned about Leslie Stevens’ state of mind while he was writing Incubus (1966).
Marc makes a last-minute decision to go to the church instead, and a frantic Kia returns to Amael for advice. Amael, foolishly still following the plan, finds out the hard way that Kia’s done with the plan. Ah, impetuous youth.
Kia chases Marc to the church, and Amael sends the Incubus after her. The Incubus whose murder condemned Marc to Hell? That’s the one, yes. He’s alive, so Marc is innocent. Poor Arndis was innocent too. The Incubus’ next performance review is going to be brutal.
Kia tries to enter the church, but the Incubus has caught up with her. She signs the Cross at him—she’s as surprised as he is to see her do it—and he turns into a terrifying Death Goat. Kia is seriously injured fighting off Death Goat, but she manages to crawl into the church and join Marc on the stone floor inside the door.
The Monster of Arts couch was split as to whether Kia and Marc lived or died, but either way, the rising sun hits Death Goat and poof! Death Goat is gone.
And that was Incubus (1966).❤ Read the movie review too! (Spoiler: you should watch it.)