Affinity Bell is seven years old and has just moved into her new house with her parents. Or has she? What are the terrifying red-eyed Others that haunt her? Does Mr Moppet have a strong enough magic to protect her? Has all this happened before? What’s for breakfast?
Young Frankenstein (no, not that one) goes off to university, leaving behind his lovely fiancee and her family. I support that move. You get your education, Frankenstein. You’re too young for that much responsibility. Two years later, he has discovered the secret of life and death. They don’t make undergrads like they used to.
Frankenstein goes off to college to learn everything. Two years later, he has discovered the secret of life. He’s a go-getter, so he magics up a man in a kiln in his living room. And he is successful beyond his wildest dreams, which is bad news for him.
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.