Incubus (1966) was a commercial failure on a level that sounds made up. An independent movie that doesn’t get any distribution at all isn’t rare or strange, but an American independent movie that got distribution in one single market, France, is pretty special. It can seem a bit strange that a legendarily cursed horror film couldn’t catch anyone’s attention.
Foreign horror movies are better than domestic ones. We come from outside the language or the cultural context. The sense of isolation increases. The acting seems better. The writing seems better. We’re willing to suspend our disbelief a little more than usual. But Incubus (1966) is an American movie in foreign film drag.
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.
Incubus (1966) was very nearly a lost movie. If it had been lost, it would be hard to believe that an American movie filmed entirely in Esperanto existed at all. But it squeaked through the closing doors of history and it’s possible for doubters to see it with their own eyes and be amazed. Incubus (1966) exists, and it is the stuff obsessions are made of.